Dam and Mapping Projects nearing completion

Suzette Lowe
Jackson Newspapers

If there is a city water line issue or a water valve that needs to be located, Ripley is in good shape.

City council heard from Matt Anderson, chief sanitary officer, and intern Jonathan Adkins that a mapping project to identify those locations in Ripley and Evans is almost complete.

Adkins, a graduate student at Marshall University, has been focusing on this assignment for most of the summer. He obtained GPS coordinates for each. Those coordinates and other helpful information have been loaded in a database that is stored in the cloud, making it accessible to Anderson and those working on leaks or other issues.

“This has made a huge impact on our ability to address leaks or any other problems involving the water lines,” Anderson said. “What could potentially take hours simply to locate the valve now takes far less time.”

Adkins praised the work of Thrasher Engineering and former city employee, Doug Skeen, for work already completed mapping hydrants and meters.

“That just needed to be uploaded because it was pretty much already done,” he said.

Anderson said one other benefit of additional mapping completed by the intern was pinpointing banners on the light poles.

“He identified the light poles on which we traditionally hang banners of some veterans,” he said. “Now all I have to do is click the light pole and I’ll know exactly who goes where.”

Other good news council members heard addressed the status of the Mill Creek dam.

Jim Mitchem, chief water operator, reported that great progress has been made.

“We’ll be ready for the final portion soon,” he said. “And the dam will be 7/10 foot higher than the old dam.”

Council members Carolyn Waybright, John McGinley, Danny Martin, Rick Buckley, and Reporter David Casto, with Bryan Thompson absent, also:

• Approved $15,500 payment to Thrasher Engineering for survey and mapping of the property near Walmart

• Approved $107,991 payment to Kelly Pavement for the Court Street project to either be paid directly by the WV Department of Highways (DOH) or reimbursed to the city from a DOH grant

• Approved a resolution from the Army Corps of Engineers that among other things authorized Mayor Carolyn Rader to act for and on behalf of the city regarding a grant received

• Approved Trevor Whiting as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals

• Approved the moving of the fireworks site from Old Stone Ridge to Hillcrest

• Learned from City Clerk Tom Armstead that while the new dumpster leasing program can continue, the dumpster ordinance (945) should be updated

Council went into a closed-door executive session for the purpose of personnel at 7:51 p.m., which ended with no action taken.

The next meeting of the city council will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 at the municipal building.