Bike Trails proposed at Ripley City Council

Suzette Lowe
Claire Racer, five years old, leads the Ripley City Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

When Mayor Carolyn Rader called the Ripley City Council to order on Sept. 15, she said that it was going to be an unusual meeting.

The meeting began as normal with an opening prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, or as the mayor says, “Our promise to the American flag.” What was special about this pledge was the one who stood at the front of the room with her hand over her heart.

Five-year-old Claire Racer led the council and all those present in the pledge. The mayor was so impressed she invited the patriotic young lady to lead the pledge during Ripley’s Veterans Day celebration.

One project council has been most concerned with is the Mill Creek dam. There have been some challenges along the way, but the cooperation of Ingrid Lee has made the construction possible.

“There are some people in this city that all you have to do is ask and they step up to help,” Rader said. “And Ingrid Lee is one of those people. She allowed us to put an access road on her property that made building the dam so much easier. And she didn’t ask for a penny in payment.”

The Ripley resident said she was glad to help.

“I’ve always been taught to honor and take care of God’s land,” Lee said.

A presentation of a group formed by the mayor to offer biking opportunities was the main focus of the meeting.

The mission of the group, represented by Jim Bush, Frank Crum, Saundra Crum, and Mike Ruben, is to promote bike riding by children and adults. To achieve this in Ripley, a proposed “Ripley Rides 2020” was introduced.

Bush, during a visual presentation, said the plan is to have a “share the road” campaign, focusing on Second and Third Avenues and Charleston Drive.

“We want to have these designated as bike paths with good signage to make it safer,” he said. “We have other plans such as a mayor’s ride to kick things off in October, a bike safety rodeo, and lots of other events.”

Council members were enthusiastic in their response, saying they would provide any assistance possible.

In other business, council members Carolyn Waybright, John McGinley, Rick Buckley, Bryan Thompson, and recorder David Casto, with Danny Martin absent:

• Learned from Chief of Police Brad Anderson that the new parking attendant is doing an excellent job

• Were introduced to Elder Anderson and Woodall, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who said they were interested in volunteering for projects

• Learned the Evans water tank work is completed

• Learned the Mill Creek dam is completed except for clean up

• Heard from Matt Anderson that millwork and paving has started on Cedar Ridge, Mountaineer Lane, Clearview Lane, and Third Avenue

• Had the first reading for the replacement of Section 132 of the Zoning Appeals Board with state policy

• Learned the mayor will meet with Chief Anderson regarding review of Article 373 addressing pedestrians with bicycles

The next meeting of the council will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the municipal building.

Mayor Carolyn Rader presents Claire Racer an American flag.