Cares Act provides something extra

Suzette Lowe
Jackson Newspapers

Volunteerism was celebrated at the Ripley City Council’s Tuesday meeting.

Mayor Carolyn Rader presented Bobbi Farrell with a certificate for being selected as one of the top 100 national award winners for volunteerism from the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award.

The mayor said she submitted Farrell for the national contest because of her dedication to the City of Ripley.

“There is no one more generous, more willing to help than Bobbi Farrell,” she said. “She’s especially there for our kids, both as a volunteer and as the president of our board of education. Nothing stops her. If Bobbi is told something can’t be done, she’s determined to find a way.”

The mayor also recognized members of Boy Scout Troop 152 who attended to meet requirements for their Citizenship in Community badge.

The 41 full-time city employees will be getting a little something extra for the holidays.

Since the city has received Cares Act money, city treasurer Tom Armstead, with the mayor’s full support, suggested that a $1,000 employment management incentive be given this year from those funds. The city has recently received an additional $77,083 from the Cares Act from requests submitted by Armstead.

Armstead pointed out that during the pandemic, the city offices did not close even though procedures had to change somewhat.

Rader said, “I could go on and on about the workers here. They are simply the best.”

Council members Bryan Thompson, Danny Martin, John McGinley, Carolyn Waybright, Rick Buckley, and city reporter David Casto voted unanimously to approve the request.

Another opportunity to save funds, while getting more service, was presented to the council by Brian Johnson of Johnson Insurance. The city’s insurance agent gave two quotes for coverage. The Glatfelter Insurance Group proposal was $234,922, with Travelers Insurance submitting $261,426. Johnson pointed out that the lower bid also provided more coverage. Council approved the lower quote.

An upcoming project approved by the council will provide what the mayor said is a needed service for the city.

A drive-through service will be installed on the lower level of the municipal building. The plans call for a setup similar to a drive-through bank. Armstead said the total cost will be under $20,000 and will enable city residents to pay their bills without leaving their cars.

In other business, council members:

• Learned that city police have answered an increase in domestic calls in the last few months

• Approved a $1000 donation to the Shop with a Cop program, an increase of $500 from the previous year

• Reviewed a list of grant opportunities presented by Tiano-Knopp Associates, Inc.

• Learned about the upcoming Christmas celebration for children at the Starcher mansion following the Christmas parade on Dec. 5

• Tabled the proposed contract for the Blink Car Charging Station Grant until the Dec. 1 meeting to allow city attorney Kevin Harris to address seven points of concern

• Heard the first reading of the ordinance change 343.05 regarding “stop streets designated,” Pfost Street to Skye Street at First Avenue, Skye Street at Second Avenue (South), and Emerald Drive at Sycamore Road

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