Council members share ‘Wish List’ of projects for coming year

Suzette Lowe

At the beginning of the Jan. 5 meeting of the Ripley City Council, Mayor Carolyn Rader challenged members to suggest a project each would like to see completed in 2021.

“We’re in a new year,” Rader said. “We’ve got another chance to do good things for the city. What would you like to see done?”

Council members met the challenge with several projects suggested, but the overwhelming suggestion was addressing the West Side City Park.

“I’d like to have new fencing and, of course, the drainage issue taken care of at that park,” said John McGinley, who attended the meeting by phone. “I’d also like to find some way to support businesses who suffered during the pandemic.”

Other ideas presented included a possible sidewalk going towards Walmart, dealing with storm sewer drains that have shifted and replacement of rusted street signs.

Councilman Rick Buckley, who also attended by phone, said acreage near Walmart that was recently purchased by the Building Authority needed attention.

“I’d like to see a long-term plan for that area, once we’ve used the dirt we need for the lagoons,” he said.

When asked if he had a “wish” for 2021, Ripley Police Chief Brad Anderson expressed concern for intersections with traffic lights.

“I really hope we can work with the West Virginia Department of Highways to get cameras at those intersections,” he said. “It would certainly help with traffic accident reports and other issues.”

Looking forward to Christmas, the mayor spoke to council about the need for new holiday lights for the city.

“We’ve had most of our lights for at least eight years, some for much longer,” she said. “Councilwoman Waybright has agreed to chair the project with funding coming from the hotel/motel tax.”

It was agreed that Waybright would report back to council at a February meeting.

In other business, Danny Martin, Bryan Thompson, Recorder David Casto, Waybright, McGinley, and Buckley learned:

• City police officer Thomas will start at the West Virginia Police Academy on Jan. 11 for the 10-week training

• Jackson County Office of Emergency Services Director Walt Smittle obtained a grant for license plate readers

• Unaccounted water usage during the last billing period was seven percent

• The MACK garbage truck, approved at the last council meeting, has been purchased

The next meeting of council will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the municipal building.