Council moves forward on safety issues and support for Main Street Ripley

Suzette Lowe

There was much to celebrate at the April 6 meeting of the Ripley City Council.

The Ripley High School archery team was recognized for its winning the West Virginia state archery championship for the 14th year in a row.

Coaches Clarence Canterbury and Roy Bennett (center) were honored, along with their Ripley High state archery champions, at Ripley City Council.

Coach Roy Bennett and Assistant Coach Clarence Canterbury spoke about the dedication of their team members. With the challenge that the health pandemic forced onto sports, this victory was especially meaningful.

“It was a different format,” said Bennett. “These kids are used to shooting against someone, but this year it was a virtual tournament. They really stepped up.”

Canterbury said that he and Bennett had coached many of these students in middle school.

“We wanted to see them through their high school experience,” he said. “I couldn’t be more tickled for them.”

The Ripley City Police Department met a milestone as well with the graduation of its final police officer from the West Virginia State Police Academy.

Mayor Carolyn Rader presented Chief Brad Anderson a flag flown in combat in Afghanistan in honor of this achievement earned by Patrolman Tyler Thomas. Chief Anderson said that Thomas had received great praise for his performance.

City Police Chief Brad Anderson, Patrolman Tyler Thomas and Sergeant Jamie Hart were presented a combat flag to honor Thomas’s graduation from the WV State Police Academy.

Getting back into racing form will be easier for Main Street Ripley with the support of the council. A vote to sponsor the first in-person race of the season, Dash for Cash, was granted after a request by Main Street Ripley board member Marsha Humphrey.

“This will be our first ever 10K race,” Humphrey said. “It will take place on May 29 as part of the Ripley on Sale & Flea Market at the Lakes event. There will also be a 2K and a walk as well.”

With the addition of a license plate reader on a city police vehicle and the addition of more cameras in Ripley City Park, safety has become a little easier.

Four new cameras will be installed in the exercise equipment area, basketball court and pool parking area. At a cost of $5,389.40, these wireless cameras, with a new recording device, will provide additional surveillance.

According to Chief Anderson, the license plate reader will be a valuable tool.

“It allows us to check for stolen cars, be alerted to suspicious activity, assist with Amber Alerts more efficiently,” he said. “We hope to get another one through a grant. Walt Smittle wrote the grant for the one we currently have.”

One last safety measure council has on its work plan is additional sidewalk and street repair. The approach to the bridge leading to Walmart was listed as priority, with the sidewalk leading from the municipal building to the corner lot by the traffic light on the list as well.

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

  • Accepted the resignation of Roger Sweppenhiser’s resignation from the water plant, effective April 30.
  • Learned that water lost for the past month was 7 percent.
  • All paperwork has been submitted to Titan Propane regarding sidewalk repair leading to Walmart.

The next meeting of the council will be Tuesday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.