By Martha Jacob –
During its May 24 Ripley Village Council meeting Mayor Tom Leonard announced that the summer curfew in the village would immediately go into effect.
Sunday through Thursday anyone younger than 18 years old cannot be on the streets after 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday the time is 11 p.m.
“The first time a kid is caught out past curfew it’s a warning,” Mayor Leonard said, “The next time means an appearance in juvenile court. “I am fed up with all this unnecessary damage to village property. I got a tip just the other day about the bathroom damage, so I’m hoping to catch them.”
Councilman Travis Arnett told council that he thought he could purchase camera systems for the village at very reasonable prices. Mayor Leonard told Arnett to do the research and get back to council.
Administrator Pete Renshaw said to council “Sadly the cemetery has been badly vandalized repeatedly, in the last week or so, and we’ve been called over there twice today.”
Renshaw said at least 10 headstones that have been tipped, probably more like 15. He said that the war memorial has four balls around them and two had been knocked off. He said several teenagers had been run out of the cemetery by people living close and their descriptions have been reported to the police department.
“A lot of those stones that have been tipped over are located along the north end, close to the fence between the cemetery and the elementary school,” Renshaw said. “I’ve been told that that area is the darkest part of the cemetery, but we may have a line on who is doing it. The school has cameras so we’re hopeful.
Mayor Leonard was obviously upset about the vandalism, and said when the criminals are caught; they would be in very deep trouble. He said he was very disturbed and vowed that something would be done about it. He said many of his relatives are buried in the cemetery and he took the acts personally.
Renshaw went on to say the public restrooms on Cherry Street had also received continued damage and they had been cleaned thoroughly and closed down. Any ball team or special requests could open it but it would be locked the rest of the time.
Mayor Leonard discussed the sign in front of the old shoe factory. “If you will all take a good look at that sign in front of the shoe factory, you’ll notice that it’s all white,” Mayor Leonard said. “The Ripley Women’s Club came up painted it and really cleaned it up. They fixed the plywood and the end caps. They did that as
part of their community development program and there are several other things they’re planning on doing this summer. I know it’s just a sign but it really looks good now, and I appreciate the Women’s Club.”
Councilman Dave Otis suggested using the sign to advertise that the building is for lease or at the least put a sign in one of the buildings windows. However, Mayor Leonard reminded council that the building had some issues with the plumbing that needed corrected before it can be leased out.
Also during the meeting, council learned that Officer Corey S. Herren was donating the services of a K-9 Unit to the village. Council thanked Officer Herren for his generosity.
Administrator Pete Renshaw reported to council that the dock at Front Street had now been repaired and put back into the water. “We took it down last fall because the connections between the pieces were nearly worn through,” Renshaw said. “For not much money, using village personnel, we’ve rehabbed the dock. We had some stainless steel plates made and bolted them in. It looks about 90 percent new now.”