By Martha Jacob –
Ripley Police Chief Joel Barnett once again approached Ripley Village Council hoping to get the go-ahead on plans to get DragonCams for the police department to help curb speeding in the village.
DragonCams include hand-held devises that will record any vehicle speeding just by aiming it at the back of the vehicle. It records the date, time, place, speed and GPS coordinates of the speeder.
The project was first brought to council at its Oct. 25, 2016 meeting and since that time, council has had the first reading on an ordinance to become part of the program.
Barnett talked to council at its Jan. 24, meeting to ask members to suspend the rules and pass the ordinance so he could move forward.
“We have a lot to get done before we can get started on DragonCam” Chief Barnett said. “We all have to be trained on this device, along with a lot of other things. And like I said, if we don’t like this program, all we have to do is give 30 days notice that we want to discontinue it.”
Chief Barnett said it could take several months to get everything in place in the village and he can not take any steps until the village signs off on DragonCam.
However, despite Chief Barnett’s best efforts to move forward on the project, by passing the ordinance as an emergency measure, council would not suspend the rules and had a second reading on the ordinance. Barnett will now have to wait until the next meeting Feb. 14 to begin all the work needed to implement DragonCam and hope the third reading will take place and work can finally begin on the project.
In other business, Mayor Tom Leonard reminded council that a course was available to take which would allow people to obtain spray permits. The product “Roundup” could be used in the cemetery around the head stones. Councilman Charles Poole said caution should be used to not get the product on the headstones.
Mayor Leonard told council that not much had been happening regarding finding a grocery store to move back into the village.
“Honestly people, I’ve done about everything I can do, I’ve texted, emailed and done about everything. There’s no lien against that property, (the old IGA building) but the owner won’t contact us back. I have a Stewart Farm Supply outfit that wants that building really bad. I know we need a grocery store, but it would be good to get that empty building used.”
Administrator Pete Renshaw told council that he needed a request from council regarding the installation of a red flashing light at the end of Rt. 62, but not on Rt. 52, and they want to put LED lights on the stop signs.
“The village would only be responsible for the electricity to the lights and if and when the solar batteries go out, we would replace them,” Renshaw said. “Council just has to approve and request the lights.”
Councilman Poole asked if the state was going to provide the maintenance on the lights. Renshaw said that the village would be responsible for maintenance. Following a brief discussion council approved the request.
Renshaw reminded council that in April last year he had started working on an Emergency Management Plan for the village.
“I has taken a while because I’ve had to reach out for guidance on the plan,” Renshaw said. “The plan I’m building off of is 18 years old.”
Renshaw said the plan is currently being reviewed and will be brought back to council at another meeting.
Renshaw added that the public landing has been cleaned up by the street department and Rankin Hill Road, which was built in 1964 by ODOT, will have to be serviced by the village. He said that two new culverts would be needed. He said he would get back to council about the project.
“Regarding the fire department’s fire trucks,” Renshaw said. “Heather (Hauck-fiscal officer) and I need authorization from council to search for loans. We have to go to the bank and set up a loan then it will get paid back through the levy funds.”
Councilman Poole recommended Mayor Leonard to sign off on the loan after a search is completed. The issue was approved, with Councilman Travis Arnett sustaining.
Renshaw also told council that a lot of the village water lines are 150 PSI (pounds per square inch) and he is trying to think of ways to relieve that preassure and make it more manageable pressure.
“The two water reservoirs up on the hill, were built in the 60’s and no one knows if they have ever been cleaned.”
Renshaw would like to clean up at least one of them and maybe closing the other. He hopes that grants could help in doing the work.
Later in the meeting, council approved a two year contract with solicitor Tom Mayes, with no changes. Mayor Leonard asked to pass the ordinance as an emergency.
Councilman Poole asked why he had to be passed as an emergency if there were no changes, however a motion to suspend the rules was made and the ordinance passed.