Ripley mayor praises recovery effort

RIPLEY — Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard was in a thankful mood.

On July 28, at Ripley’s first village council meeting since torrential rain and floods took the lives of three people living on Ripley Road, Leonard thanked the many volunteers and village employees who came together to help clean and begin the rebuilding process for the families that lost so much on July 18.

“We pulled together, all of our guys hit it hard out there,” Leonard said. “The residents and everybody county wide, because we had a lot of different departments and villages down here helping, and it’s very much appreciated.”

“It was almost to the point of people walking on top of each other, and that’s a good thing.”

Later he added, “It was amazing to see the people pull together like they did.”

On that note, Village Administrator Pete Renshaw thanked Ripley Fire Department Chief Tony Pfeffer and Ripley village council resident Nowana Bingaman for serving in the command center and organizing the recovery efforts.

In addition, the only major issue left by the floods to the village was the destruction of a control panel for one of their sewage pump lift stations.

“The control panel was washed out,” Renshaw said. “The electrical cables held it in place but it fell over and it filled with mud and silt, and it’s toast.”

Renshaw estimated that the price to fix the control panel would be around $7,500 but it was cheaper than he anticipated. The village, as of July 28, is using a diesel-powered pump temporarily while repairs are underway. Renshaw estimated as well that the old pump would be back online by Aug. 7.

He also said that the Environmental Protection Agency was happy that less sewage water went into the Ohio River than anticipated. Renshaw said that there was only 18 hours of waste going into the river, and it wasn’t a continuous flow of sewage.

“They were very pleased, there’s no further reports or fines,” Renshaw said. “All we have to do is put the control panel in place, take the other system out, and then we’re back where we were before.”

On a different note, Renshaw told village council that they’ve sent out 17 letters to property owners with high grass, and on July 28, Renshaw observed that 13 of the 17 letters hadn’t been touched. Renshaw and Leonard decided they would cite the offending properties that didn’t answer the letter in Mayor’s Court.

Lastly, Renshaw said that he has been in touch with Sandra Ashba for her to be the next village floodplain administrator. Ashba formerly worked for Hamilton County and later served as the administrator for the village of Moscow.

Earlier in the meeting, Jackie Hanson approached village council about holding a shredding day for the village. Though there was some discussion from village council and the administration, both groups agreed that a shredding day wasn’t necessary for the village.

Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard. Mayor Tom Leonard. Daniel Karell | Civitas Media

The Village of Ripley held their first village council meeting since the July 18 floods that took the lives of three people. Village of Ripley held their first village council meeting since the July 18 floods that took the lives of three people. Daniel Karell | Civitas Media

By Daniel Karell

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell