Ripley residents to vote on fire protection levy

By Martha Jacob –

Voters in the Village of Ripley will be voting on an additional 2 mills levy for a continuing period of time on their Nov. 8 ballot which should generate about $329,000.
According to Ripley Fire Chief Tony Pfeffer, the levy is needed for the purchase of replacements for aging equipment at the fire house. Pfeffer told Ripley Council in June of this year that a committee had been organized consisting of Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard, Pete Renshaw, administrator, Heather Hauke, fiscal officer and himself, for the purpose of deciding how much revenue was needed.
“We needed to immediately replace 18 sets of turn-out gear for our firefighters,” Pfeffer said, “That was absolutely necessary right away and we’ve been able to pay for them out of our budget. We needed things like new pants, coats and helmets. After 10 years, these turn-out gear sets have to be replaced and ours are much older. Each set cost $1,800, which included pants and a coat, but not the helmet. That cost $33, 300, but we’re glad to have new ones.”
Pfeffer said his department also needs to replace an old 1976  back-up ladder truck, a 1979 ladder truck, a 1979 mini-pumper and a 1981 hose tender. He added that he would like to replace the three vehicles with two newer pieces of apparatus for his department.
He said the cost of a new mini pumper to replace the current one would be $125,000. A new engine would cost $375,000. Including the cost of replacing the turn-out gear, it would cost the department a total of $533,300.
The fire department has been saving money for several years and to date, with what the village contributes, $288,000 has been saved through the last 16 years. Pfeffer said the levy would cost most Ripley residents between $28 to about $70 a year for the average homeowner.
Pfeffer added that he hopes voters will pass this levy so that his department can be the best that it can be, and his firefighters will be safe.