Ripley’s Tree City, USA committee receives $3,000 grant, prepares for Arbor Day


By Martha B. Jacob –

Ripley Village Council met in regular session on March 14.
Council heard an update regarding Ripley’s Tree City USA status and the upcoming Arbor Day celebration from resident Betty Campbell. Tree Committee member Tim Wilson was also in attendance.
“Since our village is only one of two in Brown County that is a member of Tree City, USA,” Campbell said, “I am here tonight to make you all aware of our Arbor Day Celebration set for April 28. It will include a 1 p.m. program at Ripley Elementary School.
“This year’s event will be a really big event, because this year the tree committee was the recipient of a $3,000 grant that was given by the Arbor Day Foundation, and this is a grant that was awarded to only one Tree City, USA in the United States.”
Campbell told council that the tree committee was thrilled beyond words at receiving the grant. She said the committee hopes to plant at least 6 trees instead of the one tree that is usually planted. The event will also include a poster contest. Each student from the elementary school will also receive a seedling.
In other actions at the council meeting Ripley resident Debi Sizemore spoke at length about the ongoing problem of feral cats on Catherine Street in the village. According to Mayor Tom Leonard, as many as 32 cats have been counted at a Catherine Street residence. The owner of the residence continues to feed the cats, even after being sited by the Brown County Health Department to stop feeding the cats.
“The owner of this home really is a nice person,” Sizemore said, “But these cats are not healthy, they are destructive and the smell they create is simply unbearable. And many of the cats are missing eyes and are definitely sick.
“The health department tells me there is nothing they can do. Doesn’t the Village of Ripley have some kind of nuisance ordinance in place to do something about this ongoing problem?”
Sizemore was told that the ordinance does not specifically address a feral cat issue so council’s hands were tied.
The mayor did say he would talk to the village solicitor, Tom Mayes about the problem and try to find a solution.
Mayor Leonard also stated that Clean-Up Days in the village will be May 11 through May 13, preceded on May 4, 5 and 6 by the Villagewide Yard Sale.
Village Administrator Pete Renshaw brought before council the following issues:
• Introduced a new auxillary police officer, Sawyer Rammell;
• Final samples from the new water wells has been sent off to EPA;
• Concerns were expressed over the traffic light, which is very old, in front of the Elementary School, plans made to test it;
• Contract with Village Magistrate signed for two  years;
• First reading on creating an impound lot;
• Accepted a bid of $1,050 on an old village truck.