County Planning Board takes a look at Ripley’s needs

RIPLEY – Doug Bowen, Ripley town supervisor, told council members the Chautauqua County Planning Board recently took a good look at the needs of the Ripley area.

Bowen, who is the Chautauqua County Planning Board chairperson, said the group has begun to meet at different locations in order to give it a better grasp on the various needs of the county. When December’s meeting was scheduled for Ripley, Bowen said he asked board members to come through town on Route 20, drive to the state line and then return.

“I think it will open board members’ eyes as to the condition of some of our communities, such as Ripley,” Bowen said.

He said he especially wanted planning board members to note the derelict condition of some of Ripley’s buildings, the minimum amount of police protection and the fact that gasoline is 40 cents cheaper only 2 miles away across the state line.

“I asked the members to drive through town to the Kwik Fill and come back again, and to pay attention to our entry ways,” Bowen said. “Part of the purpose of meeting around the county is to gain perspective as to our differences.”

In other business, the board heard from Bill Reid, a Ripley resident who owns the trailer park located north of the school along Ross Street. Reid said the park has experienced much flooding as a result of water running downward from school property and from a ditch on the north side of Ross that gets backed up as a result of debris.

“I pumped for a month and half the water that overflows from that ditch,” Reid said.

He said he has contacted school officials several times about the matter but has received no response.

Michael Knight, Ripley highway supervisor, told the board he has reviewed the situation and will excavate the ditch when weather permits. However, he said, the bulk of the flooding problem stems from the water runoff from the school.

“My belief is that the water problem is from above. I’m willing to clean the creek out when weather allows, but I think this will only solve about 20 percent of the problem,” he said.

Bowen also updated the board on efforts to obtain asbestos removal training for municipal employees in order to save on costs. A total of 24 employees from around the county have signed up for the training.

Bowen said the date is difficult to schedule with that many applicants, because the five-day, 40-hour course must be completed in a two-week period, even if make-up days are necessary.

The board approved a resolution to allow a survey by the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection department for site assessment. Officials from the department presented a plan to the board at its December meeting to build a 180-foot radar and camera tower at the water treatment plant along Route 5.