RIPLEY - If all goes well, an eyesore on Main Street in Ripley could get a face-lift.
The Ripley Town Council voted March 13 to authorize the architectural firm, Clark, Patterson and Lee, to create a conceptual design for the front of the Oddfellows Hall. The cost of the study should not exceed $2,500.
Additionally, the council will request the town's "beautification committee" to provide ideas for the design.
The Oddfellows Hall, at the corner of Routes 20 and 76, was declared unusable, but has remained a source of vexation for the town. Two years ago, the town obtained funds to remove the back of the building as well as to repair a hole in the front where the structure had been damaged.
At this point, tearing the building down would cost the town too much, as well as create a large open lot, said Supervisor Doug Bowen. The cosmetic improvements will at least improve the building's appearance as well as make it more safe, he said.
In other business, the council approved a request from Ripley Central School to extend the town's liability insurance waiver to cover adult wellness activities in the school until the end of April. The wellness program covers adult use of the gymnasium. The council will consider extending the waiver to cover activities beyond April at a later date.
In a related matter, the council agreed to add junior weightlifting to the list of youth activities it sponsors. The town contributes $300 to each such activity. Children participating in the program will be able to use the school weightlifting equipment.
Council also approved expenditures of $2,400 for a water/sewer survey along Route 20 and Shortman Road. The study will assess how much of the project can be accomplished through gravity and how many pump stations will be needed, Bowen said.
The town has been working to extend the water and sewer lines further along Route 20 for more than a year. "We're hoping to start construction on that project this fall," Bowen said.
The council also voted to establish a mandatory minimum fine of $100 for dog owners who are issued court appearance citations. Bowen said many violators who receive appearance tickets would then purchase their license before their court date and then have the case dismissed.
"It's getting old. This is a mandatory fine for those who fail to purchase their dog license," he said.
Rebecca Rowe Carvallo, town clerk, reported that second notices for property tax collection will be going out this week.