RIPLEY - The Town of Ripley may be forced to bring legal action against owners of two derelict properties on Route 20.
The Oddfellows building and The Corner Bar, both located at the intersection of Routes 20 and 76 in the center of town, are in a state of disrepair. The Oddfellows building has been particularly dangerous since a car crashed into its front on Christmas Eve, leaving a gaping hole. Part of the difficulty with recommending that the building be demolished is that the building shares a wall with the hardware store.
"We have to do something with those structures before someone gets hurt," Town Supervisor Douglas Bowen said at a Town Board meeting Thursday, Jan 12. "Playing nice with the current property owners is not working."
Photo by David Prenatt
The Oddfellows building in downtown Ripley has been condemned for years, but poses an additional danger after a car crashed through its front on Christmas Eve.
Enforcing the town's derelict structure law would bring those owners into court and "force them to ante-up." Bowen said after the meeting that in former days the county would have razed the structures and paid the demolition costs with from tax monies.
"We are trying to resolve the problem without putting it on the shoulders of the tax-payer," he said. "The last thing we want is a vacant lot there, but we have to do something."
In other business, Bowen said he had a "beginning meeting" with an engineering firm about the possibility of building a commercial-sized sand filter wastewater project along Route 5. If the project goes through, local business would be able to tap into the treatment facility.
The council passed a resolution to review its personnel policy. A committee consisting of Patricia Hathaway, Bob McIntosh, Rebecca Rowe Carvallo, Darwin Rowe and Michael Knight will review the policy and make recommendations by April.
The town of Ripley also received a letter from Westfield Village stating that its police department would no longer be responding to calls in the surrounding area. Ripley has an agreement with the county sheriff's department for police protection.