By David Prenatt
Ripley Town Council initiated plans Thursday to demolish the Corner Bar at the intersection of Routes 20 and 76.
Ripley resident Tammy Bahl presents photographs and documentation to Ripley Town Council regarding her complaint that patrons of Papa’s Restaurant are parking on her property. Seated are town supervisor Doug Bowen and council member Patricia Hathaway.
The building falls under the "derelict structure law" town supervisor Doug Bowen told the board. "The structure is a hazard and a danger to safety," he said.
Bowen said he hoped much of the work, including the removal of asbestos and hazardous materials, could be done in-house. Several employees of Ripley and other municipalities were recently trained and certified to handle such materials.
"We're in uncharted waters with this," Bowen said. However, using local workers should result in substantial savings to the town. Ripley recently paid $64,000 to have hazardous materials removed from the Oddfellows building, also located at the intersection of Routes 20 and 76.
The town will attempt to notify the owner of the Corner Bar, however, it is suspected that he is deceased, Bowen said.
In other business, the council agreed to look into expanding its waterline project on East Lake Road after several homeowners expressed their support. Bowen read from three letters the town received asking that the project be expanded beyond Forsythe Road.
"We're more than happy to work with you on this," Bowen told property owners who attended Thursday's meeting. "The more property owners get involved, the less cost per owner you will have." Bowen said the town has saved a considerable amount by being able to do the waterline installation with its own workers. However, property owners must be willing to pay for no less than 75 percent of the cost of materials.
"The trouble with going down Route 5 is that you don't have a critical mass, that is, a large number of owners," he said.
The council also heard from Ripley resident Tammy Bahl regarding Papa's Restaurant, which borders her property. Bahl said people using the restaurant have been parking on her property for several months because the owner was allowed to open without erecting a required barrier fence between the lot and her property. The fence is required to be six feet high and 60 feet long, Bahl said.
Bahl said she incurred the expense of planting trees along the border as well as placing rocks to deter people from parking there, but the problem persists.
Bowen told Bahl that the town was aware of the problem but, "it's in the enforcement stage and we cannot discuss it right now."
The council set the "fall large-trash day" for Sept. 21. Members expressed hope that the day could include "e-recycling," which allows for disposal of electronic equipment.