Ripley Town Council learned Thursday that there are grant funds available to have all of its vital records stored off-site for safety purposes.
Ripley town clerk Rebecca Rowe Carvallo told the council that she receive a call from Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board that it can apply for funding to have marriage, birth and death records, as well as town council minutes, placed into their system. The organization would then be perpetually responsible to keep the records safe, she said.
Carvallo said many small communities have lost vital records due to fires, floods and other disasters. "We have so many vital records because of the 1930s and 40s when we had at least 100,000 people come through here," she said.
The council agreed unanimously to proceed with the plan. "It's good to know there will always be that back-up at another site," said supervisor Doug Bowen
In other business, Bowen said that construction on the office space the town has contracted to lease from the school should be completed by the end of March. The tear-down phase is finished and workers will begin installing drywall and the concrete block necessary for the town safe as soon as the data and telephone lines are installed. However, certain doors are on order and may hold up the construction, he said.
"We are taking care of issues as they arrive. As of now, it is looking pretty good," he said.
The board voted to appropriate money from the building reserve fund to pay for the renovations.
Bowen also reported to the council that several employees from Ripley and nearby municipalities are completing a refresher course in asbestos removal. Six workers are certified as supervisors, who oversee the actual handling of asbestos, he said. Twelve persons are certifies as inspectors, who can assess a building to determine if asbestos removal is necessary and how it should proceed.
"We're getting things in place to tackle the Corner Bar as soon as the weather breaks," he said. "We want to make sure we are doing everything right."