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Archeological study delaying Ripley water, sewer projects

May 17, 2017
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

RIPLEY - A state-required archeological study has been the main cause of delay for the town of Ripley's sewer and water projects, town Supervisor Doug Bowen said at the council's regular meeting Thursday, May 11.

Bowen said Jeremy Deuel of Deuel Archaeology reported that sewer project two seems ready to proceed and all information will be forwarded to the State Historical Preservation Organization for approval. However, water projects four and five are still in need of more study, he said.

About 40 residents attended an informational hearing prior to the regular meeting regarding the delay in the projects. The town has been working for more than three years to acquire funding and permits to construct the extension of water and sewer lines in several locations. Only the archeological review remains before the projects can become a reality.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
Residents of Ripley gathered before Thursday’s meeting of the town council.

The town had originally contracted with Mercyhurst University to conduct the archeological study. However, the work by Mercyhurst was slow and experienced several delays, which in turn, delayed progress on the water and sewer projects.

Bowen told board members he spoke with Eric Wies of Clark, Patterson, Lee regarding the ongoing dilemma with the archaeological review, and Wies recommended Deuel to complete the study.

The town agreed to pay Mercyhurst for the field work it had completed. Deuel submitted a proposal to complete the work for $3,995. However, the contract stated that if additional field investigation was needed, that figure could increase up to a maximum of $10,420.

The town board agreed to pay Deuel an additional $4,394 for the work, which includes photographs of the site, plot shovel tests, on-site testing an incorporation of the data into the report.

"Even if we pay Mercyhurst their full cost and Jeremy his fee plus this additional charge, we're still under what the second lowest bid for the work was," Bowen said.

Bowen said Deuel will not move slowly.

"He knows the urgency of completing this," he said. "He will get right on this as soon as the board gives approval."

In other business, the board agreed to share the task of installing 85 feet of sidewalk on Mechanic Street with Ripley resident Martin Rowe. The town will remove the old concrete, grade the walk and provide the material. Rowe will be responsible for mixing, pouring and leveling the concrete.

Bowen said he felt this was a good agreement.

"In times past, I've found in these situations that labor is usually half of the cost. So, I think this is a good deal," he said.

Bowen also told board members that the town has submitted grants through the Consolidated Funding Application program. These requests will be reviewed and ranked according to need, Bowen said. After that, they will move up to the state level, where they will be reviewed and ranked a second time.

The town is also holding a public meeting at Meeders at 7 p.m. on May 22 to discuss plans for Ripley Beach.

"I think we have a good shot at this grant," Rowe said. "I want to get everyone's ideas on this as well."

Bowen told board members that the town received a proclamation from the President of the Town Clerks Association proclaiming the second week of May as Town Clerks' Week. Bowen thanked Ripley Clerk, Rebecca Rowe Carvallo, and said that she works incredibly hard, going above and beyond the call of duty.

Carvallo reported to the board that there have been some requests for use of the new gazebo. The board approved a simple resolution, presented by Carvallo, regarding reservations for use of the structure.

Carvallo also received approval from the board to obtain quotes for a sidewalk going from the main walk, up to the gazebo. Board members also discussed the advantages of running conduit to the gazebo before new sidewalk is installed.



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