RIPLEY - The demolition of the Corner Bar in Ripley has become "a red-tape nightmare," Ripley Supervisor Doug Bowen told town board members recently.
Efforts to tear down the structure, located at the intersection of routes 20 and 76, have been ongoing for at least two years. The town tried repeatedly to get the owner of the building to take care of it. When that failed, many municipal employees took training classes in asbestos handling and removal in order to keep the cost of demolition down.
The town had hoped to begin demolition as soon as the weather broke, but now the process has become bogged down, Bowen said. "Each permit must be issued successively, causing the entire process to lag," he said.
Demolition of the building will not only involve safe handling and disposal of asbestos, but also air monitoring and sampling for environmental hazards. The board voted to employ Stohl Environmental for this job. The company was selected out of three bids for the project.
Several parties have expressed interest in buying the Corner Bar sign. The council decided to auction the sign off by closed bids. All bids were due by May 29.
The council also agreed to send a letter to the town of Westfield supporting its plans to seek a summer Amtrak train stop there. The petition from Westfield asking for support said that a train stop would increase commerce and provide a cost-effective alternative of transportation for vacationers to the Chautauqua area.
Ripley Town Council met for the first time in its new offices in the Ripley Central School Building. The new address is 14 N. State Street. Bowen expressed thanks to all who assisted in the move. Council members agreed to seek information concerning the possibility of purchasing an electronic sign for the new location.
The council received a special use permit from the town planning board regarding plans for a Mennonite school and church to be built. Because the planned structure exceeds 5,000 square feet, it requires review by the entire town council, Bowen said. Approval by the Chautauqua County Planning Board would be needed first, he said.
The board also engaged in a lively dialogue with residents in attendance regarding plans for the upcoming bicentennial celebration. An idea to re-enact a town board meeting from 1816 was met with great enthusiasm. Ripley was officially established as a town in 1817.