Ridgeway Beefs up Police Force

In addition to throwing their $5,000 hat in the water authority ring last week (see related story, page 1), Ridgeway Town Council voted near the close of their Sept. 13 meeting to hire a new part-time police officer. Council said the hire would be in addition to, and not as a replacement for, their current single part-time officer.

The hire apparently could not have come at a more opportune time, as during the public comment portion of the meeting Ridgeway resident Andrew Kusko voiced his displeasure with how security was being handled in the small Fairfield County town.

“We need a full-time police officer,” Kusko said. “Not a part-time officer. We’ve got to do something about security in this town. We’ve got two patrol cars that aren’t being utilized.”

Council voted unanimously to begin the hiring process.

Council also voted unanimously to approve the final reading of an ordinance to regulate how local restaurant dispose of fats, oils and grease, in an effort to prevent those materials from entering the sewer system. Council also OK’d the purchase of six new “Welcome to Ridgeway” signs from Sign-O-Rama at a cost of $10,409.59. Money from the Pig on the Ridge festival will help pay for the signs, which Council said could be completed and up before this year’s festival next month.

Mayor Charlene Herring said the Town had explored the possibility of a grant from the Department of Transportation to pay for the signs, but new grant rules would have required the Town to hire an individual just to manage the grant funds, which ultimately would have cost the Town more than purchasing the signs outright.

Council was unable to move forward on repairs to windows on the old Town Hall building downtown, having received only two bids for the project. Council tabled the matter until a third bid could be acquired.

In the Mayor’s report, Herring noted that recent storms had damaged several trees on Dogwood Drive near the intersection of Highway 21. Herring said as many as three trees along Dogwood Drive are dead and may have to be removed. The Town will follow normal procedures of replacing the trees once they are removed, Herring said.

Council also honored a pair of Ridgeway residents during their Sept. 13 meeting, beginning with their 2012 Citizen of the Year, Virginia Q. Lacy.

“Ridgeway would not be the little town it is without the help of everybody,” Herring said as she presented Lacy with the award. “It’s not about the council, it’s not about the mayor. It’s about the people who live here.”

Lacy, who has called Ridgeway home for more than 11 years, has served on and been the chairwoman of the Town’s Arts Committee, which launched the annual Arts on the Ridge festival, as well as the Mystery on the Ridge event.

“It’s wonderful to get this honor,” Lacy said. “It’s a great committee and the Town of Ridgeway, Town Council, has sponsored it every single year. No one ever said, ‘I don’t know, that’s not such a good idea’.”

Council also honored Sara Tucker, a Ridgeway native recently recognized by the Fairfield County School District as their Teacher of the Year.

“I enjoy what I do, so this is a great honor for me,” said Tucker, who teaches at the Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science.

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