The Ravenswood City Council has postponed its vote on a water rate increase until the Jan. 22 meeting.
The meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. at city hall located at 212 Walnut St. A public hearing will be held before the final vote.
The council was set to vote on the increase during a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, but could not because of an incorrect date in the documentation for the legal advertisement.
The increase will help fund a $5 million upgrade to the city's water infrastructure.
Even after the increase, Ravenswood will still have the lowest water bills in the area, Mayor Josh Miller said. The breakdown of area water rates is as follows: Ripley $28.96, North Jackson County $31.31, Southern Jackson County $39.72, WV American Water $49.24, Mineral Wells $38.90, Ravenswood (current) $13.15, and Ravenswood (after) $23.71.
The project will include improvements to the city’s water lines and tanks, as well as updates to the pumping station, and new radio-read water meters. Also, city residents will be able to pay their city bills online or by debit or credit card at city hall.
In other council business:
• Council reported the Ross Foundation denied the city's request for a grant to repair the lockmaster's house at Washington River Front Park.
The house's state of deterioration has been a major concern for the city. Officials are faced with the choice of finding an alternative means to pay for renovation or tearing down the structure.
“It can't just sit there and decay,” Councilwoman Amanda Slaven said.
The council will discuss the lockmaster's house at the next meeting and may vote on a definitive course of action at that time.
• Council approved a budget amendment to compensate for a $49,000 projected increase in revenue. The funds were generated by a renegotiation of the city's franchise agreement with Suddenlink, as well as revenue from the rental of a residential apartment in the McIntosh House at 300 Henrietta St.
Council voted to distribute the funds as follows: $15,000 in the police department's capital outlay budget; $10,000 for wages and salaries in the city clerk's office; $15,000 in the capital outlay fund for the central garage; and $9,000 in the 'other buildings' fund.
• Police Chief Lance Morrison conducted a swearing-in ceremony for his department's two newest officers.
Carl “Luke” Roush is a 2007 graduate of Ravenswood High School. After graduation, he worked for the Department of Agriculture for more than nine years. In June 2018, he was hired by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department as a process server. He has a wife, Sara, and three children.
Ryan Bargerstock is a 2009 graduate of Kiski Area High School in Pennsylvania. In 2013, he graduated from Washington and Jefferson College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 2014, he graduated from the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Academy and was awarded the President’s Leadership Award. He worked as a Pitt University police officer until he was hired by the Morgantown Police Department, where he worked for two years. While employed in Morgantown, he married his wife, Kayla Matics. Morrison said it was an honor and pleasure to hire both new officers, and he believes they will be assets to the community and the department.
• Council recognized Drew Dormagen and Debbie Nagraj for their City of Champions flag decoration effort. Dormagen and Nagraj, organized a program to allow the purchase of Red Devil flags to decorate the town.