The Ravenswood City Council will vote on a water rate increase during a meeting tonight.

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.

The city has 116,000 linear feet of water main lines, three 500,000-gallon water tanks, and a hydro-pneumatic pumping station.

The tanks must be re-coated to prevent failure caused by corrosion, Miller said. If the tanks are not re-coated, it would cost $300,000 or more to replace just one.

The project also will include the replacement of 3,000 feet of water line and up to 50 gate valves. The gate valves are of particular concern because they currently are not functioning correctly, which has led to major problems controlling leaks in the past.

The project also will involve replacing 1,808 manual-read water meters with new radio-read meters, which can be read much more quickly than traditional meters.

In addition to replacing water lines, valves and meters, the water treatment facility is in need of repairing and upgrading. The plant also needs an emergency generator so electricity can be supplied in the event of a power outage.

The project also would involve installing a telemetry system that would allow, among other things, the remote monitoring of water levels in the storage tanks.