The city council last week recognized a Ravenswood High School student-athlete for his achievements.

Members of the Ravenswood City Council recognized Chase Hood during a 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at city hall.

Hood was recently named the West Virginia Sportscast Athlete of the Year across all classes (A, AA, and AAA).

Mayor Josh Miller said Hood is a standout on and off the field.

“Chase has a 4.5 GPA. He’s a great athlete and very intelligent,” Miller said. “One of the things we like to do is recognize our student-athletes any chance we get.”

As a former athlete, Miller said he has a personal message for anyone who takes up a sport.

“The one thing I try to relay to these young adults is: No matter how good you are, one day your sports career will come to an end one way or another,” Miller said. “Academics will get you a lot farther than athletics ever will. And this is coming from a guy who loves sports.”

Miller said he is proud of Hood’s academic achievements.

“It tickles me when we seem them doing well in academics. It’s a tough world out there, and you’ve got to stay diversified,” Miller said. “I love recognizing all these students who excel in different areas, and not just in baseball, basketball, and football. It could be perfomance arts or anything else. They’re branching out and taking chances; I have a a lot of respect for that.”

In other business:

• Council approved the third and final reading of a bond ordinance authorizing the city to borrow funds or issue bonds for the design phase of the city’s $5 million water infrastructure improvement project.

After financing is in place for the design phase, the project will be bid out. Once the bidding period ends, the city will chose the best option.

“Our plans, as long as everything goes smoothly, are to break ground on the project around November 2019,” Miller said.

The city recently approved a water rate increase to help pay for the project. The increase will go into effect April 1.

Among other things, the project will involve replacement of water lines, gate valves, and water meters all over the city. In addition, the city’s water tanks will be scrubbed and the water plant will be upgraded. The work will be hard to miss.

“I want folks to know that there are a lot of things that are going to be happening in various parts of the city,” Miller said. “The gate valves, the line replaces, the meter replacements – everyone’s going to notice that,” he said.

And it won’t be long before city residents will be able to pay their water bills online or by debit or credit card at the city building, options that have not been available.

“That’s one of the biggest requests I’ve received since I’ve been mayor. People want that option,” Miller said.

• Council filled a vacancy on the planning and zoning commission. Benjamin Queen filed the last vacancy left.

On a similar note, Miller said he would like to eventually create a board of zoning appeals.

“If someone wants to make an appeal on a zoning issue, they should be able to do that. That’s a hard board to appoint people to. They would only meet when they need to,” he said.

By law, members of boards of zoning appeals in West Virginia cannot serve on other boards, commissions, or committees.

“Everybody wants to be a part of the Board of Parks and Recreation and the Ravenswood Development authority because they have funding sources and special projects,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of homework involved in planning and zoning. It’s not always fun. In a small town, it’s hard to fill all those spaces.

• The council also voted to sponsor the Ohio River Festival Pageant with $5,000 in funding.

“The city values the Ohio River Festival and we want to see it keep going,” Miller said.

Miller said he appreciates the efforts of festival president Lucy Harbert and the entire ORF committee.