During the Ravenswood City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 21, mayor Josh Miller, along with City Council members; Steve Tucker, Dee Scritchfield, Nick Fox, Denise Toler, Amanda Slaven, and City Recorder Jared Bloxton, approved the release of solicitation regarding the paving of several city streets. The following streets are included on the list to be paved:
• Gibbs Street, center patch
• Gibbs Street, full intersection on to Ann Street
• Wood Street at Virginia Street, both directions
• North Ritchie, center patch
• From Kaiser Avenue on to Flinn Street to the first drive on the left
• From Kaiser Avenue on to Fleming Street to the first drive on the left
• From Kaiser Avenue on to Chambers Drive to first drive on the right
• From Kaiser Avenue on to Boso Avenue
• From Henry Street on to Cherry Street
• Wilson Street and Sand Street, full intersection
• Fitzhugh Street on to Hillcrest Drive on Boso Avenue
• From Walnut Street on to Wilson Street to 106
• From Walnut Street on to Wilson Street to 202
• From Sycamore Street on to Wilson Street to 218
• From Sand Street on to Gallatin Street
• From Brown Street on to Gallatin Street to 1004
• From Gibbs Street on to Race Street
• Virginia Street, center patch
• Brown Street, patch sewer tap areas
• 100 block of Wilson Street to include the intersection of Wilson and Sand Streets
The estimated cost provided for the paving project will be around $150,000, according to city maintenance supervisor Bob Huffman. Miller noted that additional areas could be added; however, paving of some streets is being put on hold due to other projects, such as the water and sewer projects.
“I’m adamant about paving every street that I can within five years, but the issues right now are the water project and the sewer,” Miller said. “It’s not about funding, it’s the fact that it would be silly to pave a street, dig it up, and then have to pave it again.”
Miller said one of his goals when he first took office on July 1, 2016, was to see that the city streets were fixed and paved.
“Since I took office, we have spent $350,000 to $450,000 in paving,” Miller said.
Miller added he is “very proud” of the progress the city has made, which includes the paving of the following streets in 2019: the area from Brown Street and Kaiser Avenue to Henry J. Kaiser Elementary School; Wells Street from Washington Street to Gallatin Street; Wells Street from Ann Street to Henrietta Street; Wells Street from Washington Street to Virginia Street; Wood Street on to Race Street; Brown Street at the Virginia Street intersection; and Henry Street at the Sycamore Street intersection.
According to Miller, several other streets that need attention are Walnut Street, which leads out of town past the Dawg Pound restaurant, Washington Street (Route 68), and Sycamore Street from the Facilities Building to Utah Road; however, these locations are not in the city’s realm of responsibility, they belong to the State Road.
“Those are the three priorities that I’m going to continue to talk to the State of West Virginia about,” Miller said. “Those are the areas in most need of repair.”
In other business:
• Council approved an amended ordinance regarding the creation of the Board of Culture and History. Due to the agreement between the Jackson County Historical Society and the City of Ravenswood, the BOCH was created to oversee the contents of the Washington Land’s Museum, Sayre Log Cabin, and the historical maintenance fund. The museum and cabin were transferred to the City by JCHS president Mike Ruben. The BOCH will control the maintenance funds and will operate under the Ravenswood Board of Parks and Recreation. Board members for the BOCH will be appointed soon.
Miller said he has exciting plans for the contents of the museum and noted that the items “will NOT” be auctioned off as implied by a rumor that has been spreading.
• Maintenance Department employee Sam Cox was approved for hire by the Council.
• Miller reported that the third-quarter revenue projections for 2020 are on task at $2.52 million.
“One thing I am very proud of is the expenditures,” Miller said. “If this trend continues, we are almost 30 percent below budget. I am proud of the department supervisors and all the work they have done.”
Regarding the economic impact on the city from COVID-19, Miller said he expects there will be one, but he will not know anything definite until he receives the numbers from the fourth-quarter of 2020 or first-quarter of 2021.
• Based on the auditor’s approval of the fiscal year 2021 budget, the Council approved the Lay of the Levy.
• Prior to the beginning of the meeting, a moment of silence was observed for retired Ravenswood Police Department Lieutenant Ron Crawford who passed away from cancer and complications of pneumonia earlier in the day (April 21). Miller ordered all city flags to be flown at half-mast on Wednesday in honor of Crawford.
The next Ravenswood City Council meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. According to Miller, the meetings will continue via Facebook Live and he noted that the May 5 meeting will be longer due to several important issues that will be addressed and discussed.