Mayor Miller presented the quarterly reports for the time period of Jan. 1 through March 31 to Council for the following departments:
• Police Department - 656 calls taken this quarter, according to dispatch; 28 alarms; 46 domestic; 14 harassment complaints; eight shoplifting calls; 10 traffic complaints; and five EMS assists. Fees collected for fines totaled $6,569. Overtime include K-9 maintenance – 38.5 hours; highway safety – 49 hours, which get reimbursed through grants; and US Marshall grant – 32 hours. Community outreach: Miller said he had instructed officers to check on local businesses as well as the No Hunger Food Pantry and Hope House to be sure they were ok during this time of pandemic. “They’ve really went above and beyond and I want to thank them,” Miller said. “I appreciate everything they’ve done during this time.” Copies of the report can be requested through the drive-through at the City Building.
• Fire Department – Fire Chief Craig Blackhurst reported there were no major events to note in the first quarter. Last month they received 57 calls resulting in 90 man-hours. Blackhurst said they are learning ways to continue training the internet due to COVID-19.
• Maintenance Department – Completed the ADA sidewalk at Wright Field and beginning to work on the little league field. They have been working on sewer line repairs, as well as small projects at the City Building. Bob Huffman and Tim Salser continue to train new employees.
• Ravenswood Board of Parks and Recreation – The Westerman Art Show was a success and BOPARC’s superintendent Katrena Ramsey hopes to continue the art shows into the future once City Hall is able to be open again. The board continues to work on grants for the outdoor fitness park at Veteran’s Park, as well as the wheelchair lift for the NYA Hall. Miller thanked Kim Benson for contacting TC Energy Foundation and obtaining a $5,000 grant for the outdoor fitness park project. Tennis court resurfacing is another project being worked on at this time. Work continues on the McIntosh House. Ramsey encourages the public to check out the updates. Rylin Tabor, a senior co-op, has been working on the maintenance of the website for the City of Ravenswood. Broken toys will soon be replaced at Treasure Island playground. The park shelters and meeting facilities have remained closed and will do so until further notice, according to Miller. Hiking trails remain open.
In other business:
• Council approved prior meeting minutes for the April 7 and April 21 meetings.
• The water project has been approved by the IJDC board and will go out to bid soon. Miller hopes to get the project moving by the fall. Preliminary work on the sewer project has also begun.
• Miller hoped to be able to report on the CARES ACT; however, word had not yet been received from the Governor’s office on how the funds will be distributed.
• Council discussed a motion to provide all city employees with a $500 Hero Pay. If once the money comes through from the CARES ACT, more could be approved at that time for another payout. The motion passed.
• Council agreed to eliminate water reconnect fees and water service terminations through the end of 2020 due to COVID-19.
• Discussion was held on the opening of the Ravenswood City Pool for summer 2020. Under the state’s order, only the Health Department in accordance with the Governor can make the final decision on whether or not the pools will be opened. Miller noted he would reach out to Wendy Staats at the Jackson County Health Department and report back at the next Council meeting.
• Bids will be released on May 19 regarding the second-floor build-out of City Hall. Detailed information will be discussed at the next Council meeting.
• Miller noted the potential tenants for the third floor of City Hall, the Youth Day Report Center, were unable to get funding so they will not be able to lease the facility. Other possible tenants are currently being researched. Prospects include the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ravenswood Development Authority, and Family Resource Network.
The next scheduled Ravenswood City Council meeting will be held via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 (tonight).