Ramsey addresses needs for city parks

Barbara Layton
Jackson Newspapers

During the July 7 Ravenswood City Council meeting, recently re-elected Mayor Josh Miller, council members; Dee Scritchfield, Denise Toler, Amanda Slaven, Steve Tucker; and City Recorder Jared Bloxton were officially sworn in for another term in office, this time for four-years, by City Clerk Kim Benson.

Following the official swearing-in, Katrena Ramsey, Superintendent of the Ravenswood Board of Parks and Recreation, provided the Council with her quarterly report. Ramsey stated they were able to keep on interns Sam Sturm and Rylin Tabor who were able to assist in several painting projects around the city. Other areas addressed include the partnership between BOPARC and JCDC, who will provide some woodworking for trim for the McIntosh House, and a second art show which began on July 19 and will run until September. The show will feature art by local artist Jim Bowers and will be held in the lobby of the City Hall building located at 1 Wall Street. Items may be seen from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (a mask is required).

Ramsey also addressed some major problem areas with the city’s parks. The museum at Washington’s Riverfront Park is in dire need of a heating and cooling system as well as a new roof in order to effectively maintain it as a tourist attraction, according to Ramsey. Approximately 10 leaks were found in the roof during a recent rainfall. Ramsey stated the original roof is terracotta and was installed 102 years ago, with the estimated life of a terracotta roof being 50-100 years.

Ramsey provided the Council with estimates of each item needed as follows:

• Heating and cooling cost $27,500 – breaking down the two floors each 1,700 square feet at $8 per square foot.

• The cost to replace the terracotta roof with a new metal roof would be approximately $24,500; to replace it with a metal that resembles the terracotta roof would be $48,000.

Other items mentioned included resurfacing the tennis courts at roughly $37,000 with fencing around $7,250; a lift for the NYA hall estimated at $34,000; partial replacement of the roof on the McIntosh building and area from the McIntosh building to the NYA hall (possibly metal, no estimated cost provided at this time); and new pool valves estimated at $10,000 as well as two new filters for the pool estimated at $25,000 each.

Ramsey said these are “not wants, they are needs” that will need to be addressed in the near future. She has written grants for several of the items; however, she has received rejections due to issues with COVID-19. Ramsey stated she will continue to apply for grants in hopes of additional assistance.

Miller said these are all important items for the city’s parks that the city does have money set aside for in the budget. Any grants received would provide additional savings to the city.

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” Miller said.

Also noted was the cost of an Outdoor Fitness Park estimated at $60,000 which Ramsey stated is a want that can be held off for a later time.

In other business:

• Council approved the minutes from the June 16 meeting.

• Monthly invoices for Dunn Engineering and MOVRC were approved for payment.

• The PRO agreement with the Jackson County Board of Education was approved based on last year’s contract. Councilman Tucker questioned the duties of the PRO officer with the issues due to COVID-19. Miller said he would address this with Ravenswood Police Chief Lance Morrison.

• Approval was received from the Council to release solicitation for resurfacing of the tennis courts.

• The first reading to amend the ordinance regulating the sale, possession, and consumption of non-intoxicating beer and wine with the City Park System and other areas within the City of Ravenswood was approved. Miller noted this is basically just adopting state code and the state’s definition of non-intoxicating beer and wine to coincide with the city’s regulations.

• Council approved the first reading to establish the Ravenswood Building Commission. This commission must be established in order to deal with the possibility of taking out Municipal Bonds to assist with city projects. (See Miller addresses public comments.)

• The first reading of the Competitive Bid Threshold was approved. The threshold is currently set at $15,000 and has not had an increase since 1984. The threshold would go to $25,000 if adopted.

The next City Council meeting is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21 (tonight), via Facebook Live.