Council recognizes Golden Horseshoe Award recipients

Barbara Layton
Jackson Newspapers

During the July 21 meeting of the Ravenswood City Council, Mayor Josh Miller and council members recognized four Ravenswood Middle School students on their academic accomplishment of being recipients of the 2020 Golden Horseshoe Award; Issac Lane, Davy Ramsey, Colton Riggs, and Alexis Patterson.

Since 1931, the Golden Horseshoe Test has been administered in West Virginia and has become the longest-running program of its kind in any state.

County eighth graders are tested on their grasp of West Virginia Studies. They are also required to write an essay focusing on some aspect of West Virginia current events.

Every year, two hundred twenty-one West Virginia eighth graders who receive the top scores in their county are presented with the prestigious Golden Horseshoe Award, which according to the West Virginia Department of Education, is probably the most coveted award bestowed upon West Virginia students each year.

Each county is allowed four winners per year. This is the first time since 2004 that Ravenswood Middle School has swept the competition. With their sweep, it makes only the seventh time since 1973 that one school has claimed all four winners.

Miller congratulated each student on their accomplishment and noted that all four would receive an official city stamped letter of recognition in the mail.

In other business:

• Chris Akers addressed the City Council regarding current road conditions on Hillcrest Drive. He stated the road is being torn up by large trucks going in and out of the road. Akers said he would like to come up with some type of road usage agreement with TC Energy to have it repaired.

Akers advised he knew the city trucks utilize the road as well for trash pick-up and suggested they may want to be in on the agreement.

Miller requested that Akers come up with a proposal on how the situation could be fixed and submit it to Council for consideration. Akers agreed and said he would also contact Mike McClung with TC Energy to go over the proposal with him as well.

• Former Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell presented the Council with information regarding the addition of a marina in Ravenswood’s future. He stated it will involve researching many regulations and speaking with the Army Corp of Engineers.

“It will be a lengthy project,” Newell added.

Following Newell’s presentation, Miller and Council members approved the Phase I Consulting Services agreement and scope of work for the Ravenswood Marina Project.

• Council approved minutes from the July 7 and July 14 meetings.

• City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Huffman gave the quarterly report on the City Maintenance Department. Maintenance crews have been busy painting sidewalks, paving roads, installing new lighting, as well as adding electric to the Sayre Log Cabin at the Riverfront Park. Huffman added that they were thankful to the City of Ripley for allowing them to borrow equipment to fix backed up sewer man holes.

Additional roads are starting to be paved throughout the city. Signs have been placed along roads that will be getting paved.

Huffman indicated that with the new parking lot being installed by the old middle school, parts of Sycamore Street will need to be blocked off by the NYA Hall for a few days. Miller noted the dates, once confirmed, would be listed on social media.

• Miller updated the Council on the status of the CARES ACT. He said the city was reimbursed $1,862.34 in March for supplies, and $33,736.41 for partial payroll. In April, the city received payroll reimbursement of $33,576.61. In May, the city was reimbursed $71,848.77 for payroll expenses. June’s reimbursement request has not yet been submitted. Miller noted to date that the City of Ravenswood has received $138,295.62 in reimbursement funds from the CARES Act Grant Fund.

• The status of the Washington’s Land Museum and Sayre Log Cabin Maintenance Fund was discussed. Miller said the money has been successfully transferred over to the city and remains in a money market account. The city will use the interest earned from the fund to keep up with any maintenance needed to the facilities. The fund currently stands at $27,695.

• Council approved to renew the Grant Writing Services agreement with Tiano-Knopp Associates for an additional 12 months.

• In order to follow with state code, the amended ordinance regulating the sale, possession, and consumption of non-intoxicating beer and wine within the City Park System and other areas within the City of Ravenswood was approved by Council as a second reading.

• Council approved a second reading of the ordinance establishing the Ravenswood Building Commission.

• Also approved by Council was the second reading of the amended ordinance regarding competitive bid threshold.

• Miller pointed out there will be a special public meeting on Aug. 18 regarding the infrastructure pump stations. He said further information will be disclosed once finalized.

Council then went into a short executive session to discuss pay incentives for Maintenance Department employees.

Following the executive session, which ended at 9:02 p.m., Council approved to amend the Ravenswood Maintenance Department Labor Agreement “Article XI – Rates of Pay” to include three additions: to add a line for a $3 incentive for the title of Chief Water Operator; adding the City of Ravenswood will pay for any schooling for an employee to obtain an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree in an area specific to their job description in the Maintenance Department, noting that if the employee does not fulfill the 24-month employment requirement following the time they obtain their degree, the employee will be responsible for reimbursing the city for the schooling received; lastly to include a line regarding any operator obtaining their CDL will receive an additional $1 per hour once certification is completed, instead of $1.50 as noted – due to the fact that a CDL operator already receives an additional 50 cents per hour when hired.

Miller tabled the first reading of an amended ordinance regarding police compensation until Ravenswood Chief of Police Lance Morrison can make a presentation at the next council meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the Ravenswood City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4 (today) via Facebook Live.