Completing projects one at a time

Barbara Layton
A smoke machine is attached to a manhole in order to smoke test the city sewer system for issues.

Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller said one of the big projects currently underway is smoke testing, the beginning phase of the Sewer Project.

Smoke testing is a very important step that involves forcing smoke-filled air through a sewer line. The smoke under pressure will fill the mainline plus any connections; then follow the path of the leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem.

According to Miller, this step of the process is required before being able to move on to bigger aspects, such as moving the lagoon, because it helps the city detect areas that need greater focus.

“Residents may have seen smoke coming from manholes around the city,” Miller said. “That is part of the smoke testing that is being done.”

Resurfacing the tennis courts has been another recent project.

In a partnership between the City of Ravenswood and the Jackson County Board of Education, the tennis courts, used by the middle and high school tennis teams, were repaired and resurfaced. According to Ravenswood Board of Parks and Recreation superintendent Katrena Ramsey, over 780 feet of cracks were repaired and the addition of pickleball lines were placed on one of the four courts, allowing a new sport to be available.

New sidewalks have also been a focus of the city.

“We have put in new sidewalks around the community building,” Miller said. “We are working right now on our downtown area, Mulberry Street, Walnut Street, we are replacing sidewalks in our business district in its entirety.”

Miller said the city’s website has received a complete renovation as well, thanks to the CARES Act. The CARES Act, Miller said, allows the city to be reimbursed for any technical upgrades needed. As part of the website upgrade, residents are now able to make reservations for city facilities online. Miller also hopes to soon be able to take utility payments online via the city’s website.

With COVID-19 delaying many of the projects the city has been wanting to do, he is excited to see some of these items finally coming to fruition.

According to Miller, the biggest project is the future of the Marina. He is working with an architect on the planning stages and hopes to break ground on the project within one-and-a-half to two-years.

“This will be a huge economic impact on our community,” Miller said.

Another project to mention is the renovation of the second floor of the City Hall building. Miller said it appears to be on track to be completed with 60-90 days and will be utilized by the Ravenswood Police Department.

Miller credits the Ravenswood Development Authority, BOPARC, the City Maintenance Department, City Administration, and the Clerks Department for all their hard work in seeing these projects through.

“Everyone is stepping up and we are getting these projects done,” Miller said. “One project at a time.”

A Special Note: Ravenswood City Council Meetings have once again been opened up to the public. Masks and social distancing are required. For those not comfortable attending in person, Miller assures the Facebook Live meetings will continue so citizens can watch from their own homes or even go back and watch at a later time if unable to view the meeting as it takes place.

The next regularly scheduled Ravenswood City Council Meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 (tonight) at the City Hall building located at 1 Wall Street, third floor.