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Citizens receive help for utility bills due to COVID

Barbara Layton
Reporter
Jackson Newspapers

At the Nov. 17 meeting of the Ravenswood City Council, mayor Josh Miller announced that 130 Ravenswood residents would have their utility bills from the city wiped clean. According to Miller, the city was awarded $7,700 from West Virginia Legal Aid in order to cover the water/sewer bills for 130 residents who applied for assistance due to financial limitations caused by COVID-19. Utility bills for those residents for the months of March 2020 through July of 2020 will be paid through the funding received. Those who applied should receive something from the city acknowledging the assistance payment being applied to their accounts.

Also noted by Miller were additional monies received from the CARES Act to recover payroll hours for the Sanitation Department totaling $23,747.83 and Police Department totaling $50,710.43. With these refunds included, the City of Ravenswood has been reimbursed around $520,000 from the CARES Act between March and September of 2020.

Additional items discussed include:

• The Sidewalk project has been put on hold due to cold weather setting in. This project will continue in the spring of 2021 with Walnut Street and possibly Sand Street.

• Miller reported he is working on getting local small businesses some extra help as well as checking to see if the utility assistance will be extended.

• Christmas lights are set up at Washington’s Riverfront Park and were lit for the season as of 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 27.

• Councilwoman Denise Toler informed the Council of a Reverse Christmas in the Wood parade at Washington’s Riverfront Park in connection with the Ravenswood Board of Parks and Recreation, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. The parade will be unlike previous parades, due to COVID. As a reverse parade, those in the parade will be stationary while those who normally watch the parade will be driving through to view each exhibit. Anyone interested in setting up for the parade may pick up an application through the City Hall drive-thru, on the city’s website at cityofravenswood.com/cityhall, or on their Facebook page.

• Miller noted he hopes to have a Marina presentation at the second meeting in January.

• Miller reported that the cannabis company was recently awarded the second phase of their permit which is processing, it does not include the dispensary at this time. Additional announcements will be made as received.

In other business Council:

• Approved meeting minutes from Oct. 20.

• Approved to pay monthly invoices related to city water and wastewater projects.

• Approved agreement with Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council regarding technical support/assistance for ESRI Enterprise License. ESRI is a mapping system used to locate data points, such as water meters, valves, dilapidated buildings, etc. According to Mayor Josh Miller, this will be a giant asset management system that the town has never had before.

“You don’t have to guess anymore,” Miller said.

The total cost of the license is $30,000; however, this is broken down by city and the City of Ravenswood would pay no more than $2,500 for the license, but could be less, and may be eligible to be paid out of grant funding.

• Approved James McDaniel as a new hire for the Ravenswood Maintenance Department to fill the position of an employee who has taken a position elsewhere.

• Approved an opening for an additional new hire on the Ravenswood Maintenance Department.

Council went into a brief executive session from 7:35 to 7:48 p.m. to discuss real estate and contractual matters. No action was taken.

The next Ravenswood City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 (tonight) on the third floor of the Ravenswood Municipal Complex located at 1 Wall Street.