Ravenswood one step closer to breaking ground on marina project

Katelyn Waltemyer
Jackson Newspapers
Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller walked along the site of the Sand Creek portion of the marina Tuesday morning. He is still confident that this portion of the project will begin before the end of the year.

RAVENSWOOD — The marina project in Ravenswood has been divided into two, and may allow the city to stay within the mayor's end-of-year goal to have a marina along Sandy Creek. 

Bob Newell, owner of R.D. Newell & Associates, is the consultant for the marina project he's worked on similar projects at the Parkersburg riverside park.

He said the city had to submit Sandy Creek as a separate marina project to move forward without completing a mussel study on the Ohio River for the second and third phases of the project, which would have taken more time. 

That means the Sandy Creek marina will have a different name from what's planned for the Ohio River because it's "no longer a part of" the Washington Riverfront Park project. 

The archeological study is complete at Sandy Creek, but the city can't do anything to the land until the findings come back. It'll take no more than a month to get a response.

Newell said he'd be surprised if the city didn't get a green light to begin paving once the findings are in.

The Department of Tourism recommended that campsites are added to the Sandy Creek marina, Newell said. Josh Miller, the mayor of Ravenswood, said he wants the campsites to wrap along the creek bank. 

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However, Miller doesn't have a completion goal at this time for the campsites because he would prefer if the lagoon was removed before people camp by Sandy Creek. 

Miller said he's still confident in his goal to have the parking lot, kayak launch and boat slips installed by the end of 2021. 

"I want to show the progress and show people that we're serious," Miller said. "I think people will be happy to see the progress." 

Miller and Newell agree that it's time for Ravenswood to embrace its river town identity. Newell said people come to enjoy the Ohio River and Sandy Creek often with fishing tournaments and boat racing. 

"People are coming and Ravenswood needs something to facilitate what's going on down there," Newell said. 

Even those who don't plan on using the marina's amenities will benefit from the project, Miller said. Instead of parking in the grass by the creek during the Ohio River Festival, people can use the marina's parking lot. 

Miller still hopes to have a marina on the Ohio River. He said the city's priority is completing Sandy Creek first because it's more affordable and there's less "red tape" involved. 

He only has a rough estimate, but Miller expects the project to cost anywhere between $150,000 and $250,000. He said he'll have a more concrete estimate at the next city council meeting on Aug. 17. 

— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at kwaltemyer@jacksonnewspapers.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.