Ravenswood moves forward with demolition of Lockmaster's House

Katelyn Waltemyer
Jackson Newspapers
Katrena Ramsey, superintendent of parks and recreation, gave an update on the McIntosh building at Tuesday's city council meeting.

RAVENSWOOD  After a unanimous vote Tuesday, Ravenswood City Council has decided to begin the process of tearing down the Lockmaster's House. 

The house, which resides at the Riverfront Park, has been vacant for decades. It is blocked off with a chainlink fence and has greenery growing on and inside the building. Councilman Steve Tucker brought forth the motion because of the upcoming investment the city is preparing to make at the park for the marina project. 

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"It seems silly, to me, for lack of a better term, that we're going to spend that kind of money and make that kind of improvements to the park yet we've got the Lockmaster's House there fenced off and essentially falling in on itself," Tucker said. 

Tucker went on to list the reasons he believes the structure should be demolished. Claiming that the house is a violation of the city's dilapidated buildings code, poses health and safety hazards, other councilmembers began nodding their heads in agreement. 

Now the city must send a letter to the State Historic Preservation Office and Department of Interior  both of which are on the deed of the property  giving them notice of council's intent. 

Mayor Josh Miller said the deed conveyance of the Lockmaster's House has stonewalled many ideas councilmembers and citizens have presented in the past to revitalize the building and it's time for the city to move on. 

"I love history, but there's sometimes you got to move on," Miller said. "This is an instance where I believe that's the case."

Unlike the McIntosh building, which is being rebuilt with insurance money, the Lockmaster's House would come solely from tax dollars. 

McIntosh and marina updates

Progress on the McIntosh is chugging along. Pickering Associates the architect for the project has finalized the bid package for the roof. 

With winter officially beginning Dec. 21, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Katrena Ramsey said there's no way the McIntosh will have a roof up before the bitter cold reaches Ravenswood. 

Like city council has said in previous meetings, the McIntosh will be restored to much of its original image as possible. Ramsey's update solidified this claim.

Pickering has used photographs of the house from when it was first constructed to design the new roof. Even the trim paintwork will be the original color the McIntosh had: green. 

"What we will end up getting is a building that's more original than we've ever seen and in better condition than we've ever known it," Ramsey said. 

City council will hold a special meeting Dec. 14 to open bids for the roof design. 

Council also gave Thrasher Engineering, the engineering consultants for the Sand Creek marina project, the green light to begin designing the site. 

The agreement will cost the city $57,500 for the company to design the RV campsites, boat slips, kayak launches, a parking lot and site amenities. 

Garbage dilemma 

Ravenswood recently decommissioned one of its three garbage trucks due to safety concerns. The maintenance department is having difficulties finding a replacement truck everything they have found has been sold before they could bring it to council. 

"We cannot have just two garbage trucks," Miller said. 

Council unanimously agreed to allow maintenance to purchase a truck no more than $200,000 without bringing it to a meeting. 

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— 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.