RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — Mayor Josh Miller believes his city and many others across the state are going to grow and prosper in the coming years operating under home rule.

Ravenswood was one of four municipalities that had its home rule applications accepted on Wednesday by the home rule board in Charleston.

Under new state law, the Municipal Home Rule Program, approved cities are given the opportunity to implement new local governance laws that do not violate state or federal statute.

City of Ravenswood

Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller

“The most common thing that is dealt with is the on the spot citations and dealing with public nuisance properties,” Miller said of the ideas Ravenswood is thinking of under home rule.

“We looked at proposing the 1-percent municipal sales tax. Almost every city is starting to look at that for a source of special project revenue and an opportunity to reduce small business taxes and municipal bill fees.”

Miller told MetroNews that he is most looking forward to being able to enforce and take care of abandon properties in a manner that the city never has before, calling it a much more efficient process.

“This isn’t about throwing someone out of their house who has lived their 30 years and maybe struggling financially,” he said. “We will work with anybody that wants to work with us.

“The whole idea is to hold people accountable that are just letting their properties rot when most of them aren’t even from here and have forgotten about them.”

Miller said the 1-percent municipal sales tax an opportunity for Ravenswood to potentially reduce some fees on citizens, on small businesses. He said the city could rely on some of those dollars coming from the outside traffic because of it being a river and tourism town.

He noted with the additional revenue, the city would plan to build a marina.

Another proposal Miller may bring back to Charleston is to allow mayor and city councils to determine the requirements for boards, commissions, and authorities. He said Ravenswood has had trouble filling positions based on state code.

The board looks through the ideas and votes to approve after a municipalities application is accepted.

Ripley, Ravenswood, Barboursville, and Wardensville all presented applications and ideas to the board at the state Capitol. All applications were approved.