At Tuesday's Shepherdstown Town Council meeting, Mayor Jim Auxer announced that the Riverfront Revitalization Partnership had issued its final report.
According to the report, Auxer asked that the partnership redirect the effort and develop a list of "discrete improvement projects that the Corporation could pursue in the near term." The town council must now vet through these recommendations and determine if it will enhance Shepherdstown's riverfront and find ways the town might go about achieving the suggested improvements.
With recommendations including small projects like maintenance of town-owned resources and improving landscaping to providing easier access to parks for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, among other recommendations, we at The Chronicle hope that councilors keep in mind the stakeholders as well as the beauty and the history of the riverfront as it determines what to do with the partnership's findings.
Revitalization of the riverfront, a cultural, historical and natural asset to the town, is something that we believe needs to be achieved but at the same time needs to be an inclusive process. Many residents' complaints included lack of transparency during the partnership's 18-month research period before presenting comprehensive findings to the town.
While inclusion of locals and open communication was often voiced as a goal of the RPP, unfortunately not everyone could get on the same page.
We urge residents to listen as well as be open and honest with town councilors as they sort through these recommendations; we charge the town council to consider the work that the partnership has put into the project for the past couple of years and consider what of their findings would best work for this town and the stakeholders involved.
With those objectives, hopefully now the town can work together on this project.