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Annex proposal tops Council agenda

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

At this week’s Shepherdstown Council meeting, George Kalathas, owner of Tommy’s Pizza on East German St., presented an idea to annex a plot of land owned by him adjacent to Shepherdstown.

The tract of land is about 9 acres, butting up against the waste water treatment plant off of East High Street and overlooking the Potomac River. Kalathas wants to develop the land into a restaurant and banquet hall. Currently on the site there are the ruins of a burnt out and abandoned mansion.

D. Frank Hill III, the Shepherdstown Lawyer who helped Kalathas prepare his proposal, said at the meeting, held at Town Hall, 104 N. King St., that the site already is hooked up to the town water and sewer system. He also noted that Shepherdstown could benefit from the annexation of the land, should his proposed retail development be realized, through hotel/motel tax revenues.

The Town Council took no action on this issue, but seemed open to learning more about the proposed development while at the same time expressing some amount of trepidation over the prospect of annexing another tract of land in the wake of the foreclosure of the proposed Rivendell development off East German Street.

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The Finance Committee reported that over the first 11 months of the fiscal year the general fund of Shepherdstown spent $206 thousand less than anticipated. The reasons the general fund has thus far come in under-budget are myriad, but some contributing factors such as a mild winter and vacancies in various municipal offices for portions of the fiscal year have helped.

For instance, the police department, which was understaffed for a portion of the year, had a budget of $502 thousand, but in the first 11 months of the fiscal year they had only spent $434 thousand, a difference of roughly $67 thousand. The street maintenance fund was budgeted for $127 thousand, but in the first 11 months of the fiscal year had only spent $72 thousand.

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The Town Council adopted a new law requiring dog owners to remove any waste deposited on public or private property, unless that property belongs or is rented to the dog owner. Dog owners who do not comply with this law risk incurring a misdemeanor fine between $50 and $150. Further, dogs defecating on public or private land is subject to seizure and impoundment.

The Town Council voted to purchased the remaining 835 years of a 999 year lease of the 2nd floor of the Shepherdstown Public Library from the Shepherdstown Womens Club for $5,000, or roughly 49 cents per month.

The top floor of the library, despite being operated as an extension of the library, was technically owned by the Women’s Club, which in turn acquired the lease from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1962. In 1845, Shepherdstown granted the Odd Fellows a 999 year lease on the structure.