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Save $1.2 million by moving Town Hall into the Entler

By Staff | Aug 28, 2009

Open letter to Shepherdstown Council, Planning Commission and Historic Landmarks Commission:

What many of us feared has happened. Because of bare- bones funding, the design for the new Shepherdstown Town Hall has turned out to be a bare-bones, minimal design, aggressively ordinary, devoid of civic pride.

It looks like a Cracker Barrel restaurant we will all be forced to look at for the rest of the life of our town.

It is not too late to halt this headlong Town Folly and save $1.2 million.

So far only partial payment of the architect’s fee has been spent. The next shocker will be builder costs, which always come in higher, way higher, for new buildings. Anyone knows this.

We can save over $1.2 million of taxpayer money by scrapping the foolish new building, and move Town Hall into a substantial and dignified building the town already owns. Namely, the Entler. The Entler has more than enough meeting and office space to accommodate a mere five town employees, with plentiful off-street parking space.

Instead of tearing down the current Town Hall (valued at over $200,000), blasting limestone in the middle of town (cost and collateral damage impossible to predict), and eliminating parking, the current town hall could be rescued and re- used by police, saving even more money.

Many of Shepherdstown’s most fiscally prudent citizens are appalled by the waste of taxpayer money on a new town hall, particularly in a recession, and particularly since we already own the Entler with under-used space to spare.

The architect has earned his fee by showing us we can only afford a minimal design for a new building. The burden is now on us to come, finally, to our senses.

Scrap Cracker Barrel Hall. Use the Entler. Save the current town hall for a police station. Save the parking. Avoid the blasting. Save $1.2 million.

Use the $1.2 million for urgently needed water and sewer upgrades. Help taxpayers pay ever-increasing water and sewer bills that are eating all of us alive.

It is not too late.

Respectfully submitted,

Former Councilman

Neal Delano Martineau