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Shepherd wants in

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

A proposal to annex 13 acres of the west campus of Shepherd University, including all 11 West Campus dormatories and suites, into the Corporation of Shepherdstown has cleared the Shepherdstown Finance Committee and will be given the first of two readings before the Town Council at the 6 p.m. Oct. 13 Council meeting at 104 N. King Street. The Town Council votes on the annexation after the second reading of the petition, which will occur on Nov. 10.

If the annexation passes, Shepherdstown’s population would, on paper, increase by 663 residents, the number of students currently living in the dorms during the normal academic school year. During the summer months, the West Campus population drops to about 30.

The proposal to annex the West Campus dorms, drafted by Shepherd University, notes that the town could see a financial benefit from the increase in population, through excise taxes on electricity and telephone service and increased video lottery funds, which are doled out to local municipalities based on population. Those 663 residents of the West Campus dorms will become Shepherdstown residents, eligible to vote and run in municipal elections and apply for residential parking permits.

The petition to annex notes that the Corporation of Shepherdstown would incur no additional maintenace costs on roads, as they are already maintained by University personnell. The petition also notes that a cooperative police enforcement agreement between the University and municipal police departments would be un-changed by this annexation.

The area proposed for annexation does not include all of West Campus. Encompassing only land around the West Campus dorms, the boundaries of the proposed annexation extend from the new apartment-style dormatories of Birch and Maple, butting up against the Maddex Farm housing development, before turning south-east to encompas the six West Woods suites. It narrows near the tennis courts in front of the Frank Arts Center and dog legs again, roughly following West Campus Dr. down to Shaw and Thatcher halls, traditional dormatory residences, where it widens to encompass both of those structures. There it links up with the municipal border of Shepherdstown north of High Street.

Mayor Jim Auxer noted that the proposed annexation makes Shepherdstown contiguous with the Maddex Farm development, making possible a future annexation of the Maddex Farm development.

HSC seeks new lease on Entler

The Historic Shepherdstown Commission, which operates the Entler Hotel and the Historic Shepherdstown Museum on the corner of German and Princess streets, will go before the Town Council next week to seek a renewal of the long term lease which gives them control of the historic property. The current lease, which was signed in April 1982, is set to expire in 2012.

Cindy Cook, administrator of the Entler building, says there are a number of structural repairs which need to be done on the building. Chimneys need to be rebuilt, lentils need repairing, in addition to some brick work and repainting. The Historic Shepherdstown Commission is reluctant to proceed with these repairs until a new long term lease is in effect.

With structural roots going back to 1786 The Entler Hotel is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Shepherdstown. It last operated as a hotel in 1917. The iconic building has been used as a dormatory, an apartment building for Shepherd professors, a storage facility, and a municipal meeting-space, a function which it still retains.

In 1978, the Historic Shepherdstown Commission took over the decaying Entler building, renovating it into a quasi-public meeting space, office complex and museum.

– For the full Oct. 13 Town Council agenda, see www.shepherdstown.us.