Council approves liquor fee Tuesday
Tuesday the Shepherdstown Town Council reached a decision, but not unanimously, about the town’s lone liquor store’s license fee.
Local business owner Mohsen Sadeghzadeh came to appeal the cost of the liquor license at the October town council meeting. The council had told him that the license would cost $1,500.
Sadeghzadeh had researched other small towns, similar to the size of Shepherdstown, and found that the average price was $500. Mayor Jim Auxer asked for time to do his own research.
Tuesday, the council discussed the other small towns fees, the fact that this would be the only liquor store in town and how many customers the store has already served. Based on all these aspects the fee was lowered to $1,000.
Council member David Springer was the only member to vote against the $1,000 tax.
“I think you’re singling him out,” he said. “And this is very unfair.”
The council is still discussing an additional fee they will charge Sadeghzadeh for selling wine.
Also at the meeting, Shepherdstown Housing Authority member Greg Didden announced on Nov. 19 a special meeting of the housing authority will take place. All five members will offer their resignation because the committee is no longer active and sign over the bank account and the single remaining property note.
Some of these members are the original members since the housing authority started, almost 40 years ago. Mayor Auxer will be ready to receive their assets. Mayor Auxer expresses his gratitude for the fine work this committee started and saw to completion.
John Brady, who is overseeing the construction of the new Town Hall, reported that building progress on the new Town Hall is on schedule. While the sidewalk crew is working on Town Hall, they will also complete the 42-foot section down King Street to join the German Street sidewalk.
Meredith Wait, chairperson of the 250th Birthday steering committee, reported on the successful recruitment of a 32-member committee for the “SQ250” celebration. In 2012, Shepherdstown will turn 250 years old. There will be a large kick off celebration at the beginning of that year and a grand finale in November. Several other things will happen throughout the year, as well. Their next planning meeting will be Nov. 22.
Halloween in Shepherdstown was a huge success with hundreds of visitors, council member David Rosen said. Some concern was raised about traffic and pedestrians. Rosen offered to assemble some volunteer crossing guards for next year.
The challenge of communicating to the public was discussed. How do small committees of volunteers get their information out to the public? What channels are working? Without bogging volunteers down with too much record keeping, it would be helpful to hear what is happening.
Council members discussed the value of several communication tools and agreed that as many tools as possible should be used. They hope to establish a link on their website to relay committee details.
Mayor Auxer also thanked council member Lori Robertson and her team of volunteers – Alyssa Brown, Nancy Strine and Catherine Stella – who planted winter pansies in flower boxes at the intersections in town.