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‘Neighbors’ call for meeting

By Staff | Mar 18, 2011

The riverfront partnership met Monday morning at the Shepherdstown Train Station and discussed plans for an official website as well as a meeting with the residents of Shepherdstown.

Bill Howard, member of the partnership’s access committee presented a “first draft” of the website that the partnership sought approval to build at last month’s town council meeting.

The site would include an informational page giving background on the revitalization effort featuring a link to “Frequency Asked Questions,” a section devoted to the committee’s “work groups,” a blog detailing the group’s “latest news,” as well as a calendar, contact list and other related items.

Howard solicited the group’s advice on how to best direct comments and feedback via the site, which the committee agreed was one of the major motivations for its creation.

Mayor Jim Auxer, who attended the meeting, asked residents in attendance directly, “What would be useful?”

Resident Mary Bell agreed that the opportunity to leave comments was the site’s most important feature.

Shelli Dronsfield, assistant to Shepherd University’s president, offered input in support of the website, though she suggested that the group integrate it with a Facebook page as a way to drive web traffic to the site which may otherwise become “static.”

Rebecca Phipps, a member of the resident group who presented a letter before Planning Commission last month in opposition to the riverfront project, expressed dissention.

“I don’t think a website is needed at all … It’s too large and not needed.”

Dave Humphries, project coordinator for the riverfront committee, responded by explaining that the group is trying find the most efficient way to let people know what’s going on.

“I respectfully disagree,” he said.

Phipps went on to suggest that the riverfront committee meet face to face with the “neighbors” group to “lay out facts once and for all.”

Humphries and the rest of the committee agreed with Phipps’ suggestion.

“I support the idea of having a special meeting for the residents,” Humphries said.

Mayor Auxer suggested having a meeting to present what the committee has done thus far and garner feedback from all residents interested in the project.

A meeting has been scheduled for April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Train Station, open to all members of the public.

The riverfront partnership website goes live today, March 18, at www.ourwaterfront.org. A link will also be made available on Corporation of Shepherdstown website at www.shepherdstown.us.