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Town Counil looks at coming events

By Staff | May 12, 2011

The Shepherdstown Town Council met Tuesday evening in the temporary town hall to discuss upcoming events and future projects for the town.

Among the subjects discussed were the 250th anniversary celebration of Shepherdstown and a “National Kids to Park Day” event being planned by members of the community.

Local resident Rob Glenn presented a proposal for the May 21 event, which is designed to promote outdoor activity and healthfulness in kids.

The council voted unanimously to approve Glenn’s request.

According to Meredith Wait, who represents the town’s 250th celebration committee, plans for the event are on track. Wait reported that a website for the event has been launched though marketing for the event has been a “hurdle.” Wait also said the committee is continuing to look for funds.

Those interested can visit www.shepherdstown250.org or .com for more information about the event.

In the his report, Mayer Jim Auxer described the progress on the new town hall as “nearing completion.” The council members and town hall employees plan to begin moving into the new building Monday, May 16.

Mayor Auxer went on to present the council with a proposal for surveillance cameras to be placed at Town Hall and other locations around town, such as Rumsey Park.

The council continued to discuss how should town funds should be spent while considering a proposal to purchase a lot of land adjacent to Bane-Harris Park.

The council discussed making a $20,000 offer for the 0.1-acre property, which has been appraised at approximately $40,000.

The mayor explained that the town was approached by the seller, and suggestions have been made about possible uses for the lot, including a dog park.

Councilor Josh Stella questioned the urgency of voting on such a purchase. Stella suggested the council wait a month or more to vote on the item after meeting with all of the town’s committees and commissions.

Stella explained that he was not opposed to the extension of the park but argued that the no formal budget has been decided upon for the upcoming year.

Stella expressed concern that other potential projects might be of greater priority to the town. Stella warned against formally bidding on the lot without a better idea of what else town funds might go to in the coming year.

Stella went on the say that he would vote against all proposed capital expenditures until a fiscal plan for the town is officially laid out.

“There is no budget looking forward for capital expenditures … I don’t think you can run a business this way,” he said.

Councilor David Springer encouraged the council to approve the item.

“We’re missing an opportunity if we let this go. It’s a bargain,” he said.

Resident Mary Bell agreed with Springer’s comments. She called it a “rare opportunity.”

“Parks are what make us very special,” she said.

The council voted to approve the bid, 5 to 1, with Stella in opposition. Councilor David Rosen was not present to vote.

The next town council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.