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Council OKs $30K for annexation consultant

By Staff | Aug 12, 2011

Members of the Shepherdstown Town Council met Tuesday evening to discuss forthcoming town events and approve recommendations made regarding the Rumsey Green project and the urban growth boundary proposal.

After the recommendation was made by the finance committee to allot $30,000 for the hiring of a consultant in the planning for the potential Rumsey Green shopping center, the town council voted to approve the amount.

According to the overview submitted by the planning commission as part of the “Planning Consultant request for proposal,” or RFP, the consultant would inform and assist the commission in its decision-making process with regard to the annexation of the property currently proposed for the Rumsey Green project west of town.

The “consultant,” or professional planner, would advise the town in the negotiations with the developers seeking annexation of the property to ensure that the town’s interests and vision are incorporated in any annexation agreement made.

The town council briefly discussed the content of the RFP.

Councilor David Rosen wondered if deliverables should be explicitly outlined in the proposal.

Councilor Josh Stella, who also serves as planning commission president, explained that the language of the RFP was left intentionally vague.

“There are no deliverables enumerated,” he said.

Stella was skeptical that accurate deliverables could be determined upfront.

Stella made a motion to approve the RFP, accepting “minor edits” still needed to be made.

Mayor Jim Auxer called for all edits to be made by the end of the week. The council unanimously voted to approve the proposal.

The council also discussed a recommendation made by the planning commission to accept the water and sewer system future service area outline as Shepherdstown’s urban growth boundary.

The town is legally required to submit a plan for boundary to Jefferson County based on its perceived rate of growth.

Neil Martineau, a local resident, expressed concern that the town may be asking for more than what would realistically be approved, though he supported the proposed outline.

Stella asked that it be made clear, for the record, that the proposed urban growth boundary was not intended to guide the comprehensive plan for Greater Shepherdstown.

The council unanimously voted to reccommend the boundary to the county.

The next town council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the new Town Hall.