Council adopts ordinances, approves money for repairs
At Tuesday evening’s regularly scheduled Town Council meeting, the second reading of two ordinances pertaining to domestic violence was made, to establish that it’s unlawful and to enact penalties at the municipal level, rather than just the state level.
“We don’t have a lot of domestic violence here,” said Police Chief Mike King. “But often it is a great benefit to everybody to run it through municipal court rather than state court. We have a little more control over the prosecution of the case.”
Those in attendance spent a lot of time discussing funding from the Housing Authority for various projects. A sidewalk repair project fund was allocated $7K for repairs, and to match funds expended by town citizens on a first-come, first-served basis at a rate of 25 percent.
Additionally, allocation was made in the amount of $40K from the Housing Authority to provide grants to town citizens to aid in rehabilitation and maintenance of historic homes. However, no money will be dispersed until the fund reaches $100K. The funds will be managed by the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Program, with an annual contribution of $5K from unallocated video lottery funds and matching money from the town, up to a total of $5K each year. Council is hoping that the promise of matching money will motivate citizens to donate to the fund, so as to have working funds within the next few years.
“I really think this is going to be something [that], in 20 or 30 years from now, people will be thanking us for because it’s a gift to the town-it’ll go forever,” said Council Member David Rosen.
Council also approved allocation of $20K of unallocated video lottery money to use toward a West Virginia Department of Highways accessibility grant for curb cuts in town. The state will give Shepherdstown an additional $80K for the project.
“We’ve identified approximately 20 curbs in town that need curb cuts and this grant will allow us to make those curb cuts-they’re not cheap. Each one runs anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000, but we think with this grant we can get them all made,” said Council Member Mark Everhart.
Council also approved a donation of $2,500 to the Shepherdstown Fire Department for the purchase of equipment to make identification badges for municipal employees.
As most town residents are aware, the placement of a dedicated water line is well underway on High Street, but a officials expect a traffic disruption on Dec. 18 as the construction will cross Duke Street.
Due to the amount of rock present, officials estimate it will be a two-day disruption.
“It’s going to cause traffic issues,” King said. “They will have flag men at the intersection where they are working and we (police) will have a guy at the four-way of German and Duke to keep traffic moving as it starts to back up. That’s the best we can do. This is something that has to be done and there’s no way around it right now.”
Mayor Auxer concluded the meeting by giving kudos to G.T. Schramm and Corporal Tomlinson of Eastern Regional Jail for organizing the collection of monetary donations for the Women’s Shelter. Shepherdstown residents and officers at the jail collected a total of $420, which was then transferred to gift cards of preference as indicated by the families at the shelter.
Town Clerk Amy Boyd plans to continue to work with Schramm to look into helping the shelter year-round.