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Town Council discusses Town Run mural, Historic Landmarks Commission opening

By Staff | Jun 22, 2018

The Town Council discussed town beautification and business development during its monthly meeting June 12.

During the meeting, Nicole Saunders Meske was officially approved to fill one of the two vacant spots on the Historic Landmarks Commission. The HLC is currently accepting applications from Shepherdstown residents with architecture or construction experience for its remaining vacant position.

Town Run Tap House and Community Pub owner Todd Cotgreave discussed creating a community mural at Town Run on the side facing traffic entering Shepherdstown.

“We want it to be a bit of a community center and have everyone involved,” Cotgreave said. “We would like input from the Town Council and anyone in Shepherdstown.” Cotgreave will accept potential mural design submissions from the community from July 1 through Aug. 1.

Council member David Rosen said he would help Cotgreave find grants to cover the mural’s cost.

“I think this is a great project,” said Rosen. “We’re always talking about beautifying entrances to our town.”

Michael Sholl, of the Shepherdstown Lion’s Club, announced the club’s most recent community fundraisers.

“Last month, we purchased the drinking fountain for the Shepherdstown Elementary School playground,” Sholl said. “It should arrive sometime in July or August, and will be installed before the school year begins.”

Sholl also said the club raised $300 for cancer research.

Auxer publicly read the ordinance proclaiming the town’s annexation without election of the Bavarian Inn’s property. He will read it again on June 26, because the swearing-in must be completed before July 1.

The meeting was the last one with Jim Ford as a council member. New member David Springer will officially replace Ford on July 1.

The Shepherdstown Visitors Center announced it is now an official stop for West Virginia Day on June 23, celebrating the state’s 155th anniversary.

Council member Deb Tucker discussed the potential of hosting Air BnBs in town. She said the Town Council is in the process of forming a Transient Lodging Task Force.

“We want to see if there’s an appetite or desire in the town to do Air BnBs,” Tucker said. “The impetus behind this is there isn’t enough beds for people here during the busy season. We want this to be the hub where people stay.”

Tucker said many Shepherdstown visitors end up staying in Sharpsburg, Maryland, or Charles Town. She said some visitors want lodging that is friendly to families or dogs.

The Council discussed some issues with AirBnBs, including consultants discouraging the change due to the town’s small size, the need for AirBnBs to be owner-occupied and the impact they would have on local hotels.

“We have three hotels that are hurting, and need to attract business year-round,” Rosen said. “I think it would be problematic for businesses in our area.”

Mayor Jim Auxer said the idea is still under consideration, but nothing has been decided yet.

“Our goal here, over the next weeks and months, is to look over the information,” said Auxer. “In the fall, we will hold a public hearing.”