JCC determines next steps with Rockwool, Town Run Tap House gains expansion approval
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Among the many items of business discuss during the Jefferson County Commission fourth quarterly session meeting on Oct. 4 were two specifically relevant to Shepherdstown’s residents.
Town Run Tap House & Community Pub owner Todd Cotgreave requested approval of his floor extension plans from the county. Although the pub building is located within the Corporation of Shepherdstown town limits, its parking lot and lawn are outside of town limits, requiring the business to seek permission from the county for any extension outside of the building.
“I’ve got an endorsement letter from the Mayor of Shepherdstown who said they’re fine with the expansion,” Cotgreave said, mentioning the expansion will only be for special events, and will involve roping off areas of the parking lot and/or lawn in which the business will sell and serve alcoholic beverages from a station.
“What we’re looking at is a couple of events here,” Cotgreave said, mentioning a few dates in the month of October. The board unanimously approved the dates, including Oct. 14, 20 and 22, and elected to approve the temporary expansion dates for the business on a monthly basis, since the expansion would still be more than 100 feet from a residence.
According to Cotgreave, he is currently considering asking the town council to annex the entire business property into the Corporation of Shepherdstown.
“This morning, I had a conversation with Mr. Auxer about who it would benefit, if the town would annex the other property of the Town Run parking lot and lawn,” Cotgreave said. If the town annexed the parking lot and lawn, the business would pay more taxes to the town, but would not have to approach the JCC each month for approval of its expansion dates.
During the meeting, Jefferson County Vision Board Member Chris Kinnan gave a presentation related to Jefferson County Vision’s legal action against the Jefferson County Development Authority and legal issues surrounding the Rockwool project.
Jefferson County Vision, Inc. raised about $15,000 to file a lawsuit on Sept. 17, 2018 against the JCDA for its alleged failure to comply with state laws and the state constitution, and pay for legal fees related to the suit. The funds have also made it possible for the newly-formed local watchdog group to hire a lawyer, Charles Town Attorney Christopher Stroech, who will represent the 501(c)4 nonprofit organization’s case.
According to Kinnan, the organization’s main concern is how Rockwool’s plant will impact the health of Jefferson County’s school children.
“The fundamental thing for us, is the heavy footprint this will have on schools,” Kinnan said.
Another concern he discussed during the meeting was the lack of research presented on how the plant’s distribution of its manufactured products through trucking will be executed, and its potential effect on Jefferson County roadways.
“There should be a variety of assessments that have been made about the environmental and economic view about the effect of trucking,” Kinnan said.
In response, the JCC unanimously voted to send letters to Rockwool and the DOC, requesting them “to provide schematics’ regarding the plant’s trucking plans, including which roads — Route 9 or U.S. Route 340 — would be used by the truckers.
Kinnan and two other Jefferson County Vision representatives at the meeting promised the organization’s financial and legal support of the JCC, if the JCC backs out of its PILOT agreement with Rockwool.