Historic Shepherdstown updates, JCDA discussed in Town Council meeting
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Updates to Historic Shepherdstown and upcoming events were discussed, during the Corporation of Shepherdstown’s monthly Town Council meeting on Aug. 13.
Historic Shepherdstown President Jerry Bock, who was the first speaker of the evening, came to the meeting at the request of the Town Council.
“I’m part of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission. We lease and operate the Entler Hotel,” Bock said in his introduction. “Historic Shepherdstown was organized in 1961, and in the ’70s began its largest effort, when they were going to tear down the Entler. The town sold it to us for $1, and in 1983 we opened the museum.”
According to Bock, the Entler and its 14 rented office spaces are managed by Teresa McLaughlin, who is Historic Shepherdstown’s only paid employee. Due to its age, the Entler relies on volunteers to keep it in good condition and keep its museum running.
“We always have new things going on at the museum,” Bock said, mentioning Historic Shepherdstown welcomes visitors and new volunteers. “Maintenance involves volunteer work and some paid work.”
Recently completed projects at the Entler include: refinishing of the hardwood floors in all public areas, waterproofing of basement, rebuilding of the Princess Street steps, repairs to flashing on several chimneys, installation of a new HVAC system for the first floor of the museum, a new hot water heater, numerous repairs to tenant offices and numerous pro-bono repairs made by HSC volunteers.
Current projects at the Entler include: rebuilding of the three Entler rear porches, which should be completed this September; installation of a new HVAC system on the museum’s upper floors; roof and gutter repairs; repainting of interior public spaces, which will be done in 2020; and repair of exterior brick walls.
“Since they got the Entler, they’ve taken care of it entirely by the organization,” said Mayor Jim Auxer about Historic Shepherdstown. “The museum is a wonderful place to go.”
James Gatz, Shepherdstown’s representative to the Jefferson County Development Authority, then briefed the Town Council on the JCDA’s progress.
“Last week, they appointed the new board members. It was a little disappointing to me that all but two of the people that were nominated, are the same as were previously on the board,” Gatz said. “I was appointed to the Governmental Relations Committee, which makes sense, since I work in marketing.
“There’s an energy now, to do a strategic plan that would allow public input,” Gatz said, before asking the Town Council for input with a new idea of his. “A few people in town asked how they can be more apprised of what’s going on in the JCDA. I propose that we establish an informal citizens group, to hash out ideas. I’m not sure if we’re going to have this committee — I need your thoughts on the subject.”
Town Council member Deb Tucker asked Gatz to make sure the meetings are open to the public, while Auxer suggested holding special meetings, but not developing an actual committee.
“Everyone in town should have access — maybe like a special meeting — have Mr. Gatz come, just like we’ve done before,” Auxer said. “We don’t want history to repeat itself. We didn’t know what [JCDA’s] strategic plan was for at least a decade, so that would be good if we know that.”
According to Gatz, while JCDA’s focus remains unchanged, he is not the only newly-elected member with an environmentally-conscious mindset.
“When you see the JCDA plan, you’ll see it’s focused on attracting new businesses,” Gatz said. “But some of us are more interested in a long-term viewpoint.”
The Shepherd University Homecoming Parade was approved to be held on Sept. 28. The Second Annual Shepherdstown Lion’s Club Roaring Car Show was approved to be held on Sept. 1 along High Street, and announced it will have three vendors for barbecue, hot dogs and ice-cream at this year’s event, to avoid long wait times. Shepherdstown’s National Night Out was approved to be held on Sept. 21, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., attendees can go to Reynolds Hall for a film showing of “Toy Story” or can visit Shepherd University’s bowling alley.