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Town Council discusses new town employees, Region 9 project

By Staff | Jan 24, 2020

Boy Scout Troop 33 member Isaac Kessler asks for help with completing his Eagle Scout community service project, during the Town Council meeting on Jan. 14. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The monthly town council meeting was held on Jan. 14, with the majority of the town council members present. Town council members Mark Everhart and David Springer were both absent from the meeting.

Mayor Jim Auxer began the meeting, by announcing the addition of two employees to the Corporation of Shepherdstown staff: Ricky Rogers to the Department of Public Works and Russell Drewry to the Water Department. Auxer also announced that the company that did the recurbing in town last year, will be returning to work on local residents’ sidewalks and the concrete bridge passing over Town Run.

“They are increasing the width of the bridge on Town Run by one foot. It was cracking, because it wasn’t wide enough,” Auxer said. “They’ll also be working out at the Ramsey Monument and putting caps on the stone walls there. We want to protect it as much as possible.”

Another improvement that will soon be taking place in town, is around the Shepherdstown Train Station parking lot. A $29,000 grant from the federal government, half the amount of which is in-kind, will be used to plant grass around and add new design details to the property, which will decrease flash flooding on the homes directly beneath the train station. Flash flooding, Auxer said, can cause local waterways to become polluted.

“Region 9 had asked us if there was something that could be worked on immediately in town, and this was one of those locations. Really, the ultimate goal of this project is clean water,” Auxer said.

Adult Services Librarian Sarah Brumback announces the Shepherdstown Public Library's plans for its annual Earth Day celebration, during the Town Council meeting on Jan. 14. Tabitha Johnston

One of the main discussions of the evening, was over the Eagle Scout community service project, proposed by Isaac Kessler of Boy Scout Troop 33.

“My Eagle Scout Project is for Morgan’s Grove Park. I’ve already proposed the idea to the Shepherdstown Community Club, and they’ve accepted it,” Kessler said, mentioning he will be coordinating a group of 10-20 boy scouts and volunteers to complete his project by the end of February.

“We’re going to be going to the Quonset Hut and cleaning it up before the Bluegrass Festival is held at Morgan’s Grove Park,” Kessler said, referring to a hut near the park’s lower parking lot that has been left in disrepair and used for storing trash. “We will be tearing down the old wood shed, removing chunks of concrete from around the hut and removing old toilets from the inside of the hut. We will need to, with that, take some of the larger pieces we are removing from the hut to the dump. We wanted to ask if you could help pay for the cost of the hauling.”

The town council agreed to provide assistance, by parking one of the town’s garbage trucks near the hut on the day of the clean-up.

According to SCC member and town council member David Rosen, the hut will then go under further work by the SCC, which plans to rebuild the hut’s structure.

“I would like if the town and Shepherdstown Community Club could work together,” Auxer said, in response to Rosen’s comment. “This will e something that’s advantageous to the town, as well as helping this young man earn his Eagle Scout rank.”

Adult Services Librarian Sarah Brumback, of the Shepherdstown Public Library, was then invited to speak about the library’s annual Earth Day celebration.

“It’s an early Earth Day celebration. We will have a shred truck for paper recycling behind the library, and will also have tables out about being environmentally conscious,” Brumback said about the event. “WVEP will have activities for kids to do that will teach them about caring for the earth.”