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Town council approves bond ordinance, Shepherd University’s 150th Anniversary Homecoming Parade

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Aug 13, 2021


SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Shepherdstown Town Council covered a variety of topics during their monthly meeting on Tuesday night –the final meeting they intend to hold in the War Memorial Building for the foreseeable future.

According to Town Clerk Amy Boyd, the Corporation of Shepherdstown’s IT professionals are currently working with technology the town has bought, which will allow future meetings to be live-streamed to the public from Town Hall, recorded and archived. Based on the current progress in setting up the system, those future meetings will be beginning in its monthly meeting in September.

“In this next meeting, we’re going to be back in the Town Council chambers and the meeting will be streamed live and archived,” said Mayor Jim Auxer.

Along with this update, the Town Council also discussed and approved a series of ordinances amendments, proposed by Chief of Police Mike King. The eight ordinance amendments received their first reading in this meeting, and will have to be read in two more meetings for approval. According to King, the amendments were made with as little financial trouble to the town as possible, with the town employing a Bowles Rice LLP intern to complete them.

“The town ordinances hadn’t been looked at in comparison with state laws for many years,” King said, mentioning the amendments needed to be made for a variety of reasons. “Some of the penalties were over the jail limit provided by state law, and language was another issue.”


The Town Council also gave a public hearing for “consideration of and action on first reading of a bond ordinance authorizing the issuance of the Corporation of Shepherdstown Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2021, in an original aggregate principal amount not to exceed $1,250,000 to finance a portion of the costs of the acquisition, construction and equipping of certain additions, betterments and improvements to the waterworks system of the Corporation of Shepherdstown, including without limitation the renovation and improvement of the water treatment plant and related facilities.”

After the first hearing for the bond ordinance was given, the Town Council authorized Auxer to sign a commitment letter on behalf of the Corporation of Shepherdstown for a loan from Jefferson Security Bank, to approve a $1.25 million loan to help with the project. The loan was the best out of six that were given, with an interest rate of 2.35 percent and forecast of the town paying it off in 15 years.

The bidding for the project itself, for improving the town’s waterworks system, has been completed, with the lowest bidder winning the project, according to the town’s attorney.

The Town Council also took time to unanimously approve the appointments or reappointments of Roger Munro, Chris Cafiero and Terry Fulton to the Planning Commission, and the appointments or reappointments of Nicole Saunders-Meske and Carmen Slater to the Historic Landmarks Commission.

It was also approved to designate Sept. 1 as Panhandle Free NARCAN Day in Shepherdstown. Organizers of the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Town Hall, will provide instruction and NARCAN to visitors to their booth.

“They’ll address a lot of the fears, with people considering using NARCAN,” King said.

Finally, the Town Council approved for Shepherd University to hold its 150th Annual Homecoming Parade on German Street, as long as an increase in pandemic cases don’t make the parade’s cancellation advisable. The parade was cancelled last year, due to the pandemic, but organizer Rachael Meads said she hopes that won’t have to be the case this year.

“I think the general impetus at Shepherd is to do what’s safe, rather than what feels good. Our students understand we’re all in this together, and we have to stick together,” Meads said. “I do know that if it’s something that concerns you all and it concerns us, we’ll change our plans.”