Town Council considers local issues
At a meeting of the Town Council on Tuesday, Mayor Jim Auxer, along with fellow council members, discussed and voted on a recommendation to reallocate funds to the Shepherdstown Public Library from the town’s general fund.
The recommendation made by members of the finance committee, would direct $900 a month to the Shepherdstown Public Library, or roughly $10,000 a year.
The recommendation was made following a discussion at the Sept. 7 meeting of the finance committee, in which local resident and business owner, Pam Berry expressed concerns about the misappropriation of funding from the state hotel/motel tax to the library.
Following the September meeting, Mayor Auxer pledged to address the council’s funding error with the assistance of the state auditor’s office and attorney general.
“We’ll make a determination after we do our research, ” he said in a article published Sept. 14.
During Tuesday night’s discussion, council member David Rosen asked how the $900 a month figure was determined and asked if the library could function without it.
Mayer Auxer explained that the town has a duty to replace the funds that were wrongfully being given to the library via the hotel/motel tax revenues.
“It’s our responsibility to fund them,” he said.
Council member David Springer asked that his concerns be noted.
Springer wondered about the appropriateness of funding the library, given evidence that some town citizens oppose the new Shepherdstown Library project, which he characterized as having
“the expressed purpose,” to move outside of town limits.
“We already support the library by giving them free rent,” he said.
Council member David Rosen agreed that the degree to which the Corporation of Shepherdstown funds the library should be reexamined when the library relocates, but said he thinks its appropriate to continue funding the portion of the library that will stay downtown.
“I think they’re separate issues,” he said.
Ultimately, the council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.
The council also voted to increase hotel/motel tax allocations to the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center by 20 percent, with 10 percent or roughly, $500 going to ‘civic promotions,’ and 10 percent to be used at the discretion of the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center as part of their operating budget.