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Council hears multiple reports

By Staff | Aug 12, 2016

Marianne Davis from the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center gave an encouraging report about visitors to the town in the months of June and July.

“In the month of June,” said Davis, “we had about 20,000 visitors in the town. That’s an increase of 70 percent from June of 2015.”

July saw numbers at around 22,000 with CATF being a big draw. Davis said they attribute some of the increase to the “Ghosts of Shepherdstown” television series.

Business coach, Matt Coffey from the West Virginia Small Business Development Center was in attendance in conjunction with the Jefferson County Development Authority, represented by John Reisenweber, to spread the word about free business services that are offered to any small business owners, or those thinking about opening a small business in Jefferson County.

“Any for profit business with under 500 employees is eligible for the coaching services,” said Coffey. “Those services can be as simple as someone creating a business and needs help registering their business, creating their LLC, going to the licensing process. It can also be very in depth help, like if a business need to do a capital expansion project. We help them determine if they should and where to pursue financing. We help people with loan packages, help people look over their business and marketing plan to see if makes sense.”

Coffey went on to say that they can help any type of businesses from services, consulting or home-based. Coffey can be reached at 304-728-3255.

At a previous meeting, council discussed adopting another West Virginia town that was devastated by the recent flooding, to help them get back on their feet. David Rosen, council member, had asked Joy Lewis, local liaison for the governor’s office to suggest a location matching the size and rough population of Shepherdstown.

Lewis said she had been sent by the governor to work in Richwood, West Virginia, located in Nicholas County. It had previously been a thriving coal community town teetering on a population of 10,000, but in recent years the number of residents has dwindled to 2,000. Richwood suffered severe devastation and loss due to the flooding. Lewis thought it would be a good match and a deserving recipient of funds.

Council moved to approve to allocate monies for the town of Richwood.

Marshall DeMeritt, EMS chief for the Shepherdstown Fire Department asked council to consider donating money toward a piece of equipment the department would like to purchase. The device is called a Lucas 2 CPR device. DeMeritt said although pricey at a cost of $17,000, it would be a great asset to the county due to its high level of effectiveness. He explained that the ambulance fee is in its second year, and he’s seen that fee accomplish good things for the county, but that the Shepherdstown department is a separate entity and doesn’t receive any money from that fee, but instead rely on grants and fundraising. Council is considering a $10,000 donation to the fire company to go toward purchase of the device, but will discuss allocation at a future meeting.

Council is also considering hiring an inspector on an as-needed basis to enforce the building maintenance code. This comes on the heels of the first reading of an ordinance to amend the codified ordinances of the Corporation of Shepherdstown and enact Title Nine, Chapter 16, relating to the grant of authority to Town Code Enforcement officials to immediately issue citation for external sanitation violations and common nuisances and allowing the Corporation of Shepherdstown to file liens against real property for costs incurred.

Residents or business owners could be cited for issues such as water drainage, nuisances affecting health and safety, sidewalks in disrepair, graffiti and exterior garbage accumulation.

Council scheduled a second reading of the ordinance for Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. A copy of the ordinance is available online at www.shepherdstown.us/?page_id=1107.