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Men's Club votes down proposal to turn over Morgan's Grove Park

September 16, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Members of the Shepherdstown Men's Club on Wednesday night voted down a proposal to turn ownership of Morgan's Grove Park over to Jefferson County government.

Meeting at the War Memorial Building, 48 members of the club voted against the proposal and 47 voted for it, said Joel Garner, secretary of the Shepherdstown Men's Club.

The proposal needed two-thirds of the votes to pass.

About 25 people commented on the proposal and Garner said it was the biggest meeting of people he has seen in Shepherdstown.

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"It was very civil," Garner said.

Shepherdstown Men's Club President Ethelmary "Etts" Elliott had said she believed the park should be turned over to the county because the club cannot afford to maintain the park and there is no guarantee what the organization will do with the park in the future.

Some club members were concerned about the proposal, especially after some county parks officials complained about not having enough money to run the parks they currently oversee.

Morgan's Grove Park is a popular 21-acre park southwest of Shepherdstown at the intersection of W.Va. 480 and Morgan Grove Road. The park has soccer fields, a kitchen facility, a baseball backstop and other features.

The Shepherdstown Men's Club has owned the park since 1961.

Garner said he does not know what will happen next.

"I don't think it's going to go anywhere now," Elliott said from her home. "Now we have resolved it and we can go on to other things."

If the proposal had passed, several provisions would have had to be met for the transfer to take place, Garner said.

Among the provisions is that the Jefferson County Commission purchase 11 acres beside the park from owner Gene Henry for $1 million, Garner said.

Another provision is that the park and Henry's land must always remain parkland if it is turned over to the county, Garner said.

Garner said nearly everyone who spoke at the meeting favored having the county purchase the Henry property.

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