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City council’s two proclamations highlight upcoming events

Heidi Schiller, executive director of the Oxford Community Arts Center, delivers a presentation to city council about the center's accomplishments for the fiscal year.
Heidi Schiller, executive director of the Oxford Community Arts Center, delivers a presentation to city council about the center's accomplishments for the fiscal year.

Mayor William Snavely began Oxford City Council’s meeting on Nov. 1 with two proclamations.

The first proclamation declared Nov. 8 as World Town Planning Day that aims to promote civic engagement with city planning. Snavely presented the proclamation to Corey Watt, the chair of the planning commission.

“This is actually pretty exciting,” Watt said. “There’s a lot of work that goes on in the background … Behind the scenes, there’s a group, [Sam] Perry and others are leading for a new comprehensive plan because the one we have on the books is well over a decade old.”

Snavely also encouraged citizens to join city planners in an open house for the city’s Oxford Tomorrow plan. The event, which takes place Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at Talawanda Middle School’s cafeteria will allow citizens to contribute ideas on how to improve Oxford and give feedback to the city’s comprehensive plan draft.

The second proclamation declared Nov. 12 as Oxford Empty Bowls Day this year, the same day the organization’s soup luncheon will take place at the Oxford Community Arts Center (OCAC). 

Empty Bowls is an international organization that creates bowls and sells them to raise money to help feed the hungry. It is also celebrating its 20th anniversary in Oxford this year where it has donated more than $126,000 to the city’s organizations.

Snavely presented the proclamation to Connie Malone, one of the co-organizers of the luncheons.

Heidi Schiller, director of the OCAC, gave a presentation on the center’s achievements for the fiscal year. Schiller highlighted that the center supports 30 resident artists and maintains three dedicated spaces for galleries, curating more than 25 exhibits in the past year.

“The path to innovation leads through inspiration,” Schiller said. “The OCAC stands, both literally and figuratively, as an inspiration location.”

Rabbi Yossi Greenberg of Chabad at Miami University, also spoke to city council, addressing concerns from the community about safety after a sukkah, a Jewish holiday hut, was vandalized at Miami’s Hillel.

“The Jewish community is very safe here in Oxford,” Greenberg said. “We thank the City of Oxford for that.”

Councilors also unanimously passed a resolution allowing the city manager to pay about $190,000 to Barrett Paving Materials Inc. for the reconstruction of Walnut Street. The agreement furthers the College@Elm project and will also cover parking improvements.

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Councilors also approved for the City of Oxford to apply for $3 million in Butler County American Rescue Plan Act funds. The funds will be used to help move Talawanda School District employees from the Nelson Morrow building to the Oxford Senior Citizens building. The senior citizens will be moved to a new wing in the TRI Community Center, which will also receive a renovation.

The rest of the meeting was spent going over first-reading ordinances in preparation for voting on the budget for the 2023 fiscal year. Council will vote on the budget at its next meeting.

City Council will meet again on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Courthouse.