Oxford City Council jumped right into its Nov. 15 meeting, which featured four budget-related second-reading ordinances.
Council reviews budget plans
For its fiscal ordinance readings, city council began with an emergency ordinance for the city to pay for additional costs for three police vehicles and an increase to the Community Development Block Grant Fund for Elm Street.
The ordinance passed unanimously, although Councilor Chantel Raghu was absent from the meeting.
Council then moved through the second-reading ordinances. The first three passed unanimously with no comments since Council addressed them at the last meeting.
These ordinances included a budgeted advance of $112,000 for public restrooms to be built Uptown and another advance of $343,000 to install vehicle charging stations.
The fourth ordinance, which covered adopting fees and charges, had more discussion about the pricing of Oxford’s parking garage. Mayor Bill Snavely proposed lowering the price to park in the garage.
“If people use the parking garage more and filled it up on a regular basis, there would be more spaces available for businesses on High Street and Uptown,” Snavely said.
Councilor David Prytherch wasn’t so ready to reduce the price during a second-reading end-of-year ordinance.
“At this late point in the process, I haven’t thought through enough of the pricing dynamics to make a decision one way or the other,” Prytherch said. “I think the garage is a separate issue that we’re basically maintaining a garage for lease-holders.”
Council agreed to study the issue further before making a decision and unanimously passed the fees and charges ordinance.
Oxford acquires cemetery
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The Oxford Cemetery’s manager is retiring Nov. 30, and the Oxford Cemetery Association Board voted for the city to take control of the land.
“We’re obligated to accept the cemetery if the association dissolves and abandons it,” Doug Elliott, city manager, said. “In order to facilitate this transition, we’re presenting you tonight with a management agreement, and this will allow us to work out the transfer of responsibilities, transfer of assets and so on.”
The resolution was unanimously accepted.
Elliott also said an emergency ordinance would be introduced at the next meeting officially allowing the city to acquire the cemetery on Dec. 31 without having to go through a second reading. The city will help maintain the cemetery until then.
BCRTA asks for public feedback
Luis Rodriguez from the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) delivered a presentation on the BCRTA’s first transit plan. Rodriguez said the plan is now on its second round of collecting data and public comments for its service.
The transit plan is designed to find ways for BCRTA to improve its operation. Complaints from the first round of data collection included that the bus doesn’t come frequently enough and does not have enough destinations.
“We’re trying to see what our markets want, what our market is saying, what our riders, non-riders and other stakeholders have to say, and we’re collecting all these data points and putting them together so that we can get a big picture and see what it is we need to do,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez directed people to BCRTAtransitplan.com, where users can view potential routes on an interactive map. Users can also drop their own pins and comment on existing routes. The map will remain open for comments and feedback until Nov. 24.
City council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the Oxford Court House.