At Oxford City Council’s Oct. 3 meeting, held at the Oxford Municipal Building due to the power outage, the council focused on the promising vision of a new hotel in Oxford as well as issues regarding the Oxford City Fire Department.
Oxford’s Fire Department continues to lose responders
Tom Radomski-Bomba, Oxford’s union president for the International Association of Firefighters, spoke during the public participation portion of the meeting about the issue of the understaffed fire department.
The Oxford Fire Department (OFD) receives nearly 3,200 calls a year, which are responded to by an average of only five to six firefighters a day, but the department is losing firefighters.
There are only four firefighter paramedics remaining, who work over 50% of normal time to cover the two vacancies in the department. Radomski-Bomba said this level of overwork could cause the responders to be “impaired in judgment” while on the job.
“Your firefighters need the human capital to serve the public,” Radomski-Bomba said. “The resources are not there.”
Mayor William Snavely also addressed this issue at the close of the meeting and highlighted OFD’s dependence on Miami University.
“I think this is one of the more crucial short term issues we have to face,” Snavely said. “There must be pressure put on Miami to pay their fair share.”
Council continues to approve decisions leading to a new hotel
City council approved three ordinances relating to the development of the new hotel, which will be located at 525 N. Campus Ave. The hotel will be located on the northern perimeter of the city, which is not populated by a lot of development.
Two of these three ordinances were on their first readings, meaning they will be addressed again by council in their next meeting for a final vote.
Sam Perry, community development director, said a conditional use permit application was approved on its first reading with a record number of 17 conditions. One of these conditions addressed citizen concern about light from car headlights flooding into residential homes lining the property. To remedy their concerns, the property will include privacy fencing in order to maintain the peacefulness of neighboring homes.
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Mike Smith, former Oxford mayor, said in last week’s episode of “People and Policies,” the hotel, which is going to be a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, is projected to open by next fall and have 92 guest rooms.
Perry and his staff are beginning to review the building permit for the hotel.
Council will meet again on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Courthouse.