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City council discusses fire and emergency medical services levy and investment plannings

City council discusses fire and emergency medical services levy and investment plannings

At Oxford city council’s May 21 meeting, a resolution was discussed for a fire and EMS property tax levy to exceed the 1% levy limit. The levy would generate $1,284,681 for these services. The result is a $182 increase on a $200,000 home from a 0.26% tax on assessed property values.

“Short answer is, there’s no other choice,”  councilor David Prytherch said. “If you want to be assured someone will respond to you when you’re having a stroke, [if] your house is on fire.” 

He said the current 24 shifts could stretch to 48 hours if someone calls sick and added that Oxford’s EMS responders are overworked, and turnover would mean losing decades of experience from the staff.

Council also discussed Miami University’s role in funding EMS services, with Miami contributing $1.27 million to help Oxford’s tax revenues. Council members emphasized the importance of collaboration and the necessity of the funding for maintaining quality emergency services.

While Miami does not contribute  property tax to Oxford, there is a nearly equal split for EMS funding between Miami and Oxford. 

"I think the power of working together and talking to them was so successful,” Chantel Raghu, vice mayor, said. 

A separate retention policy was discussed, including spending $50,000 of ARPA funds towards Red Tiger Investments to explore diversifying Oxford’s economy and reduce dependence on Miami. 

The council reviewed the Hazard Mitigation plan, a plan supported by FEMA to avoid future disasters, and is done every five years. Council expressed support for a rail development feasibility study for underpasses or overpasses for some of Oxford’s rail intersections. 

Financial matters discussed included new interest earnings of $14,000 per month and city legal costs totaling $35,000.

An amendment to the sidewalk-use ordinance relating to Birdhouse antique shop’s outdoor merchandise was discussed from the last meeting but did not pass. 

Announcements included an investment review with Ryan Nelson, whose company serves as the city's investment advisor, a police community relations and review commission, move out season code enforcement, mural design submissions open for Oxford until May 31, a wine and craft beer festival on June 1, the Oxford summer music festival on June 6 and the Red Brick Event on June 8.

Council will meet again on Thursday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Oxford Courthouse.

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