Trails, more topics at recent Oxford meeting

By Kelsey Kimbler -

OXFORD — A ceremonial groundbreaking on the Oxford Area Trails will be held on Wednesday, March 1, at 8:45 a.m. at Leonard Howell Park. Jessica Greene with Oxford’s Visitors Bureau visited Oxford’s City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 21 to invite the public to the ceremony.

Greene also submitted a a noise abatement agreement for the WGI Sport of the Arts Percussion Performance Competition. This resolution has been filed on behalf of the Winter Guard International (WGI) for this year’s percussion performance which will place on April 20-21.

The noise abatement was sought to cover the time between 8 a.m.-9 p.m. for these two days.

Miami University Police Department and Intercollegiate Athletic Department will jointly monitor sound levels during the event. This is one of the two events that WGI is bringing into Oxford. The other event is the Color Guard performance from April 6-8.

Greene believes council should approve this resolution and encourage WGI to come back because of the business they bring to Oxford. She said, “I do believe there is an economic impact to their visit.” She noted, they “turn the students loose” on the town to eat and stay locally.

These are high school students performing. They perform inside, but practice outside, thus the need for the noise abatement.

Last year there was one noise complaint directly related to the performance. A mother with a baby and autistic child was bothered by the noise, according to Greene, she was warned this year and will reach out to residents of the area to warn them of this year’s performance.

Miami University’s Goggin Ice Center currently has a D1 Beer Permit that they use in their club seating. The club seating is only for season ticket holders and special guests. To get to this area, a ticket is required and IDs are checked. There has been no issue with the use of this permit. They are now requesting one of the two D2 Wine Permits which became available Fall 2016.

This will not allow beer sales anywhere other than club seating.

Butler County Auditor David Brown spoke during the meeting. He shared with council the Board of Revision deadline is coming up on March 31. This gives residents an opportunity to get a review of a property. Forms are available online or in the Auditor’s Office in Hamilton.

The auditor had a brand new website as of Feb. 6. It was redesigned to make navigation easier, Brown reported.

When Brown last came to an Oxford City Council meeting it was December and he said it had been 60 days since a credit card skimmer was found in Butler County. That streak no longer holds true. Within 10 days of his last visit, he said officials found three skimmers in five days. They were found on Ohio 4 between Fairfield and Hamilton, right before Christmas.

On Feb. 10, two skimmers were found at one station in Monroe. A total of 13 skimmers have been found in Butler County over the last year and a half. The auditor’s office will continue to check gas stations for skimmers.

Brown did note, this brings up worries for surrounding counties who are not checking their gas stations for skimmers. He said, “We feel like they’re there and the resources just have not been used to pull them out.”

He added, it is safer to get your gas at a newer station, as they are more secure.

No skimmers have been found in Oxford to date.

Council approved a resolution that authorizes the city manager to submit an Ohio Department of Transportation grant application requesting funding through the Safe Routes to School Program, in an amount not to exceed $240,000. This is to encourage and enable students in grades K-8 to walk or ride their bikes to school.

The grant application is to seek funding for the following improvements:

•Traffic signalization at the intersection of Sycamore Street and Brown Road.

•Installing sidewalk from the end of Northridge subdivision to the new Kramer building.

•Installation of missing sidewalks on the west side of Brown Road.

Council approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract with Lebanon Ford for the purchase of two 2017 Ford Interceptor utility vehicles at a cost not to exceed $55,700, to satisfy police department needs. The 2017 budget actually includes $66,000 in the Capitol Equipment Fund and Law Enforcement Trust fund for the purchase of two police cruisers and equipment.

Second reading of an ordinance to accept final plan approval for the redevelopment of the Miami Village apartment complex was approved. This development will demolish 11 existing multi-family buildings on nine different parcels and will construct three multi-family buildings on the site.

The construction will take place this summer, so it will not interfere with students who are living in the current development. However, there is a permanent resident whom it will effect. The landlord is in the process of working the situation out with this resident.

Some citizens are concerned about how the roadways will be affected during this construction, but the developers insist the sidewalks and roadways will be open on Arrowhead Drive. They have met with city and city police to assure citizens that the main street will not be shut down. Traffic will be slow, but it should not come to a halt.

The project will take one year. Demolition will take place this summer and construction over the school year. This new complex will be called “The Verge.”

Second reading of an Ordinance to complete sale of city owned property at 4134 Millville Oxford Road at a price of $50,000 was approved. This property was acquired during the construction on Ohio 27 and this bid was offered after several attempts by the city to sell the property.

Chief John Jones spoke on the issue of sanctuary cities. OPD addresses both state law and local ordinances. They do not address federal immigration laws, Jones said, stressing, OPD “only looks for folks who are violating any state and local laws.”

However, if asked, they will assist with serving warrants to those in violation of immigration laws. If an undocumented person does not have any warrant and OPD comes across them, they are treated the same way OPD treats any other citizen. If an undocumented individual commits a minor traffic violation, OPD does not care that they are undocumented.

OPD has a dedication to the community to be inclusive of all Oxford citizens, Jones said. He wishes to facilitate outreach to marginalized groups.

The next Oxford City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., in Oxford’s Courthouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH