OXFORD — Oxford City Council welcomed the new Executive Director of Three Valley Conservation Trust during its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Council allowed Chad Smith to take the podium and introduce himself to the public.
“I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I’m an Oxford resident and I spent 15 years at Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in different capacities. I was at Hueston Woods early in my career. My wife and I live here in Oxford,” he said. “I was driving three hours to work and then the opportunity came to came back home and work as the Executive Director of Three Valley. Great board of directors and great members. I’m excited to grow that organization and keep moving forward.”
“My reason for being here tonight is to introduce myself and also commit to everyone on the council that I am committed to communicating when the trust has a new easement that is coming in or if we have an event,” Smith said. “I want to make sure we have open lines of communication. Three percent of Butler County is actually under a Three Valley Conservation Easement. We’re doing good work and I’m looking forward to doing more in the city limits of Oxford.”
In other business:
•Council voted to remove a resolution from the table which would authorize alcoholic beverages to be served free of charge at private events at Oxford Seniors. Council replaced it with a resolution authorizing alcoholic beverages to be served free of charge at one specific event at Oxford Seniors.
City Manager Doug Elliott explained, “At the last meeting this was tabled. The original resolution allowed the Senior Center to serve alcoholic beverages at events, so we trimmed it down to be just this one event so they would not have to go through the exercise of getting the additional alcohol liability insurance policy. They also talked about getting a liquor permit from the state, which is not necessary if you are not selling it.
“That is why we are here tonight: to approve alcohol being served free of charge at this one event.”
The event in question is Oktoberfest, which is for members only and invited guests.
•Council approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a renewal agreement with the Butler County Public Defender Commission to provide legal counsel to indigent persons charged with violations of municipal ordinances for 2018.
“County public defenders are allowed by law to contract with municipalities to provide legal counsel to indigent persons in the court system. The Butler County Public Defender Commission has contracts with Fairfield, Hamilton, and contracted with Oxford for the first time in 2015,” Elliott explained.
He added, this contract will cost $3,438.55 annually and need renewed each year.
“Is this an increase?” Vice-Mayor Mike Smith asked.
“A slight increase. I don’t remember the cost, less than 10 percent,” Elliott answered.
•Council approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a property exchange agreement with Dudley Prime Properties LLC for the City of Oxford to accept a 20-foot wide utility easement in exchange for vacation of right-of-way in Oxford.
Service Director Mike Dreisbach explained, “Currently the site runs to the east of College and west of Main Street. We currently have a storm sewer and a sanitary sewer running through this private property. These facilities are not on an easement, they are on private property. As we discuss the development of this project, we need to obtain right-of-way from the city to move forward.
“The developer requires this right-of-way vacation from the city to move forward with the project and we need to have our main utilities protected in a main utility easement so we can serve them properly,” he added. “This resolution would authorize the city manager to sign a property exchange agreement with the developer, basically granting us this 20- foot wide utility easement in exchange for vacating this unused and undeveloped right-of-way.”
There was then a first reading of an Ordinance vacating 0.2824 acres of right-of-way off of West Rose Avenue and Beech Street. The ordinance was in reference to the right of way in the resolution mentioned above. This issue will have a second reading at the next city council meeting, prior to approval.
The next Oxford City Council meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH