OXFORD — The Oxford Community Choice Pantry will be leasing a portion of the city-owned Merry Day Park in order to build a 3,500 square feet (50 x 70) structure which will house the pantry. During the Oxford City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, council approved a resolution allowing the pantry to lease the property for an initial term of 25 years.
The building will be utilized for collection, storage, and distribution of food items by the Oxford Community Choice Pantry (OCCP). The lease has 10-year renewable options. If at any point the structure is no longer utilized by the pantry, ownership will revert back to the city, or OCCP will be responsible for revert the property back to its original state.
City Manager Doug Elliott said, “They would have to go through the building process, once they raise funds for this, but I believe this is a good use of the property.”
Council member and OCCP President Edna Southard added, “I speak enthusiastically to this lease of land to the pantry. I am thrilled that this is happening now.”
She explained that they OCCP started 10 years ago and St. Mary’s allowed them land, with that generosity they were able to consider expanding to a larger space. According to Southard, Mary Day Park is under-utilized and located close to those who walk to use the food pantry services. Close also to the Family Resource Center, Southard considers this land “ideal” for the pantry.
Council also approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into agreements with Friends Service Company, Inc. for the purchase of specified furnishings for the new Municipal Building located at 15 S. College Avenue through State and National contract pricing at a cost not to exceed $158,137.08.
“In a few months we will be moving six city departments into the former Lane Library building. We need to furnish that,” Service Director Mike Dreisbach explained. “We’ve been working with interior designers to take stock of what furnishings we have that we can move, as well as what is necessary to equip the building.
“This resolution covers almost all of the furnishings we will need for the building.”
In other business:
•While the students are away, the Oxford Police Division is working on doing a “warrant roundup” where they try to arrest those with outstanding warrants.
Oxford Parks and Recreation Director Casey Wooddell thanked everybody for turning out to Winter Fest. In addition to that, he brought up the potential levy for the pool and why it is only dependent on the recreation trail.
•New council member Chantel Raghu brought up food insecurity in the area and how some students despaired to go on Winter Break, because that meant a lack of food. She asked how the food pantry can help children who’s parents might not reach out.
The City of Oxford Council will meet again on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Courthouse.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH