DAR recognized by council

By Kelsey Kimbler - For The Register-Herald

OXFORD – Oxford City Council honored the Daughters of the American Revolution group on Tuesday, Oct. 18, during council’s second meeting of the month.

Mayor Kate Rousmaniere opened the meeting with a proclamation regarding Oxford’s Caroline Scott chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Day.

The proclamation pointed out, Oct. 11 marked the 126th anniversary of the founding of the DAR and the Oxford chapter was founded in 1916. Mayor Rousmaniere urged the Oxford community to recognize Oct. 22 as “Oxford Caroline Scott Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Day.”

During public comments, two Oxford community members spoke. First was Miami University student Jackson Gray, who lost his best friend to suicide and made it his mission to canoe the entire Ohio River (981 miles) in support of suicide prevention and awareness. His mission is called Race the River 2017 and can be found on Facebook. There, if so inclined, visitors can help sponsor his endeavor.

Next was Oxford Visitor Bureau representative Jessica Greene. Her message was one of thanks for the support her organization has garnered from the community.

There were three resolutions read at the meeting:

• One to advertise and accept bids for the sale of a property previously acquired by the city in order to make road improvements. The property is a one bedroom, one bath home located at 4134 Millville Oxford Rd. The city will require a minimum bid of $70,000 to sell the house and it can only be bought through bids. Information for that process has yet to be decided, but the process will be advertised to the public and marketed to local realty firms.

When an acceptable buyer has been found, the issue will be brought to the council for approval.

• One authorizing the city manager to “submit eligible projects to the Butler County Board of Commissioners for the 2017 Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Year application.”

The city will be receiving $113,262 from CDBG funds and $96,275 will be available for “eligible improvements” in Oxford. The remaining $16,989 will be used for administration.

In the past, these funds have been used for removal of barriers from street corners, the installation of new handicapped accessible ramps, and for street and alley projects.

• The last resolution authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with the Talawanda School District regarding temporary parking at Kramer Elementary School.

As the construction on the school is ongoing, the developers prepare to enter into phase two of the plan. In order to do this, they have to move from the old building to the new. They need temporary parking for students and staff, so they don’t have to park on the street and walk to the school.

This plan will increase the parking by 70 spaces, but it will also increase the budget by $43,000. That’s roughly $1,700 a spot, which is on the high end for a project like this, according to officials. The school hopes to decrease the price, but as of now, that is the cost being planned for.

In other business:

•Council held the first reading of an ordinance which accepts the annexation of 0.458 acres of land in the Township of Oxford to the City of Oxford. This is the expedited final step “as part of the settlement agreement with Century 21” for the U.S. 27 South improvement project.

There were five second readings of ordinances, including:

• An agreement with community members regarding the curb, gutter, and sidewalk program. The city reached out to property owners, informing them improvements were needed, giving the owners the opportunity to either fix the problem themselves or to have the city legislate the improvements.

This ordinance regarded those owners who chose to have the city repair the sidewalks. No written objections have been issued, and thus the city will begin the improvements.

There are nine units on Brown Road which will be facing improvements at a total cost of $14,095.30.

• An ordinance establishing small cell towers in the City of Oxford. This ordinance states “that all small cell towers shall be in the public right-of-way and the applicant shall contact the Service Director for detailed instructions.”

The hope is that this will boost the transmission of data.

• An ordinance adopting an international property maintenance code and demanding this code is available online.

• An ordinance adding and defining an administrative search warrant to the international property maintenance code.

• An ordinance amending the Supplemental Budget and making appropriations for Income Tax Receipts, Building Permit Receipts, and HR departments.

In other business:

•Councilmember Steve Dana presented information on a previously discussed idea of a housing study. This was an idea which was brought to council’s attention by a community member at a previous meeting. The community member expressed concern that affordable housing in Oxford was hard to find and he suspected that there was a gap in housing for different incomes.

The goal of such a housing study would be to find those gaps and then realtors and the city could work together to fix the issue.

•It was announced Oxford’s Parks and Rec department will be hosting a Trick-or-Treat event in the uptown parks on Oct. 27, starting at 5 p.m. Following this celebration, the Lions Club will be hosting its Halloween parade at 7 p.m., with lineup starting at the former Princess Theater.

The next Oxford City Council meeting will be held Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Oxford’s Courthouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

For The Register-Herald