Oxford commissioners alter preservation ordinance

Nov. 13, 2013 @ 08:18 PM

OXFORD — Town commissioners repealed one historic preservation ordinance and adopted a new one in their meeting on Tuesday evening.

The twin action was taken to make the city eligible for Certified Local Government status. The Historic Preservation Commission had urged prompt action on the change in order to apply for federal historic preservation grant funds in the current grant cycle, which ends at the end of the year.

In its request, the commission wrote: “If we miss the deadline, we must wait another whole year to submit our application.”

In a statement to the commissioners, City Manager Randy Hemann said the new ordinance clarifies the role and rules of the commission but does not give additional powers to the commission, alter historic district boundaries or make substantive changes in the operation of the commission.

Hemann reported that Harold Belton has been hired as finance director and will begin work on Feb. 10. Belton has served as finance director of Gaithersburg, Md., for the past 17 years. Hemann said Belton is a North Carolina native and a graduate of Fayetteville State.

The board approved requests for water service to three properties, including Granville Family Park at 4162-4188 N.C. 15 South; Harry Currin Jr. at 6523 N.C. 15 North; and Robert Williford at 4547 N.C. 15 South.

The requests were approved 6-1, with Howard Herring Sr. in dissent.

The commissioners approved a change order for the Linden to Hancock Sewer Rehabilitation Project in the amount of $113,750. The change was required because the contractor encountered rock and had to tunnel in order to complete the sewer project.

The commissioners scheduled public hearings in conjunction with the Dec. 10 regular meeting to receive residents’ comments relative to:

• amending sections of the Oxford Zoning Ordinance related to parking, landscaping and permitted uses.

• annexing 2.455 acres of land owned by CFK Partners on Critcher Road and N.C. 158 Business.

Melinda Pritchett was appointed to the Oxford Parking Authority.

Hemann reported that 28 people attended a meeting to discuss plans for placing trees along Main Street.

“Our tree canopy is very important to our residents,” he said.

Rodney Swink will draft a plan to be presented at another public meeting.

Hemann said Duke Progress Energy will begin the process of changing streetlights to LED lights. The savings to the city are expected to be about $1,100 a month once the conversion is completed, he said.

In a special ceremony, Mayor Jackie Sergent presented certificates of appreciation to Jimmie Terry and Harry Mills, who were elected to the Warren Wilson College Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Oct. 5. They were members of the Warren Wilson 1980-1981 basketball team that won the South Atlantic Conference championship. Terry averaged more than 20 points per game and was voted most valuable player. He currently works at the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department.

Mills averaged almost 20 points, largely through his long-range shooting but without the benefit of the 3-point rule, which was added later, Sergent pointed out. He is employed by the Granville County Senior Center.

The board went into closed session to discuss real property and to approve minutes of the Oct. 8 closed session. No action was taken when they returned to open session.


Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.