Oxford given a clean audit

Feb. 13, 2013 @ 06:10 PM

OXFORD — On Tuesday evening, the Oxford Board of Commissioners learned the city received a clean audit for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Jim Winston reported results of the audit, which was conducted by Winston, Williams, Creech, Evans & Co.

He praised the city’s finance staff for receiving a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the year ending June 30, 2011.

Winston reported the city’s total assets had risen and liabilities decreased between 2011 and 2012. Revenues increased and expenditures decreased over the same period.

Winston provided analyses of revenues and expenditures for the general fund as well as for proprietary funds. He noted the general fund balance stands at 22.71 percent of expenditures, well above the recommended minimum of 8 percent. He said he would prefer to see it at 30 percent, “for use in emergencies or for opportunities.”

Mayor Jackie Sergent reopened a public hearing on the Oxford Subdivision Ordinance. No one spoke and the board amended the ordinance as presented, requiring developers to install curbs, gutters and sidewalks on both sides of the streets in new subdivisions, sans cul-de-sacs.

Granville County interim Economic Development Director Bill Edwards reported on the state of the county’s economy. After providing demographic statistics, he reported that one business had closed and two others have announced closures, resulting in the loss of approximately 270 jobs.

Those losses will be partially offset by a new unnamed industry that is building a large facility on U.S. 15 and by additional investment by several companies already established in the county.

Edwards said a life science company is considering a site in the Triangle North Granville Park. The $55 million project would bring in 275 jobs, he said, adding the company will select a site by the end of March.

“This is a very competitive project looking at multiple states and Canada,” Edwards said.

Downtown Economic Development Director Julia Overton reported on accomplishments during the past six months and listed events scheduled for spring, summer and fall.

“We are being proactive in getting people here and keeping them here,” she said. “Our common goal is to make Oxford a destination.”

The commissioners recognized city employee Phyllis Blackwell on her retirement. Finance Director Steve McNally said Blackwell had been responsible for accounts payable, adding, “She has done an excellent job. All of our bills have been paid.”

McNally also reported financial highlights for January 2013.

Interim City Manager Leonard Barefoot reported that the search for a new city manager was progressing well, but he gave no indication of when an appointment would be announced. He also reported that the Outside Fire Protection group had been dissolved.

Commissioner Ron Bullock gave an update on the Kerr Lake Regional Water Authority. The drought appears to be over, but voluntary conservation measures remain in place, he said.

In an update on activities of Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, Commissioner Robert Williford reported that a plan is being considered to develop a direct route from Roxboro to the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham Airport free of traffic lights.

In other business:

• The board voted to call for a public hearing in conjunction with the March 12 meeting to consider amending the Raleigh Street Community Block Development Grant Community Revitalization Project budget. A structure in the project area was originally designated for demolition, but an inspection found that it could be rehabilitated. The hearing will be to receive residents’ comments on plans to shift the funds originally budgeted for clearance and relocation to the rehabilitation line item.

• The board awarded the 2013 concessionaire contract for the Oxford Park Athletic Complex to Paul Williford, LLC. Williford’s bid, which proposes paying the city 22.5 percent of the gross intake, was the only bid received.

• The board recognized Bullock on his appointment to the 2013 Community and Economic Development Steering Committee of the National League of Cities.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.