Tribute to veterans will be placed at City Hall
OXFORD — Commissioners have approved a Veterans Memorial to be placed at the flagpole in front of City Hall.
In their meeting Tuesday evening, debate and sharp words preceded the decision and included a defeated substitute motion to hold a public hearing on site selection.
Commissioners Robert Williford, Danny Currin, Ron Bullock and Frank Strickland voted for the motion, with Betty Moseley and C.J. Harris against. Howard Herring Sr. was not present.
Strickland accused Moseley of a delay tactic in asking for a public hearing. Eddie McCoy, a candidate for City Council in the Nov. 5 election, said the public wasn’t informed of the site and believed it was going to be placed at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center.
Mayor Jackie Sergent explained the veterans committee made the site change and forwarded their recommendation to the commissioners for approval.
McCoy indicated he objected to the action of the commissioners and said, “I’m coming at you.”
In other business, the commissioners adopted a fee schedule for property owners who want city water service along a new water line extending down U.S. 15 South. The fee will be $5.79 per linear foot with a 100-foot minimum along with tap fees.
The board also approved a recommendation by the city staff and Public Works Committee to amend the budget in the amount of $111,631 to upsize the water line from an 8-inch pipe to a 12-inch pipe.
Fire Chief David Cotrell presented the department’s annual report. He gave the history of the Oxford Fire Department from its 1905 origin to the present. He outlined responsibilities of the department’s divisions and presented statistics on services provided during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
A public hearing was held on a proposal to zone the site of Oxford Preparatory High School as Residential-Agricultural to make the property’s classification compatible with the city’s zoning ordinance. No one spoke at the hearing, after which the board voted unanimously for the zoning designation.
The commissioners demonstrated their willingness to listen to residents’ concerns. At a public hearing on a proposal to amend the zoning ordinance as it relates to parking, landscaping and permitted uses, Robert C. West Sr. read a prepared statement expressing his opposition to reducing the number of parking spaces at apartment complexes for the elderly from two to one. When the issue was addressed by the commissioners, they voted to return it to the planning board for additional study.
On the recommendation of the staff and Public Works Committee, the board approved an agreement with McGill Associates for engineering services related to site location, construction, administration and design for additional water storage at a cost of $139,200.
The commissioners reappointed John Williford to the Oxford Parking Authority for a five-year term.
The board adopted an amendment to the Sept. 10, 2012, Municipal Records Retention and Dispostion Schedule as requested by the Division of State Archives.
In his report to the board, City Manager Randy Hemann said the city had received approximately 30 applications for the position of finance director.
“It’s a very good field of applicants,” he said and added that he hoped to make a decision within a week and have someone in place by the end of November.
Hemann said a revision of the city’s personnel manual is nearing completion. He said the board has done a great job in working through a goal setting process, which he hopes will be completed in January or February.
Hemann thanked city staff and volunteers for their efforts in making the Hot Sauce Festival a success. He said an estimated 12,000 individuals attended the event.
Commissioner Williford reported on plans for celebrating Oxford’s 200th anniversary, which will take place in 2016.
Sergent announced that the recipient of the Yard of the Month award was Lawrea Honnef of 103 Byron Court. Because Ms. Honnef was unable to attend to receive her certificate and gifts, Sergent said they would be delivered to her.
Before the meeting, the board held an informal question-and-answer session with Leadership Granville participants.
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