Former workers are recognized
OXFORD — Two departing employees of the city were recognized during Monday night’s meeting of the town board.
In presenting a plaque to John Wolford, who retired as police chief on Sept. 1, Mayor Jackie Sergent said, “I have the highest admiration for you. I applaud your service.”
Then she added, with a smile, “He answers his emails.”
She told finance office Steve McNally, “I hope you have a great journey with Granville County.”
McNally will assume a similar position with the county starting next week. Sergent also presented McNally with a plaque from the Government Financial Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada, indicating the award has been won multiple times by Oxford’s finance department. McNally acknowledged his coworkers in the finance office, adding, “It’s a good group. I’ve been comfortable here. It’s hard to walk away from that.”
To manage the city’s finances until a new finance director is hired, the commissioners appointed city manager Randy Hemann as finance officer and authorized him to appoint Melba Knott as deputy finance director. Commissioner Betty Moseley asked if the appointments involved changes in pay grades. Hemann replied, “Yes, for Melba. No, for the city manager.”
The board continued the annexation process for land on Landis Road occupied by Oxford Prep High School. During the meeting, Sergent declared a public meeting to receive comments on a petition by Oxford Charter Holdings for voluntary annexation of the 6.4-acre site. When no one spoke she closed the public hearing and Commissioner Howard Herring Sr. moved that the board adopt a non-contiguous annexation ordinance for the property. The motion was approved unanimously.
In a related action, the board called for a public hearing in conjunction with the Oct. 8 meeting to assign a zoning classification to the property.
The commissioners also scheduled a public hearing at that meeting to review sections of the zoning ordinance related to parking, landscaping and permitted uses.
The board approved a proposal from Rodney Swink to prepare a tree planting plan for Main Street between Spring and Front streets. Swink proposed to make a site analysis; meet with residents, local officials and city staff; and develop a plan that specifies tree types and planting details for an amount not to exceed $2,000.
Because no money for a planting plan was included in the 2013-2014 budget, the commissioners amended the budget in the amount of $2,000, payable from the general fund.
The board approved a contract with the John R. McAdams Company of Durham for engineering services for a stormwater pond at the Oxford Park Athletic Complex at a cost of $12,000. As for the actual construction of the water harvesting pond, Hemann said, “We’ll do it in-house to save funds.”
In response to a request by Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, the board adopted a resolution supporting Kerr-Tar’s application for funding for an Environmental Planning 205j grant from the N.C. Division of Water Resources.
The commissioners amended the city’s ordinance requiring 20 years of service for a retiring law enforcement officer to be eligible to receive firearm, badge and credentials. Because the years of service precluded many retiring officers from receiving the award, it was eliminated. The amended ordinance will define an eligible retiree as someone who is eligible to retire from the N.C. Retirement System.
Commissioner Frank Strickland said there are at least two officers who have retired in recent years who were deemed ineligible under the ordinance. City Attorney Thomas Burnette said they could now apply for the benefit.
The board adopted a resolution to reimburse itself in the amount of $424,680 for purchase of capital assets in the 2013-2014 budget. U.S. Treasury regulations require such an action when a local government purchases capital items with its funds and then obtains external financing to fund the purchases.
On the recommendation of Oxford Housing Authority Executive Director Xavier Wortham, the commissioners reappointed Abram Liles to a five-year term on the Housing Authority board.
In his report to the commissioners, Hemann said the new police chief, Alvin Coley, will assume the position on Sept. 30. Hemann said he has received 20 applications for the position of finance director.
Sergent presented the Yard of the Month award to Charlie and Mary Greene of 104 Green Tree Circle.
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