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OPC moving forward with Woodlawn Park

As expected, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a 1-mill rate increase Monday for the 2015-2016 fiscal budget year to help fund new roads.

Last year, the aldermen approved a .97-mill increase for this year’s budget, raising the millage rate from 27.25 to 28.22 for this fiscal year. The raise was part of a 3-mill rate increase over the course of a three-year period.

The purpose for the millage rate hikes is to raise money to pay for bonds to fund several new roads in Oxford.

The first road will be the extension of West Oxford Loop, which will join with College Hill Drive. The second future road is planned to extend Sisk Avenue east to connect with Highway 6, just west of the Brittany Woods subdivision. Both projects are expected to cost about $14 million and would be split equally by the city and county.

The millage raise will be voted on in September when the aldermen vote on the 2016 budget. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Also Monday during its recessed meeting, the board agreed to give $120,000 to the Phase 1 project of Woodlawn Park in west Oxford.

Three years ago, the Board of Aldermen committed spending $40,000 a year for five years toward the neighborhood park which gives OPC $120,000 toward the park. However, last year, local engineer and architect Andy Reynolds with A2H showed the park commission what could be done with just $120,000 and it wasn’t much. There was a half-mile walking trail and grass.

More recently, Reynolds showed the commission plans for Phase 1 of the park if OPC had the full $250,000, which included the half-mile walking trail, 10-foot wide asphalt trail, 40-inch concrete walk on Anderson Road and a crosswalk striping across Anderson Road to the bus shelter, some native plantings, a driveway and five parking spaces. The complete master plan is three phases. The second phase includes a pavilion and the third, an arbor. The second and third phases will cost an estimated $270,000.