• 77°

Roof to be replaced on top of RSVP building

After two days of careful preparation and a slow but steady transport, the historical Skipwith Cottage is now perched at its new home across from the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library near the Skate Park.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen released it to the care of the Historic Properties Commission during their regular meeting Tuesday night. The commission will now manage the cottage along with Oxford’s other historic sites like the L.Q.C. Lamar Museum, Cedar Oaks and the Burns Belfry Museums and Cultural Center.

Some history

The house was moved to allow the city to make necessary repairs on the former Retired Senior Volunteer Program building that was located underneath the Skipwith Cottage. Why the building was built to be underground is a question not many residents can answer, including Mayor Pat Patterson.

“I honestly have no idea,” he said.

RSVP Director Arledia Bennett said she knows the building was built to be a senior citizens center in the 1970s but didn’t know why it was built basically underground. However, due to having a flat roof, rainwater eventually bowed areas of the roof causing leaks and eventually major mold issues. RSVP moved last year to a building on S. 16th Street.

On Tuesday, the aldermen approved the bid from G & G Sheet Metal and Roofing from Tupelo for about $49,000 to repair the roof and cover it with concrete pavers that should help alleviate the leaks, according to Public Works Director Bart Robinson.

Robinson said he’s still concerned about some water leaking in through the base of the walls but said they will take steps to help prevent that and removed some planters that may have helped hold moisture.

Preliminary plans for what will go back on top of the roof now that the cottage is gone include chairs, planters and decorative lighting to create a sitting area for people visiting the Square.

Also on Tuesday, the aldermen:

— Announced the Christmas Parade will be on Dec. 7.

— Heard the second reading and held a public hearing on allowing licensed caterers to serve alcohol at the new community Pavilion, formerly the old armory. There were no public comments. The ordinance will be voted on in two weeks.

— Approved the purchase of a used 2005 Gillig Low floor bus with wheelchair access for $4,800. The University of Mississippi purchased one as well and both will be in service with the Oxford University Transit system.

— Approved the site plan for Oxford Farms off South Lamar Boulevard, formerly known as the Callicutt property.

— Approved an ordinance amendment adding Two-Unit Residential in the Landscape Ordinance after it was inadvertently left out.

— Approved an ordinance allowing storm water structures in the front yard on a case-by-case basis and approved by a licensed engineer.

— Accepted a $15,300 grant from the Urban Forest Challenge Grant that helps fund an arborist and other materials for the Oxford Tree Board.

— Gave permission to advertise and bid AMI meter installation services by the Oxford Electric Department.

— Accepted the annual audit report and TVA annual report.

— Allowed off-duty police officers to work security detail at Walmart during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday shopping season.