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Plans to relocate Price Street move forward; will be costly

Relocating Price Street will cost Oxford a bit more than originally anticipated, according to Public Works Director Bart Robinson, who presented the bids submitted for the project to the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday.

The property on the north side of Price Street at the corner of Molly Barr Road, across from the Oxford Activity Center, is located on top of what used to be a city dump. The dump was leveled and covered with sod more than 20 years ago.

When city leaders began discussing excavating the property to make it stable to build on, they estimated the cost to be about $500,000 to clean the site. When the Oxford Park Commission began its discussions on building a new activity center, it was decided to move Price Street a bit to the north, through the empty land, to give OPC a bigger campus to use for future growth.

Once moved, Price Street would veer more to the north after the rail trails and join Molly Barr closer to the Oxford City Shop.

Bids to remove debris

The lowest bid to excavate the project came from Prairie Construction of Tupelo at $673,000. The total project, including moving the section of the road was $1.2 million from Prairie.

The city received a total of eight bids from regional contractors.

Robinson said the bid was for the removal of 19 tons of debris.

“We estimated the amount to the best of our ability,” he said. “However, if we’re off, it could cost us more. A foot in discrepency could cost another $250,000.”

The city has $500,000 already budgeted for the project with another $350,000 left over from a previous road project.

Robinson said the remaining funds should be available to cover the project.

“We need to make sure during the budget process we leave some extra,” he told the aldermen.

The Board of Aldermen will begin the budget process for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 in June. The city’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Alderman Janice Antonow said the cost to purchase the property in that location would well exceed $1.2 million.

“We have to do this,” she said. “That land is just sitting there unused.”

The board unanimously approved accepting the lowest bid from Prairie Construction.