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No public comment on annexation

No one spoke out against the request from Oxford Commons developer David Blackburn’s request to annex 35 acres slated for commercial development during a public hearing Tuesday at the regular Oxford Board of Aldermen meeting.

Blackburn has asked the board to annex the commercial property to help bring in more commercial businesses to the development dubbed The Summit at Oxford Commons. Some of the business owners Blackburn has communicated with said they would only agree to come into the new center if it’s inside the city limits.

Blackburn is paying the expenses associated with the legal process to annex the 35 acres.

The Summit at Oxford Commons is proposed to have about 149,400 square feet of commercial retail space with five primary buildings and five out-parcels.

The aldermen will vote whether to approve the request in two weeks at the June 21st meeting. If the aldermen approve the annexation, the case will be set for trial at the Lafayette County Chancery Court.

City Attorney Pope Mallette said he expects the trial to be set sometime in the fall.

The request will go before the Oxford Planning Commission on Monday, which will make a recommendation to the aldermen on whether to approve the request to annex.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• Granted a special exception to the contractor for the “Uncommon Oxford” development, formerly known as Jackson Row, to pour concrete at 8 a.m. on June 18 and 25, unless it rains, and work until 8:30 p.m. on those days, instead of 7 p.m., which is when city code says construction must stop.

• Accepted a $30,000 donation from an anonymous citizen to be used for batting cages at FNC Park.

• Approved a tax assessment for fines and associated costs to mow the lawn at 482 Alexa Drive. Oxford Police Chief said the city has issued citations against the homeowners who cannot be reached and live out of state. The city has mowed the property four times.

• Accepted a $2,500 donation from Walmart to the Oxford Police Department.

• Approved OPD applying for several grants including one for $5,000 from the Mississippi Division of Public Safety Planning Justice Assistance Grant for bullet-proof vests; the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi Healthy Heroes grant for $13,400 for equipment; and the Department of Justice COPS Hiring grant for $286,625, which would pay 80 percent of the salaries for three officers over four years.

• Approved a request from the Oxford Fire Department to purchase four radios for $12,256.

• Approved an updated technology policy for city employees.

• Approved the fiscal year 2017 budget for the Oxford Electric Department.

• Approved hiring A2H for landscaping review services for the Planning Department.

• Approved an engineering agreement for Daniels and Associates for the Jackson Avenue lift station rehabilitation project.

• Approved a request to accept maintenance on Farm View Drive, excluding the final list of asphalt, sidewalk, and South Lamar Boulevard improvements.