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Aldermen OK annexation request

The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved an annexation request Tuesday from Oxford Commons developer David Blackburn after the third reading of the ordinance during its regular meeting.

In May, Blackburn requested the city annex his commercial property to help bring in more businesses to his development, The Summit at Oxford Commons. Some of the business owners Blackburn 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 outparcels.

Now that it’s approved, the annexation will be set for trial in Lafayette County Chancery Court. City Attorney Pope Mallette said he expects the trial to be set sometime in the fall.

The Oxford Planning Commission voted last week to recommend approval to the aldermen.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• Voted to table a discussion on whether the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society could set up a low-cost spay and neuter clinic inside the current shelter until Mallette could ask for an Attorney General’s opinion since the clinic would be open to the general public rather than just performing the surgeries on strays and surrendered animals put up for adoption.

• Adopted retirement resolutions for John Levy in the fire department and Bobby Kelly in the police department. The aldermen also approved allowing Levy to purchase his service weapon for $1 as allowed by state law.

• Approved a request to loan the “Oxford on the Hill” painting by John McCrady to the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson for the celebration of Mississippi’s bicentennial of statehood. The painting currently hangs in the office of the mayor.

• Approved a request to spend an additional $5,000 on outside exercise equipment planned to be installed at Stone Park. The city received a $25,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Hometown program; however Human Resource Director Braxton Tullos said the equipment and installation would cost about $30,000.

• Approved the preliminary plat for Glen Alden Subdivision off Azalea Drive.

• Approved a request for a revocable license for the placement of two “little libraries” at Stone and Price Hill parks.

• Approved a bid for $202,460 from Enscor LLC out of Tennessee for phase 1 of Woodlawn Park, which will include a walking trail and parking area.