Riverside, joint court building on agenda for Monday Aldermen meeting

Published 7:54 pm Saturday, November 26, 2016


An update on the future of Riverside Place apartments and a possible joint project between the city of Oxford and Lafayette County for a combined court building are just two of several items on the agenda for a public meeting Monday of the Oxford Board of Aldermen.

The future of Oxford’s Riverside Place and its tenants has been a topic of discussion for nearly two years.

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The public housing complex, operated by the Oxford Housing Authority through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sent out letters on Feb. 3, 2015, to roughly 90 tenants informing them the contract with the city of Oxford would not be extended. It runs out Feb. 27, 2017.

Riverside residents are being asked to find a place they’d like to live, whether in Oxford, Lafayette County or another state. OHA will issue a voucher to landlords to pay the residents’ rent, as long as they continue to meet the financial requirements of OHA.

Once all the tenants have found a new place to live, the 20 acres where Riverside is located will be empty. City officials will discuss possible uses for the property on Monday; however, no vote is expected to take place  on what that use will be.

Last year, the aldermen and the Oxford police chief met and briefly discussed building a new police and municipal building on the property but no decision was made at that time.

However, also on the agenda for Monday will be an update on the building needs for the Oxford Police Department.

The aldermen are also slated to discuss the possibility of a combined city and county court building.

Recently, Lafayette County Board of Supervisor President Jeff Busby said the county has had “very preliminary” talks with city officials on a combination court project.

“We’ve had friendlies with the city and we know they need room for municipal court,” Busby said last week. “If we can save the taxpayer money by having one building for both to carry on business and carry on court, we will certainly look into that.”

Busby said there are “a lot of details that have to be worked out” for the city and county to go in together.

Other items to be discussed Monday include zoning changes to implement the city’s Comprehensive Plan Vision 2037, the status of the Land Development Code rewrite to meet the objectives of Vision 2037, the status of the Oxford Activity Center renovation project and road bonds, the intersection of Azalea Drive in conjunction with Oxford Farms’ traffic signal, the McElroy Drive and College Hill road intersection and planting trees on the Old Taylor Road roundabout.

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at City Hall.