Oxford enters into “roomies” lease with Lafayette County

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The city of Oxford will soon become “roomies” with Lafayette County, after the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a lease agreement for space in the county’s future office park.

The city and county had discussed the idea of moving the Municipal Court to the new Office Park that is planned to be built on County Road 406; however, an Attorney General’s Opinion states that cities should operate their courts inside city limits and the office park is located just outside the city.

On Tuesday, City Attorney Pope Mallette said the lease states that the city would use the space as a Municipal Court or for any other reason that’s compatible with the other uses of the building.

The city is still looking at other ways to allow the Municipal Court to operate from the new building, like annexation.

“If  for some reason we get delayed in our ability to do that, we can still use the space,” Mallette told the aldermen during their regular meeting Tuesday night.

The city will pay the county $85,000 a year for 10 years, along with an estimated $9,660 for the city’s share of utilities.

The total lease amount, $850,000, may be defrayed by the value of the city’s in-kind provision and installation of municipal sewer facilities servicing the property.

On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved beginning site preparation and a commercial site plan for the facility that will be located on about 25 of the 50 acres the county owns on CR 406.

With the Mississippi Department of Transportation purchasing county property for the Highway 7 expansion, county officials need to relocate several agencies, including the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Department of Human Services, and Child Protective Services. Officials have also decided to relocate the WIN Job Center and the county coroner office into the new building. Future development includes a multipurpose facility, as well as an amphitheater and three-plus acre pond.