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Oxford Board of Aldermen review possible areas to annex

With a growing population and a need for more open land, Oxford leaders are considering annexing more than 12 square miles of county property.

Mike Slaughter of Slaughter and Associates in Oxford, an urban planning consulting firm, presented a report to the Oxford Board of Aldermen on Tuesday that showed several annexation study areas.

“We’re not annexing one square inch right now,” Slaughter said. “We’ve just been studying these areas.”

The four main areas are located off of the corners of the existing Oxford boundaries. In the northwest corner, the study area takes in West Oxford Loop extended, portions of Old Sardis Road leading to and including FNC Park and Lakeway Gardens. The northeast area takes in mostly Highway 30 and part of County Road 101, or Old 7 North. Toward the east boundary, one area takes in portions of Highway 6 where the new Lafayette County Justice Center is being built, Lafayette County School District campus and Brittany Woods. In the southern portion of Oxford, the study area looked at Highway 7 taking in Southpoint and Twin Gates.

Other smaller areas were also included off Highway 6 East and Royal Oaks.

“There are pockets of development in each of these areas but there is also significant undeveloped land that will allow for growth,” Slaughter said.

IF the city annexed all the land in the study areas, it would add 12-square miles to the city. Currently, Oxford is 16 square miles. The population would increase by 3,600 people.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said no matter where annexation occurs, school districts will not change.

“If your kids currently go to Lafayette County and we annex that area, they would still go to Lafayette County schools,” he said.

Slaughter said the annexations would also not change where residents receive their electricity. If they currently receive power from North East Mississippi Electric Power Association, they would continue to do so if their property is annexed.

What would change is that those areas would receive other city services, like fire and police protection, solid waste services and possibly water and sewer.

Alderman John Morgan asked how long did the city have to provide water and sewer services to the annexed area.

“About seven years is what we aim for,” said Public Works Director Bart Robinson. “We have some from the 2007 annexation who still don’t receive services because they didn’t want it.”

Oxford’s minority population would rise from 21 percent to 23.9 percent. The voting age would rise from 19.3 percent to 20.9 and the number of homes would rise from about 12,000 to 14,000. The complete annexation would add 27 miles of local streets.

However, Robinson said his department would only need one additional full-time worker and two part-time seasonal workers to maintain the new areas.

Environmental Services, which is trash, rubbish and recycling collection services, would need four new drivers, two laborers, several trucks and Dumpsters to accommodate the growth.