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Security a main goal for new Oxford downtown parking garage

Scattered around the downtown Square, the city of Oxford has just over 100 video security cameras in various locations that police can use when and if an incident occurs or to monitor areas during heavy population.

The new downtown parking garage alone will have 59 cameras to help keep garage users safe.

On Friday, Joe Legge, an engineer with Corbett Legge and Associates, presented the plans on where the security cameras will be placed inside and outside of the garage to the Downtown Parking Advisory Commission.

“Each entry has a camera,” Legge said. “Some of the cameras will be able to capture car tags going in. Some of them will monitor activity near the businesses near the garage.”

Legge said he worked closely with Oxford Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood to check angels of the cameras to make sure the coverage was significant in and around the garage – in the stairwell and near the elevators. A camera will also be placed outside of the public bathrooms inside the garage.

The cameras will not be monitored 24 hours a day; however, Legge said the footage is available should there be an incident for investigators to review.

Project Manager Casey Jones reported that he expects the project to go out for bids in February and construction to begin in late March.

“We’re shooting to have it opened by Double Decker 2019,” he said.

The commissioners also discussed whether to include electric car charging stations in the garage and if so, how many.

Commission chairman Tom Sharpe said he felt there should be one or two put in, but the infrastructure to add more should be built in.

“Because what we need today, in 10 to 15 years, I suspect that will change,” he said

No action was taken by the commission in regards to the charging stations.

In other business Friday, Parking Director Matt Davis reported parking meters took in $70,969 in November and parking officers issued 1,457 tickets.