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Oxford leaders moving forward with annexing 12 square miles of county land

With a growing population and a need for more open land, Oxford leaders will soon be voting on whether to annex more than 12 square miles of county land that would almost double the city’s size.

Mike Slaughter of Slaughter and Associates in Oxford, an urban planning consulting firm, presented a report to the Oxford Board of Aldermen on Wednesday that showed five areas that have been selected for annexation.

The five areas are located off 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 Highway 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. Another area off Highway 6 would take in Thacker Heights and Royal Oaks.

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.

Oxford’s minority population would rise from 21 percent to 23.9 percent. The voting age would rise from 19.3 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.

Alderman Janice Antonow asked how long the redistricting process would take after annexation.

“You just had an election last year so we have three years for that process,” Slaughter said. “We should have plenty of time to get that done.”

Slaughter said after annexation is complete, it would take about three years for the costs and additional tax revenue to even out and that by the fifth year, the city should see about $360,000 more in revenue.

The first reading of the official ordinance for the intent to annex will be read at the Board of Aldermen meeting on February 6. A second reading and public hearing will take place on Feb. 20, with a possible vote during the aldermen’s first meeting in March.

After the ordinance is passed, a Lafayette County chancery judge will rule on whether the annexation is reasonable.

The proposed annexation map will be available to view online at www.oxfordms.net this week.