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Board of Aldermen to allow agricultural burning, approve change orders for Activity Center

The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a proposed change to the Fire Protection and Fire Prevention ordinance, which will allow agricultural burning.

These changes would allow burning on properties used primarily for agricultural purposes where the property is in excess of 10 acres.

The vote came after a public hearing, however no citizens voiced any outstanding issues with the proposed changes.

The ordinance states burning is useful for maintenance and protection of commercial timber stands, land clearing for agricultural, horticultural, and silvicultural purposes, or the reduction of vegetative fuels for wildfire prevention.

Burning is usually recommended by state forestry commission or to continue the agricultural mission on the property.

However, burnings conducted are required to be at least 150 feet away from the nearest structure on the property being cleared; 500 feet away from any highway; 1,000 feet from any school or residence not on the same property as the pit; one-half mile or 2,640 feet from any airport, nursing home or hospital.

Violators of the Fire Protection and Fire Prevention ordinance are subject to $500 fines, 30 days in jail, or both.

Activity Center change orders save over $100,000 in revised budgets

The Board also approved change orders regarding the Activity Center, which were needed to update the cost of the project, will reduce the submitted cost by about $161,000.

One of the change orders was for a decrease of just over $396,000.

The original cost submitted for the project was $9.39 million, and the current cost, after the change orders, is now $9.23 million.

Tourism Council adds another member

The 18-member Oxford Tourism Council is adding another member.

During Wednesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, the board approved the appointment of Tim Woodward to the tourism council.

The tourism council meets every third Wednesday of each month at noon.