Oxford Aldermen Unanimously Pass $9M Bond for Police Department, Pool Improvements

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

In a unanimous decision, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a resolution at their Dec. 5 meeting to secure a $9 million bond for the construction of the new Oxford Police Department headquarters and upgrades to the city pool. The bond, obtained through a bid by Raymond James at an interest rate of 3.688248%, was selected over higher bids from RW Baird Company and Crews and Associates.

Sue Fairbank from Butler Snow recommended the board accept Raymond James’ bid. “We recommend that you accept that bid for the purchase of the bonds; that is a great rate for y’all,” said Fairbank at the meeting. This recommendation followed a verification by government consultants, ensuring the bid’s suitability for the city’s needs.

The bond issuance, detailed as the General Obligation Bonds (Public Improvements Issue), Series 2023, will specifically fund the ongoing construction of the Oxford Police Department’s new headquarters and improvements for the city pool. These projects align with the city’s commitment to enhancing public infrastructure and services.

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As part of the resolution, the Board also outlined provisions for a tax increase to ensure the bond repayment. “A direct and continuing tax” will be levied on “all taxable property within the city limits of Oxford”, starting in 2024 and extending through 2043. This tax is designed to “generate sufficient funds to cover the costs of repaying both the principal and interest” of the Series 2023 Bonds.

The tax will be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other city taxes to ensure efficiency in tax collection. The resolution allows for the possibility of reducing the tax levy for any given year if the City, by Sept. 1 of that year, transfers money to the Bond Fund or makes other financial arrangements to cover the payments due for the principal and interest of the bonds in the upcoming fiscal year.

The tax rate will “be set to adequately produce the required sums” for bond repayment, taking into account the expenses of tax collection and potential delinquencies in tax payments.

The bond sale process was communicated to the public through notices in The Oxford Eagle, published on Nov. 22 and 29, 2023. This step ensured transparency and public awareness of the city’s financial decisions. Additionally, the details have been discussed in the Board of Aldermen meetings, which are open to the public and reported on in the Eagle.

The bonds will be issued in a book-entry-only format, where ownership details are recorded electronically, simplifying the management and transfer of the bonds.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen’s resolution, including the bond issue and the accompanying tax increase, underscores the city’s proactive approach in addressing critical public projects while responsibly managing its financial resources. A structured plan for long-term repayment supports this significant investment in the city’s infrastructure and public amenities through the incremental property tax increase.