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BOA makes big decisions for Oxford

The Oxford Board of Aldermen took on a packed docket last night dealing with several major issues, including a building permit for the new Oxford High School and parking measures on the Square.
Will Strouth/ The Daily Mississippian

In a big week for local government, the Board of Aldermen held its first bimonthly meeting and passed votes on some major issues that have been in the works for months. The meeting started with a plea from the mayor of Oxford, George “Pat” Patterson, for an end to private property vandalism, fights and violence coming from the Square on weekends.
“If we can’t get your attention in fees and fines, then jail time will have to be involved here,” Patterson said.
The meeting docket included waivers on building permits for the new Oxford High School facility, a mandate that gives the city the means to enforce new and existing parking measures and lowering the age requirement for the Oxford Fire Department from 21 to 18.
Brian Harvey, the superintendent of the Oxford School District, came forward to request waivers on building permits to construct the new Oxford High School. The permits for the buildings would cost up to $59,000 but does not include permits on plumbing and electric work.
“In my past seven years, no fees have been waived in the city of Oxford on building permits,” Randy Barber, the head of the zoning commission, said.
After some debate on whether to reduce or simply waive all the fees, the board voted in favor of waiving all permit fees on the school for up to $80,000, to give leeway on other fees that would arise for the school’s construction.
“We understand there will be costs involved,” Harvey said. “This is greatly appreciated.”
The board also heard the issue of an ordinance that would promote the enforcement of current parking measures on the Square and a few new ideas. New measures will include an extension of the 2-hour parking measure from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exact time is still in debate, as some are pushing for the measure to be extended to 8 p.m. Parking fines have been reduced, as well, and towing and booting measures will be fleshed out.
A meeting will be held at the courthouse at 9 p.m. on Friday to discuss the parking ordinance and will be open to the public.