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Oxford may have an opportunity to expand parking in the business district

10/15/2014 07:16PM ● Published by Lev

By Steven Hoffman

Staff Writer

Carl Fretz and Paul Andriole have earned a significant amount of wisdom in their lifetimes. One is the retired Peoples Bank of Oxford president and the other is a former Veterans Affairs director and a longtime Oxford business owner, and on Oct. 13 they had a recommendation for Oxford Borough officials: Don’t miss out on a rare opportunity to add parking in the business district.

The Adams property at 204 and 206 Locust Street is now up for sale and Fretz and Andriole, among others, believe that Oxford Borough should purchase the property near the heart of the business district so that the property can be used for parking.

Andriole said that the acquisition of the property would allow the borough to add parking that could be a benefit to residents and business owners well into the future.

“We’ve got an obligation {to provide parking} and we have an opportunity here,” said Andriole. “Whatever the price is, it will be worth it in the long run.”

Andriole, who not only owned a business in town but also served as mayor of Oxford Borough, said that numerous committees, task forces, and other entities have conducted countless studies regarding the parking issues in town over the last four decades.

With First Friday events and holiday-themed activities gaining popularity, business owners have long said that there is a need for more parking near the business district.

The Adams property is adjacent to the National Penn Bank parking lot, and measures about .36 acres. There is a three-story building on the property that would have to be torn down. Andriole noted that if the borough were to purchase the property, officials could take as long as needed to transform it for a more useful purpose. The borough might be able to secure a grant, for instance, to offset some of the costs of the project.

Fretz noted that not only is the Adams property close to the businesses on Third Street, it is also close to the Oxford Library, which is starting an expansion project. Fretz walked from the library to the Adams property and figured out exactly how close it is—89 steps.

Fretz also said that interest rates are very favorable right now, so it’s a good time for the borough to borrow funding for a larger project like this. He implored borough officials to explore the possibility of purchasing the property.

“If you let this go by, you’ll regret it for the next 100 years,” Fretz said. “This is something that you ought to do.”

Council president Ron Hershey said that discussions about the potential purchase of a property would have to take place in executive session.

To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email editor@chestercounty.com

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