Oxford Borough officials awaiting word on first parking garage grant application
● By Steven Hoffman
If Oxford Borough officials are going to vote to move forward with a plan to construct a 300-space parking garage in the business district, some of the funding for the $5.73 million project will have to come from federal, state, or county grants.
At the Aug. 15 meeting of Oxford Borough Council, officials received an update about the various grant applications that have already been submitted or will be submitted on behalf of the borough. Stephen Krug, the principal of Krug Architects, explained that they are still waiting for notification from the county about whether the borough will receive funding through the latest round of community revitalization grants.
The borough has applied for approximately $1 million through this grant program, and a decision on it could come in the next few weeks.
Krug also said that the borough submitted its application for a multi-modal grant toward the end of July.
Krug, who has worked with other boroughs on similar projects, previously said that Oxford could hope to get as much as half the project funded through various federal, state, and county grant programs to construct the parking garage as a long-term solution to its parking issues in the downtown area. The hope is that the parking garage will spur economic development in the commercial district. The parking garage would be built on the BB & T (formerly National Penn) Bank parking lot.
In other business at the meeting, borough council approved the purchase of a new water meter for the Octoraro Hotel, at an estimated cost of $1,432.
Council member Randy Grace informed council that the revenues from parking meters has already exceeded projections for the entire year, in part because of extended hours of enforcement.
Grace also noted that expenditures for the operations of the police department is trending under budget for 2016. The police department is seeing its overtime expenses reduced because of the addition of several part-time officers who can provide shift coverage.
There was a brief discussion about some repairs to the borough building on Market Street. Officials have had some off-and-on discussions about a new borough building ever since the Anonymous Donor gifted the borough a significant amount of money for that purpose. Brian Hoover, the new borough manager, said that the borough government has out-grown the current building, which is in need of significant upgrades.
Oxford Mayor Geoff Henry announced two proclamations, including the observance of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, and Drug Overdose Awareness Day that will be marked on Aug. 31.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on Aug. 31 each year and is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of drug overdoses. Locally, a community-wide candlelight vigil is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the Jennersville YMCA. The vigil, which begins at 8 p.m., will include special speakers and a lighting of candles in memory of drug overdose victims. This event is being organized by the Oxford chapter of Kacie's Cause.