Town meeting regarding Oxford parking garage set for April 11
By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough officials are planning a public meeting to discuss the proposed parking garage and transportation center project. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 11 at the Ware Chapel on the campus of the Ware Presbyterian Village. It starts at 7 p.m.
At Monday night's council meeting, borough council president Ron Hershey said that the public meeting will be an opportunity for borough officials and the consultants working on the project to make a presentation for the community.
“This is more of an informational meeting than anything else,” Hershey said, explaining that it would also be an opportunity for residents and business owners to share their questions or opinions about the project.
A parking study completed in 2015 recommended the construction of a 377-space parking garage to address the borough's long-term parking needs. Proponents of the project believe that the parking garage will facilitate economic development in the business district. The lack of available, convenient parking has hindered the town's efforts to attract a larger employer or anchor business to the downtown district.
Over time, the project has evolved to include a transportation center that would boost the access to public transportation for residents and workers in town.
So far, Oxford has secured two significant grants—one through the Chester County Community Revitalization Program and another through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund—that total more than $1 million. The entire project is projected to cost approximately $5.7 million.
Borough officials are considering including a new—and much-needed—administration building in the parking garage project. There would be significant savings on design and construction costs by doing so. The borough was gifted more than $1 million for a new borough hall by the anonymous donor who, for years, provided gifts for expenditures that the borough wouldn't be able to afford on its own.
A major emphasis of the public meeting will likely be whether the borough can secure the rest of the funding for the project without having to raise taxes on residents who already have one of the highest millage rates in the region.
More information about the project is available on the Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. website at www.downtownoxfordpa.org.