Public meeting to discuss parking garage will take place on Tuesday
By Steven Hoffman
A public meeting for Oxford Borough officials to outline plans for a proposed parking garage and transportation center project will take place on Tuesday, April 11. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and share opinions with officials.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Ware Chapel on the campus of the Ware Presbyterian Village.
Oxford Borough Council president Ron Hershey described the public forum as an informational meeting when council discussed it last month.
A parking garage has been touted as a way to encourage economic development in Oxford's 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. A 2015 parking study recommended the construction of a 377-space parking garage to address the borough's long-term parking needs, the most recent of several parking studies to reach a similar conclusion.
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.
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 so far. Borough officials expect more grant funding to be available as they move toward making a decision about whether they should move forward with the project.
The project now could include a new administration building for the borough. There would be significant savings on design and construction costs by including the new administration building as part of a larger project. 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.
The project, with the parking garage, transportation center, and new administration building included in the designs, is projected to cost about $7.2 million. A major focus of the April 11 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.
More information about the project is available on the Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. website at www.downtownoxfordpa.org.