Parking changes coming to Oxford Borough
● By Steven Hoffman
The big topic of discussion in Oxford is the proposed parking garage and transportation center, but there are more immediate changes coming to how and where people park in the borough—and how much they pay to do the parking.
A parking committee is currently working on evaluating all the parking that's available in the borough, including setting new, higher rates to park in metered spaces.
At its April 17 meeting, Oxford Borough Council took a small action related to developing a new parking plan in town by approving a motion to purchase five kiosks for the unmetered parking lots in the borough. The kiosks will make it easier for people to pay for parking when they use the lots.
Borough manager Brian Hoover explained that the goal is to establish new parking rates throughout the borough by July 1. There will also be new permitted parking regulations, Hoover said.
In other business at the April 17 meeting, council signed off on an application that the borough is filing for a Community Revitalization Program grant that would be used for the parking garage and transportation center project.
Oxford Borough Council also approved motions to authorize the advertisement of three ordinances—one to establish a parking garage and business office ordinance, one to update regulations for LED and changeable display signs, and one pertaining to housing standards and rental inspections. The parking garage and business office ordinance will change the regulations pertaining to building heights in the borough, allowing for the construction of the proposed parking garage and transportation center if the borough moves forward with the project.
Borough council adopted an ordinance that amends the intergovernmental cooperation agreement that the borough has with the other member municipalities of the Oxford Area Sewer Authority. The intergovernmental cooperation agreement being amended established a special study group to look at the long-term operations of the Oxford Area Sewer Authority and the public sewer system. The agreement is being amended so that the sewer authority itself would have representation on the study group.
Oxford Borough Council formally approved the construction of the inclusive playground for Oxford Memorial Park. The construction is approved pending the successful completion of fundraising for the project.
“We're at $106,000. We're $49,000 short of what we need,” said council member Paul Matthews, who has spearheaded the project.
Mayor Geoff Henry swore in three new parking enforcement officers—Dennis Boyko, James May, and Michelle Robinson.
Henry also unveiled the results of a recent survey about the proposed parking garage and transportation center that was the subject of an April 11 town hall meeting.
Borough officials emphasized that the online survey was not a scientific one, and would be used only for informational purposes. It was not sanctioned by the borough, and took place through social media.
Henry explained that there were a total of 462 responses. Of those, 38 responses were deemed to be duplicates because they came from the same IP address as another survey response. The online survey that was used identified responses from the same IP address as duplicates even though some of those may have been valid if more than one person from the same home took the survey.
Henry said that there were 424 non-duplicated responses, and the survey results showed that 135 Oxford Borough residents were in favor of the parking garage, while 104 borough residents were against it. For respondents who reside outside the borough, 133 were in favor of the parking garage, while 52 were against it. Henry said that the responses give the borough some sense of how the respondents—a small percentage of the borough’s total residents—are feeling about the project. The comments that were included as part of the survey also add to the feedback that borough officials have received about the project.