2nd Street infrastructure improvements, sidewalk ordinance, and other issues addressed by Oxford Borough Council
● By Steven Hoffman
While the discussion about the parking garage project once again dominated Oxford Borough Council's most recent meeting on April 16, council also handled a full agenda of additonal items.
Oxford Borough Council unanimously authorized the borough engineer, Spotts, Stevens, and McCoy, to put the 2nd Street utility project out to bid. The project includes improvements to the water mains and stormwater lines in the area of 2nd Street.
Borough council approved the appointment of John Reynolds to serve as the borough's emergency management coordinator. An effort is underway to enlist a borough resident to serve as the deputy emergency management coordinator.
Oxford Borough Council gave the go-ahead for borough solicitor Stacey Fuller to advertise three ordinances that would authorize the borough to take access easements through the condemnation process. The borough needs the access easements as part of the effort to construct a parking garage on the parking lot between 2nd Street and 3rd Street. Fuller explained that the borough has had varying degrees of success in negotiating for each one of these three access easements, but may need to proceed with the condemnation process in order to secure the access easements that they need. The easements are owned by PGH Properties, CD Holdings, and 221 Locust Street LLC, respectively.
Borough council approved advertising zoning amendments to ordinances pertaining to decks and outdoor cafe permits.
Oxford Borough is once again making an attempt to improve its sidewalk ordinance, hoping to craft regulations that will provide safe sidewalks throughout the borough while simultaneously not overburdening the property owners who are responsible for repairing and replacing the sidewalks and curbs on their properties. Council president Sue Lombardi said that the borough has taken steps to ensure that the inspection of rental properties includes evaluating the condition of the sidewalks to make sure that they are compliant with the codes. Borough council authorized the advertising of a new sidewalk ordinance so that the public can review it.
Borough council members briefly addressed some concerns raised by residents regarding the new parking permits that are required to use on-street parking in some residential neighborhoods. Any resident with an issue can discuss the situation with the borough's new Parking Committee, which is tasked with, among other things, ensuring that parking issues are resolved in a consistent manner so that all residents are treated fairly.