Several ordinances approved in Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough Council handled a full agenda at its meeting on June 18, including a series of ordinance adoptions, two items related to the Oxford Area Regional Park, and an appointment to fill a vacancy on a board.
The Oxford Area Recreation Authority is seeking to bring water and electricity to the Oxford Area Regional Park. Joseph Beird, a board member of the Oxford Area Recreation Authority, explained to borough council that with a growing number of community events, there have also been requests for water and electricity at the park. Beird explained that the Authority recently sought estimates for the costs to do the work.
Council member Peggy Ann Russell made a motion, and council unanimously approved, the expenditure of up to $7,000 toward the costs of a water well and water tank installation at the park. Other neighboring townships are also contributing to the Oxford Area Recreation Authority's efforts to add water and electricity to the park.
Council also discussed and ultimately approved a series of ordinances during the meeting. One ordinance under consideration by council addressed tattoo parlors being a permitted use in the C-3 District—the commercial district. During the discussion, several council members observed that how tattoo shops are viewed by society has changed greatly over the years, and tattoos are now considered to be artistic works. Council unanimously approved the ordinance, and there was a general sense that the borough would welcome a tattoo shop in its downtown. There is a tattoo artist who has expressed interest in opening up a business in the borough.
Oxford Borough Council unanimously adopted ordinance number 916 of 2018 that amends the borough's code regarding open alcoholic beverage containers in the borough during special events and in very specific locations. While having open alcoholic beverage containers is not permitted in the borough generally, patrons at an approved outdoor cafe and attendees at a special event where the serving of alcholic beverages outdoors is allowed can now have open alcoholic beverage containers in specified areas.
Oxford Borough Council unanimously approved the purchase of a commemorative brick that will be a part of a walkway leading into the Oxford Area Regional Park. Beird explained the Oxford Area Recreation Authority is selling the bricks as a part of a fundraiser, and that they are trying to get each of the member municipalities to purchase a special brick at a cost of $200. Bricks are also being sold to individuals, Beird said. So far, 45 bricks have been sold and sales will continue until September.
The borough is now seeking quotes on the costs of installing fencing around the playground equipment at the Oxford Memorial Park as a safety measure to protect children. Council unanimously approved obtaining some cost estimates after council member Amanda Birdwell made the recommendation. Oxford Borough Council re-affirmed the final land-development plans for the parking garage project. The final land-development plans had already been approved on March 19, but that was pending a review by the fire marshal's office. That review has now been completed, and the final land-development plans are ready to be filed.
Council received a letter of interest regarding the open position on the vacancy board from borough resident Bethany Atkinson. The vacancy board only convenes when there is a vacancy on borough council, and the remaining council members can't reach an agreement on appointing someone to fill the vacancy. The vacancy board—comprised of the remaining council members and now Atkinson—would meet to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
Borough council also approved Mayor Lorraine Bell's attendance at the annual Pennsylvania State Mayor's Conference in July and appointed Citadel Bank as a depository for Oxford Borough by unanimous votes during the meeting.