Oxford Borough to seek additional parking garage funding
● By Steven Hoffman
The construction work on a new multimodal transportation center in downtown Oxford will be taking place this year, but there is still time for the borough to secure additional grant funding for the project. At the March 18 meeting, Oxford Borough Council gave borough manager Brian Hoover the approval to file an application for funding from the Chester County Community Revitalization Program (CRP) for the project.
Pauline Garcia-Allen, who has facilitated the borough’s efforts to secure grant funding for the parking garage, said that the CRP grant is one of the few that would still be available to the borough now that construction has started. Garcia-Allen said that the borough can apply for up to $800,000 through the Chester County Community Revitalization Program. More than half of the project is already being funded through state and county grants, and any additional funding would help Oxford Borough pay for the remaining portion of the project.
Jim Hillard of Land Grant Surveyors made a brief presentation to the borough council about plans for an expansion of the shipping area at the Flowers Foods-owned Tasty Baking facility in Oxford. About seven years ago, there was an expansion of the food production area. Now, they need to expand the shipping area to make that aspect of the operations more efficient. A looped conveyor line is planned to get products into an expanded shipping area more efficiently.
“Everything they produce there is shipped out within 24 hours,” Hillard explained. He noted that the expansion of the building that is being planned would all be set on land that is already classified as impervious surfaces, so the impact to the site would be minimal.
Hillard said that the expansion is not expected to result in increased vehicles to the site. There should not be any increase in sewer usage or water usage, either.
The plans have been submitted and are under review by the borough's planning commission. Hillard said that they would like construction to begin in a few months.
After more than 12 years of work, Oxford Borough Council formally adopted an updated police manual. The approval is pending the approval of the borough's solicitor because there are some minor changes that still need to be made to clean up typos and the like.
“We've looked at it, looked at it, looked at it, and looked at it,” said borough council president Sue Lombardi.
Much of the content for the police manual is pulled from guidelines at the federal and state level, but it was an exhaustive process collecting all the information and compiling it one police manual.
Oxford Borough Mayor Lorraine Bell lauded police chief Sam Iacono, who just joined the borough's police department last fall, for finishing up the project. Bell said that he spent a few hours each day for several months reviewing the comprehensive document.
Brian Wenzka, the executive director of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI), offered a brief overview of some of the special events that the organization is planning for 2019, including the normal lineup of First Friday activities and larger community events like the Connective Festival and the Downtown Oxford Car Show.
Wenzka said that, after some requests from downtown businesses, OMI could be adding a “pop up” First Friday event to the calendar in April. OMI had not planned a First Friday for April because of the unpredictably of the weather in early April. However, if the weather looks good they will put together some special activities for April 5, the first Friday in April.
Wenzka said that one new activity that is being added to the calendar is a benefit motorcycle ride that will take place at the end of April. During the event, motorcycle riders will visit covered bridges in the area.
Wenzka then introduced Bruce Mowday and Allie King, two volunteers who are once again helping to organize and plan the Connective Festival. Mowday and King provided borough council with some exciting updates about this year’s Connective Festival, which is slated to take place on Saturday, Aug. 3. The radio station WXPN has endorsed the Connective Festival. King also said that many of the sponsors who helped make last year’s debut event a success really saw it as a worthwhile endeavor. Many of the sponsors are returning and asking how they can be even more involved, King said.
Mark Gallant, a member of the Chester County Planning Commission, provided an update about important planning issues in the Oxford region, as well as a brief overview of Landscapes 3, the recently updated version of the county's comprehensive plan.
Gallant explained that he has served as a lead planner facilitating a multi-municipal group that has been meeting regularly since 2008. The Oxford Region Planning Committee brought together representatives from Oxford Borough, Lower Oxford Township, Upper Oxford Township, Elk Township, East Nottingham Township, and West Nottingham Township. The Oxford Region Planning Committee spent five years developing a multi-municipal comprehensive plan significantly boosted the amount of collaboration that takes place in the Oxford region on planning issues. The multi-municipal comprehensive plan was finalized in 2012. Initially, five of the six municipalities adopted an implementation plan. East Nottingham Township eventually adopted the implementation plan as well.
Even though work on the regional comprehensive plan has been completed, Gallant explained that the Oxford Region Planning Committee still meets regularly to discuss issues that impact the whole area. Some of those issues are related to planning, but others are not. Sometimes, Gallant said, they bring in guest speakers to present information about a topic of interest.
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SLUG: Oxford Borough Council March 18
Oxford Borough plans to revitalize Memorial Day Parade
When Memorial Day arrives on Monday, May 27, a bigger, better parade to honor the service of U.S. military veterans will take place in Oxford.
Oxford Borough Mayor Lorraine Bell said that efforts to revitalize the parade are well underway. She explained that numerous groups in the community have been contacted to participate.
This year’s Memorial Day Parade in Oxford is set to start at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 27.
“The revitalization plan for the parade is well underway,” Bell said. “We’re going to make it bigger and better for Oxford.”
Any group interested in participating in the parade can reach out to Mayor Bell at mayor@oxford boro.org.