Oxford Borough Council approves change orders for parking garage project
By Steven Hoffman
With the pace of the work on the construction of the new parking garage picking up, some adjustments are being made to the project.
At its April 15 meeting, Oxford Borough Council approved several change orders related to the project. There was a big increase in costs for one aspect of the project, but that was balanced by a decrease in costs in another area.
It was more costly than anticipated to make some of the ground improvements for the foundation of the parking garage. A change order totaling $97,649 was necessary, and council signed off on the change.
However, this was balanced by another change order that resulted in a savings of $71,450. Some windows for the parking garage that were included in the original designs have now been removed. There were also some minor changes, such as the flooring for the elevators being switched to a less expensive option. Council approved this change order, too, although council member Peggy Ann Russell did vote against the change because she favored keeping the windows. The vote was 5-1 in favor of the change order.
A third change order, for $1,327.49 was unanimously approved. This change order was necessary because of increased costs for some of the materials.
Overall, the three change orders resulted in additional expenses of about $27,000 for the borough.
Borough council authorized a payment of $401,223.49 to CPS Construction Group for the work on the project.
Council also approved an expenditure of $145,439.39 to Paterson for water main improvements on Broad Street. This expenditure is related to a larger streetscape project.
Borough council unanimously approved an update to its ordinance related to Transient Retail Businesses. Examples would be food trucks that are brought into the borough on a temporary basis, or the person who sells merchandise during the Halloween Parade.
“We're cleaning up some of the language of the ordinance,” explained council member Robert Ketcham. He explained that one small change with the new ordinance is that, if someone is interested in a retail pursuit in the borough, they previously would have been directed to contact the borough’s police department. Now, they would be directed to the Codes Enforcement office, which has been bolstered in recent years.
Borough council approved an updated Emergency Operations Plan. This plan, which outlines a response to an emergency in the borough, must be reviewed every two years to make certain that it is in compliance with the county's regulations for emergency operations plans.
Ketcham also polled his fellow council members regarding a list of priorities that are under consideration by the Oxford Regional Planning Commission. The Oxford Regional Planning Commission had asked officials from each of the municipalities to identify some priorities for the commission. Oxford Borough officials leaned toward urban housing, employment training, and fire service issues as their top priorities among a list of about nine different issues. Ketcham said that he will report back to the commission about Oxford Borough’s priorities.
In her report to borough council, Oxford Borough Mayor Lorraine Bell provided an update about the planning for the Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27. A committee has been hard at work attempting to make the parade bigger and better than ever.
Bell said that she has enjoyed receiving emails from people who have reached out to say that they are willing to participate in the parade. Sometimes, it's a military veteran who has not participated in the parade in the last few years who want to get involved again, while other times it is a representative from a community group that has an interest in the parade. Several people have also volunteered to have their classic cars showcased in the parade.
Bell also noted that the parade and the Memorial Day ceremony are separate events, and if there would be rain on that day the cancellation of the parade would not mean the cancellation of the ceremony. There is an option, Bell said, to hold the ceremony inside.
Bell said that she's been delighted by the response from the community regarding the effort to bring new life to the Memorial Day Parade.
“There's lots of interest and lots of people who want to be a part of it,” Bell said. “It's exciting.”