William Fitzpatrick appointed to fill Oxford Borough Council vacancy09/20/2022 01:07AM ● By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough Council voted to appoint William Fitzpatrick to fill the vacancy that was created when Mary Higgins resigned from the position. Fitzpatrick will fill the remainder of the term which ends in January of 2024.
Borough Council also held a public hearing about the bid renewal for Oxford Mainstreet Inc. (OMI). Brian Dix, the OMI executive director, spoke briefly to the council and the public.
“We have a few minor changes to make to the plan, the most notable is the time frame,” Dix said. “That should be changed to read from 2023 to 2027. That will be changed before it is distributed. We had some items on the budget that were not correct, which included a title in the budget and a figure which should be changed. Those items are being corrected as well.”
He added, “Everything else is correct. As we noted we added one property on Market Street. The amount of the tax has not increased. This is the third renewal.”
Dix said that although the pandemic did pose problems for local businesses, it did keep people from traveling out of the area.
“People tended to shop local and more people came to the downtown during the pandemic,” he said. “That was an unexpected plus. We did have to cancel some events, but we actually held 40-plus events during that time. We are continuing to move forward with our theatre project. Our staff did turn over during the pandemic, but we currently have two paid staff members and numerous volunteers. We are excited about moving forward with the theatre and anxious to see how that brings people to our town.”
Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. was started in 2001 and strives to foster economic growth while preserving the town’s rich history and charm. Throughout the year, the organization plans numerous community events, including the monthly First Friday street fairs, the annual Car Show and Country Christmas celebrations.
Current OMI board president John McGlothlin spoke highly of OMI saying, “It is so good to have people listen to you and talk about making things better. It has always been good to work with the Borough.”
There was no other public comment. Borough solicitor Stacey Fuller explained that changes as identified would be made. Council approved a motion to adopt the plan subject to the amendments identified by Dix and the plan will be distributed. The final hearing of the plan will be held on Oct. 3.
Council had a scheduled visitor, Bo Wright, speak on zoning and place making. Wright is the former executive director of Historic Kennett Square. He identified zoning as a key element in creating a great place.
In other business, Council took nominations for a new vice president. Higgins served as the council vice president until the time of her resignation from council. Council member Peggy Ann Russell nominated Robert Ketcham for the position, and council approved the appointment.
Council approved the following motions:
The hiring of Daniel Tucker as a part-time officer with the Oxford Police Department.
The 2023 minimum municipal obligation for the non-uniformed employee pension plan in the amount of $48,272.91.
The 2023 minimum municipal obligation for the police pension plan in the amount of $132,823.69
A resolution to submit a grant application to the Strategic management Planning Program (STMP) of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
The Extension request which will extend through Dec. 17 for Damico & Sons preliminary/final land development plan.
The Sycamore Crossing Escrow Release in the amounts of Phase 5A, Request No.3 - $39,437.89; Phase 5B, Request No. 3 - $240,249.19; and Phase 3, Request No. 4 - $132,312.13.
Additionally, Russell congratulated Police Chief Sam Iacono on his fourth anniversary with the Borough of Oxford.