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Chester County Press

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey visits Oxford Borough

04/24/2024 03:23PM ● By Betsy Brewer Brantner

Oxford Borough Manager Pauline Garcia-Allen delivered some exciting news to the members of borough council at last week’s meeting.

“U. S. Senator Bob Casey visited the Borough of Oxford on Tuesday, April 2,” Garcia-Allen said. “We are always excited to see our representatives and show them what we are doing in Oxford.”

Garcia-Allen noted that “$500.000 in grant funding has come through his office.”

Casey requested an update on the September fire that destroyed properties in the borough and displaced more than 90 residents. He spent time talking with the borough’s elected officials and staff, and the leadership of Union Fire Company No. 1. 

Garcia- Allen said, “It was a unique opportunity to talk about how the community responded, what we have learned and the ongoing challenges facing Oxford and many communities.

Senator Casey and his team provided support to the Borough from the very beginning of the fire, with staff here on site while emergency personnel were still extinguishing the flames. We are thankful for their continued interest and support, and for this opportunity to tell him more about all that is happening in Oxford.”

Borough council also welcomed Troop 44 Boy Scouts who attended the council meeting to learn more about local government and to earn their merit badges. 

Council member Amanda Birdwell addressed council regarding the ACOLA (Advisory Committee on Latino Affairs) meetings. 

Birdwell said, “We explored how to reach out to the Latino community. We are putting a pause on it now. The outreach needs to be driven by staff and council. We need to bring representation on existing committees.”

Police Chief Sam Iacono gave a report to council for the police department’s activities in March.

Iacono said, “We have had an uptick on domestic related offenses. We are hoping that goes down.”

There will be an accreditation meeting in Harrisburg on April 25 for the Oxford Police Department, with Iacono, Sergeants Coverly and Weaver, and Mayor Phil Harris attending the meeting.

Oxford Borough Police Officers Karlianna Eller and Scott Richards were named as Heroes of the Year for 2023 at a luncheon hosted by the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented to them for their actions during the fire in September.

It was reported that the LiveScan Fingerprinting Machine is working and saving time for the department.

Garcia-Allen informed council that OMI is requesting an extension request until May 6, stressing that there is a clear plan for the proposed theater on the site of the fire.

“They will have a good shot at the grant which is being submitted through State Senator [Carolyn] Comitta’s office,” Garcia-Allen said.

In other business, hydrant flushing will be conducted between May 5 and May 25. Residents may notice a discoloration of water caused by iron. The hydrants will be flushed during the night. Hydrant flushing is performed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The work is generally done between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sunday night through Thursday night. For more information call 610-932-8322 or visit the borough website.

The following motions were also approved at the council meeting:

  • Authorization to go to bid for the water meter replacement project. Council conditionally approved this, and this will be discussed further at the meeting in June.
  • Ag-industrial proposal in the amount of $12,817 to replace the Public Works turn mower. 
  • HARB Certificate of Appropriateness for 601 Spear Street. 
  • HARB Certificate of Appropriateness for 27 N. Fourth Street.
  • HARB Certificate of Appropriateness for 18 S. Fifth Street. 
  • Escrow release No. 5 in the amount of $5,320 for the Damico development at 703 Lincoln Street. 
  • A proposal for the up-fit of the new police car in an amount not to exceed $15,000.
  • PA Governor’s Center for Local Government Services Articles of Agreement for Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance to complete an analysis of the Oxford Police Department.  This is a recommendation of STAMP and will be send to police to fill out. This will look at the call volume, budget, etc.
  • Approval for Pennoni to begin final design of the rain garden traffic calming bump-outs on Mt. Vernon Street at a cost of $20,563, to be funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust grant. 
  • Designation of the borough manager as a voting delegate to the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs at the annual conference.