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Posted: January 3, 2013 10:28 p.m.

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Oxford lays out 5-year project plan

Oxford plans to review its list of planned projects for the next five years during a public hearing on Monday night.

The mayor and the council will hold a public hearing and an annual organizational meeting on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at city hall to discuss and adopt its 2013-2018 Short-Term Work Program.

City manager Bob Schwartz said the state Department of Community Affairs requires that cities adopt a comprehensive plan, and included in that plan is a five-year short term work program.

Mayor Jerry Roseberry said the comprehensive plan is usually a 20-year plan and within the 20-year plans are five year plans which consist of projects the city would like to accomplish during that specific period of time.

Roseberry said one of the biggest projects Oxford completed during the 2008-2012 Short-Term Work Program was building a new city hall. He said the city also completed rewriting its zoning code, made several street, sidewalk and utility improvements, and put in a new maintenance facility for the storage of the city's vehicles.

The city of Oxford's Report of Accomplishments for the 2008-2012 Short Term Work Program, which was a list of 80 items, was reviewed during the city's annual retreat in November 2012. Over half of the items were marked as completed on the list.

Roseberry said with the new 2013-2018 Short-Term Work Program that will be discussed on Monday, there are several items of improvements that the city wants to accomplish over the next five years. He said some of those items include completing several infrastructure projects, working with Newton County to construct a new fire station and diverting and calming Ga. Highway 81 through-traffic in the city limits.

"On this new work program, we are going to be replacing water mains in the city. And that was money that was raised through the SPLOST program, which the citizens approved in 2011. That's $1.2 million and for a city our size that's a pretty good sized project. We will begin that project this year," Roseberry said.

"2013 will be the big year for us in terms of undertaking infrastructure projects. We have begun to work on the new waterline on Emory Street and the one on Ashbury Street," Roseberry said. "Those lines are about 90 years old and would suffer from a lot of leaking pipes as well as clarity of the water sometimes."

"One of the other things that we are working toward is trying to calm the traffic coming through Oxford on state route 81. As you know, that kind of separates our city and we're trying to find ways to calm the traffic to the point where citizens feel comfortable crossing the street," Roseberry said. "Without a traffic light anywhere except at the school, it's difficult to cross the street."

"We're working with Newton County to get a new fire station built on the north end of town up on 81 just outside the city limits. That's something that is a couple years away, but we are hoping to do that," he said.

He said the city also wants to get more citizens connected to the sewer system and also complete the Cook Road Waterline loop project.

"That will be done this year. The reason for that is water pressure out there is kind of low and you can't have any more construction out there until you get the water pressure up and also the fire department needs better pressure to compress fire. We're working with the Newton County Fire to get that done," he said.

Roseberry said the city will continue to update the records on Oxford's historic cemetery so that it can be of use to the city's walking tour.

"There are a lot of famous people in the Methodist Church bishops and that type who are buried out there and the city has completed a walking tour. We're working with the Historical Cemetery Foundation and we just completed that," Roseberry said. That's an interesting place when the weather is nice to walk through out there."

A complete list of the projects for the 2013-2018 City of Oxford Short-Term Work Program will be reviewed at the public hearing on Monday. Roseberry said the city council meeting will follow the public hearing.

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