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Posted: June 3, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Oxford adopts 2015 budget

Oxford is ready to roll into next fiscal year as its wallet is set and spending in order.

The Oxford City Council approved its FY2015 budget, making no changes to the draft proposed at the May public hearing by passing a $4.1 million combined budget.

This total budget includes the general, water and sewer, electric and sanitation funds. Last year’s budget totaled $4.2 million, with the difference attributed to sales and property tax’s slow recovery, according to City Manager Bob Schwartz.
Schwartz said there are no expected increases in taxes or electric, water and sewer rates, giving each fund a small surplus.

Most of the budget is allocated to salaries for the 13 members of the city’s full-time staff and the paying for and reselling electricity to residents.

Mayor Jerry Roseberry prepared the capital projects fund as a separate budget to include an additional $1 million for all projects that may fall under the Oxford Comprehensive Plan to live, work, play, shop and interact locally. The largest project within this fund is the $1.2 million pedestrian bridge and sidewalk, $60,000 of which will be paid for by the city in 2015.

Schwartz said the capital projects fund is in its second year and budgets five years down the road, with the four future years set to be re-examined each year. For this year’s 2015-2019 plan, there are 22 budgeted projects.

“One city council cannot bind the next,” Schwartz said. “Each council stands on its own, even if it’s the same people.”
One item budgeted for in the capital projects fund is a $4,500 portable walk-through metal detector that will be used at City Hall for public meetings.

Moore and Soule improvements

The City of Oxford and Newton County approved an intergovernmental agreement for both entities to work together to resurface two streets that have earned complaints and needed attention.

Council members agreed on the three- to four-day project Monday for an estimated start date toward the end of June. Repaving will improve Moore Street from city limits to Haygood Avenue and West Soule Street from Emory to Hull Street.
Schwartz said the City of Oxford will pay $80,000 for asphalt, and Newton County will furnish the labor, equipment and assistant county engineer’s expertise.

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