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Heavy loaders beware
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Oxford might soon be able to ticket those carrying a little extra weight - more than 10,000 pounds, that is.

The city council heard a first reading of a proposed ordinance amendment that would prohibit vehicles carrying over 10,000 pounds from using any city streetway, except Ga. Highway 81, as a thoroughfare.

These heavily loaded trucks would still be allowed to use city streets if making deliveries to Oxford addresses.

Oxford Police Chief Clark Miller said heavy trucks frequently run through Oxford daily.

"You see vehicles over 10,000 pounds, you see dump trucks, oil recycling trucks, tractor trailer trucks," he said.

"We have a lot of industry that abuts the city limits," said Councilmember Jim Windham. "Like anybody else, they'll take the shortest route if they possibly can."

The impetus for this amendment came about with the realization earlier this year that the city did not have signs posted warning drivers of the rules and thus violators could not be ticketed, according to Windham.

During discussion of putting up signs, the suggestion was made to make the ordinance apply city-wide. The ordinance originally made exceptions for East Soule Street, East Richardson Street, and Ga. Highway 81.

In addition to the wear and tear on roads not meant to handle heavy industrial traffic, the issue is one of safety, said Windham.

The second reading of the proposed amendment to Section 11-103 will be at next month's city council meeting on Sept. 8.

In other city council business:

• Council members unanimously approved the possible repair of 10 large commercial water meters and the possible replacement of two of the meters, at a cost of $1,100 each. The meter repair and replacements are another step in the effort to figure out why Oxford is missing water, or buying more water than it sells.

• The city council unanimously approved a Common Pole Use agreement with Snapping Shoals EMC. In return for waiving the $5 yearly fee for using a city pole, Snapping Shoals agreed to replace any old or worn out poles. According to Councilmember Terry Smith, three poles have already been replaced at a value of $3,300.

• Release forms for the sale of locally grown produce in a farmer's market on the city's green space on Emory Street were approved at the meeting with an amendment restricting sales on Sunday and during the week before dawn and after dusk.

• Councilmembers determined that the city could not employ Erik Oliver's services as a grant writer since his father Hoyt Oliver is a member of the council and city ordinances prohibit the employment of family members of sitting councilmembers.

• Monroe Tree Works, Inc. was chosen out of three bids for the removal of two trees, at a cost of $2,250.

• Councilmembers decided not to renew the contract for janitorial services for City Hall and the Maintenance Building and to put out a request for proposals.

"We are of the opinion we need to rebid the contract because we are not that happy with the services," said Mayor Jerry Roseberry.