Though they're manmade and unseen, boundaries can often determine the resources available to the people living within them and their responsibilities.
In Oxford, there remain several areas where the lines and jurisdictions are unexpected.
The Cousins Center, the former black high school and elementary school, which now houses agencies such as Driver Services, the Covington-Newton County 911 Communications Center, and Troy University, sits smack dab on the line between Oxford and Covington.
The line actually falls in the middle of a hallway of a building, said Oxford City Councilmember Hoyt Oliver.
Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry informed the city council during the monthly Tuesday night meeting that the Cousins Center sent a letter requesting Oxford become the controlling jurisdiction.
Roseberry expressed reservation at the idea of Oxford taking responsibility for the center, but Erik Oliver, planning board member and, pointed out that the center was already partly on Oxford land, but just not acknowledged as such. Roseberry requested that more information be gathered about the implications of being the responsible entity before discussing the matter.
In another matter about boundaries, resident Virgil Eady urged the council to take up the issue of annexing the handful of remaining "islands" of incorporated land surrounded by Oxford territory where the city's ordinances and services do not apply.
This fact was highlighted, he said, during last week's Oxford College prank involving a zebra whose owner lived in one of those unincorporated islands.
Eady, a former city council member and planning board chair, also expressed support for rewriting the city charter to allow for a full-time City Manager, in addition to the part time city council members.
"At one time we were a little town with three employees," he said. "Now we've got over a $3 million budget. We've got to be run like a business."
In other city council business:
Roseberry told the council letters will go out to warn Oxford residents that ordinances ruling the appearance of homes, such as junk in the yard, that were previously not enforced will now be enforced. First time offenders will get a verbal and written warning from the Oxford Police, he said.
The council unanimously passed a motion to go with MCCI for document archive software and support for $11,339. The amount for the accompanying document scanner was increased from $4,000 to $5,000, at the suggestion of webmaster Michael Dale.
Erik Oliver, special assistant to the Oxford College Dean, reported that Emory University had denied the child care program, due to scaling back capital projects. A possible long-term solution, which would take at least two years to set up, would be to form a coalition with other local agencies also in need of childcare services, such as Covington or county employees, to start a child care program, he said. A short term solution might be to use two or three local families, trained by the university, or to bring in a single outside entity.