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Oxford Council votes to activate Downtown Development Authority
The Oxford City Council takes action Monday night to activate its DDA. (Darryl Welch | The Covington News)

The Oxford City Council voted unanimously to activate Oxford’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) at Monday night’s meeting.

City Manager Bob Schwartz told The Covington News the activation of the DDA is just the first step by Oxford in developing a downtown area.

The area runs roughly from West Clark Street at the Oxford City Hall south on the west side of Emory Street to the Oxford College Whatcoat Building. On the east side of Emory Street, the area extends the length of East Clark Street to the dead end, including city-owned property behind the Historic Orna Villa.

Schwartz said the Georgia Legislature authorized a DDA for every city in the state in 1981, as long as individual city councils activated them. According to Schwartz, there are between 170 and 180 DDAs throughout the state.  The requirements are an area for the DDA to oversee, and seven members who agree to serve. The members must meet a series of qualifications.

In January, the Oxford City Council heard a proposal to bring a mixed-use development, including a hotel, restaurant and condominiums, to the city from Randy Vinson of Live Work Building Company.