Oxford City Council unanimously approved every resolution, ordinance and request that was put to a vote on April 3.
Among the things council approved were McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital’s proposed donation of a playground to the city, funding for renovations to the municipal building, the renewal of “Yoga in the Park” for this summer, ratifying property and casualty insurance coverage for the city in 2018, adopting internet and long-distance calling packages for the city’s remote sites and administrative buildings and supplemental appropriations for FY18.
The playground donation, which amounts to $23,000, will be built in Leonard Howell Park.
“There are no Scrooges here — or abstentions,” Mayor Kate Rousmaniere said after the resolution passed.
Council passed a $4,600 supplemental appropriations ordinance for FY18, which will be added to the playground donation from McCullough Hyde, ensuring the structure is well maintained and built out of sturdier materials than the donation afforded.
The municipal building renovations are $3,743,500 and will not exceed the budgeted amount plus a ten percent contingency for a total of $4,117,850. The improvements include making the facility accessible for those with disabilities by installing an elevator that will reach all three floors of the building.
Michael Dreisbach, the city’s service director, said the building will maintain as much of its historical appearance as possible while remaining within budget.
“It’s great to see Oxford is so committed to keeping this facility Uptown,” said council member David Prytherch. “This is an 80-year investment in our facilities, and our city staff will be more productive because our facilities will serve them better.”
The Coalition for a Healthy Community received approval for their requested use of Oxford Memorial Park for the “Yoga in the Park” series for this summer. This year, the series will be extended to Sept. 29, due to requests from community members.
The property and casualty insurance bid for the city increased less than one percent from last year. The renewal will cost $169,500 for 2018.
Doug Elliott, Oxford’s city manager, said a mixed package of internet and long-distance telephone coverage from Spectrum Internet and Cincinnati Bell was the best and lowest proposal available to the city.
“We didn’t get exactly what we wanted,” Elliot said.
But, he implied the coverage would be suitable for the city’s needs.
Parks and Recreation director Casey Wooddell notified council that a group of Miami University architecture students will construct an obstacle course in the city’s dog park on April 8 and 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. These are volunteer work days, and the project will not incur any cost to the city.
In the final comments of the meeting, councilmember Chantel Raghu called attention to the protest against sexual assault held in Oxford Memorial Park last Monday, April 2, asking that OPD treat victims of sexual assault seriously.
OPD Chief John Jones defended the department’s actions, saying victims can talk to Women Helping Women or to himself directly if they feel they have been mistreated by the justice system.
“We have to ask hard questions, but we let the victims drive the discussions,” Jones said. “The criminal justice system can’t make someone feel whole.”