Lauren Ceronie, Staff Writer

Oxford City Council is in the process of annexing 47 acres of land surrounding Yager Stadium into the City of Oxford for income tax reasons.

This land includes Yager Stadium, Ryder Track, the field hockey fields, the soccer field and the softball field.

City Council discussed the process of annexing the land at its meeting Dec.7. 

The land is currently part of Oxford Township, according to City Manager Doug Elliott.

If the 47.069 acres are annexed, the city will be able to collect additional income tax, Elliott said. 

The tax will not bring in additional revenue on the current land parcel, but will affect future construction on the property, he said. If the land belongs to the city, contractors will be liable to pay a tax of 2 percent of their wages to the city, Elliott said.   

The council must submit a petition to the Butler County Commissioners, who will review the petition and make a decision on the annexation, Elliott said.  

Council was in favor of annexing the land because the City of Oxford provides utilities.

“We want to annex this area since we already provide water and sewage service for the area,” Elliott said. “It will also enable the university to get lower water and sewage rates.”

City Councilmember Greig Rutherford was also in favor of the annexation.

“All Miami University property contiguous to city property should be annexed since we provide public services to those properties,” Rutherford said.

The city is looking to annex multiple parcels of land on and around Miami’s campus.

“We say that Oxford is the home of Miami University and we would like to make that completely true,” Elliott said.

The city is also looking into annexing the land surrounding University Park Boulevard and U.S. 27 South, the location of the new Talawanda High School, Elliott said. This would enable the city to include improvements to the intersection in the U.S. 27 South connector project. The city would like to install a new traffic signal in the intersection, according to Elliott. 

The council also discussed revising city policy on the activation of tornado sirens. Currently, individual communities are responsible for activating the sirens, all under different policies.  Director of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency Jeff Galloway presented a countywide plan for activation of tornado and weather warning sirens to the council. Galloway’s plan recommended alerting the entire county if there is a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service.

“It comes down to our responsibility to warn the public,” Galloway said.  “I would rather warn the people and have nothing happen than not warn them at all.”

Council expressed concern that the sirens would not be set off until severe weather had passed through the western parts of the county. 

City of Oxford staff will review Galloway’s proposal and make a recommendation to council at the next meeting.