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Oxford council OKs grant application to resolve drainage issues in Bynum area

The Oxford City Council voted Tuesday to submit an application for a federal grant to resurface and fix drainage issues along Bynum Cutoff Road.

“The proposed project will immensely aid our regions recovery from economic injury due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increase the resilience of our city and region to future crises like that caused by the coronavirus,” Mayor Alton Craft said in a letter to the Economic Development Administration.

The project is estimated to cost $2,085,399.60. The city is asking the Economic Development Administration to cover 80 percent of the costs, or $1,668,319.68, where the city expects to match the remaining cost.

“It’s basically eight miles of drainage that’s draining into this one area,” Craft said.

“Some of the roads are flooding when it comes torrential rain,” said Council President Chris Spurlin. “So, we’ve been doing a study to work on that to see what we can do and improve the drainage there so the roads don’t flood.”

Spurlin said that there have not been many complaints, but a few residents raised the issue to the council which prompted them to send an engineer to examine if the city could do something about it.

“It’ll help the city by, when it floods, not damaging the asphalt,” Spurlin said. “So, it’ll help everybody all the way.”

The Bynum area is home to three major employers in Oxford: Anniston Army Depot, Kronospan and Bridgewater Interiors. If the project moves forward, a total of 4,790 jobs between the three employers would be retained, according to Craft.

In other business, the council:

— Rezone property located at 1724 Lake St. from residential district to general business district.

— Authorized use of the DS200 ballot scanner and vote tabulator for city elections.

— Executed a Tobacco Tax Revenue Administration Agreement with Avenu Insights and Analytics.

— Deemed two Freightliner trucks as surplus property.

— Entered executive session to discuss possible purchase or sale of real estate.