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State money may make sidewalk on Oxford Main Street possible

OXFORD A new downtown sidewalk could help pedestrians along Main and Barry streets, pending state approval.

The sidewalk as designed would begin on the west side of Main Street where it intersects with Snow Street, in front of Dorsey’s Market, and run past the line where Main becomes Barry Street, ending at the intersection with Fourth Street. Alabama Department of Transportation money will pay 80 percent of the cost of the sidewalk, an estimated $282,053, while the city will pick up the estimated remainder, $171,080. 

The state funding is part of ALDOT’s 2022 fiscal year Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program, a competitive program that helps install transportation infrastructure for non-drivers. Applications are due May 28, with selection announcements made before the start of ALDOT’s next fiscal year, according to an announcement letter from the department

“There’s been talk about this project for years, addressing pedestrian traffic coming out of homes there along Barry Street,” said Councilwoman Charlotte Hubbard, during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Many locals walk to Dorsey’s for groceries, she said, and the sidewalk could make the trip safer and more convenient. 

During the meeting, the City Council also: 

— Learned from Mayor Alton Craft that the Gulf South Conference softball tournament, held earlier this month, broke tourney attendance records by a large margin. Craft said the previous maximum attendance was 7,700 people. This year’s attendance was 12,881, a bit over 5,000 more attendees. Both numbers excluded players, staff and officials, Craft said. 

— Considered ideas for a food truck ordinance, which has recently been a bullet point in work session discussion. Food Truck Fridays begin June 11 downtown, but the ordinance will create a more permanent plan for how rolling restaurants are handled within city limits, including how business licenses should be managed and how closely they can be parked to brick and mortar restaurants, and how long they can remain in a single spot. A final version of the ordinance will have to be drafted before it comes to a vote. 

— Authorized a city purchase of about .08 acres on Ross Street for $2,000. 

— Agreed to enter a hay baling contract with Randy Henson to cut and gather hay at Choccolocco Park through Oct. 31; Henson will have the option to continue the agreement for two more one-year terms. 

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.