OXFORD — Oxford leaders say they want to speak with their architects after being presented with a $143,000 addition to the city downtown streetscape project.
Oxford project manager Fred Denney brought the potential change order to the City Council Tuesday. The city has put about $3 million toward the downtown renovation project since it began last year.
The new work includes replacing four light poles near Dorsey’s Supermarket and moving an electrical feeder panel from near Main Street to the back of the store.
The mayor and City Council members said they didn’t have a problem with paying for the light poles. But they didn’t see why the architect firm, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, would have initially planned for the 5-by-6-foot panel to be visible from Main Street.
“This should have been caught to start with,” council president Chris Spurlin said.
Denney said relocating the panel would account for about a third of the cost of the work, but he also said he is confident that the oversight was the mistake of the architecture firm.
Efforts to reach Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Tuesday night were unsuccessful.
Mayor Alton Craft asked Denney to set up an appointment in which a representative from the firm could meet with the mayor and two other council members.
“They owe the citizens of Oxford an explanation as to why the taxpayers of Oxford have to pay $143,000 for this,” Craft said.
In other business, the council:
- Approved a resolution amending a tax abatement agreement with Kronospan, a flooring manufacturer in Eastaboga to account for the company exceeding growth expectations.
The original agreement, approved in 2016, had the city paying $75,000 for the 200 jobs expected in the company’s $360 million expansion. Don Hopper, executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, told the City Council Tuesday that the Kronospan expansion wound up being $403 million and creating 350 jobs.
- Approved a tax abatement for Associated MetalCast of about $76,000 for a $3 million expansion that officials believe will create 18 new jobs.
- Approved a resolution moving forward with plan to secure a bond for the city. Mayor Alton Craft said specifics like the term and interest rate for the bond would be worked out later, but he expected the total amount to be something like $12 million. The money will go toward the downtown streetscape project, additions to the Performing Arts Center and the establishment of an area crime center housed at the Oxford Police Department. The crime center will be modeled after Jefferson County’s Metro Area Crime Center.
- Declared as surplus stage equipment from the Performing Arts Center.
- Reappointed Sandra Pennington, Jennifer Yates and Jason Bedford to the Oxford Parks and Recreation Board.
- Heard from Gary Spignani of Republic Services about the feasibility of curbside recycling program. Council member Charlotte Hubbard had been working with Anniston Councilwoman Millie Harris to get such a program in the two cities. Spignani said that due to volatility in the worldwide recycling market, such a program would cost the city more than its current trash collection program.
- Changed the zoning of a property at 1329 Butler Street from General Manufacturing to Planned Development District.