By Don Rush
The Oxford Village Council met for their regular meeting on Jan. 10. All council members, president Kelsey Cook, president pro-tem Allison Kemp, Maureen Helmuth, Ashley Ross and Lori Bourgeau were in attendance.
32 E. Burdick updates
Developer Dave Weckle of Valley Building and Repair was on hand to answer questions and give an update in regards to the Planned United Development at 32 E. Burdick St. He said windows on the third floor were recently installed.
“We have all the glass installed on the first floor, except for the large pane that takes four people to handle and that is going in tomorrow,” Weckle said. “A lot of the custom metal work has been completed and the coping on the third floor balcony is done. Some of the fascia and soffits have been completed – that should be done next week or maybe the following week. We had an inspection done today for the concrete work in the elevator. It’s all moving along pretty good. We ordered a dumpster for the garage demo and that should be here tomorrow.”
The PUD involves a three-story, 60-foot-by-60-foot structure at 32 E. Burdick St., the southwest corner of E. Burdick and Mill streets. The top floor will be a residential condominium with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open floor plan and an outdoor L-shaped deck that’s approximately 1,500 square feet and overlooks both E. Burdick and Mill streets. The DDA approved the Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement for the project at its November 2015 meeting. In August 2016, the planning commission approved the site plan. The village council followed suit by approving the PUD agreement in September 2016. As part of the development, Weckle created a 55-space paved public parking lot. Once complete, ownership of this lot will be transferred to the DDA and it will be maintained by the village. Weckle is building this parking lot at his expense and giving it to the DDA in exchange for transferring ownership of three parcels (32, 36 and 38 E. Burdick St.), totalling 0.35 acres, to him. Weckle is using the three DDA parcels, plus the five he already owns on E. Burdick and Stanton streets, to create this development.
After his update, Councilmember Ross asked Weckle, “What can we expect for February – weather bearing?”
“It all depends on the weather,” Weckle answered. “The things that are partially completed should all be done by February’s meeting. By Feb. 1 the gate-well and valves should be installed for the building’s waterworks. The garage should be out of there by this weekend.”
Waiting on crosswalks
For the past few months council has contemplated giving the okay for two crosswalks to be constructed in the village; one at W. Burdick and Pleasant streets, the other on Pontiac Street by Oxford Elementary School. Village manager Joe Madore said it should cost between $4,000 and $5,000 each.
President Cooke asked if there was a priority on which crosswalk should be completed first. Council discussed if one was to be done during the school year, then to complete the Pontiac crosswalk first.
Madore suggested waiting until summer and then doing both. “It might be best to do them both simultaneously. Have the contractors show up and do the work at one time. It just might make more sense to do that.”
Council bylaws discussed
Council was provided with 13 pages of proposed amendments to their bylaws, in particular how village council meetings are run, public comments, how roll call votes are made, how the agendas are presented, when regular meetings are scheduled and how special meetings are called, how and when they are posted to the public.
Council approved amendments presented, with changes.
Food truck ordinance
Village attorney Bob Davis will bring to council at the February meeting a draft ordinance for Mobile Food Establishments. “This will basically mirror what Oxford Township’s ordinance says, with changes made to reflect village concerns.”
Proposed Fire Prevention ordinance updates
Oxford Fire Chief Matt Majestic was at the meeting to ask council to amend their existing Fire Prevention and Protection ordinance to be inline with Oxford Township.
“This will make it easier for us to make it safer in the village,” Majestic said. “We are asking for the same abilities and authority as the township.”
Village attorney Davis said the current village ordinance has “no teeth.” The current ordinance, he said, only allows fire inspectors to suggest to property owners they fix something that is dangerous. “With a new ordinance they can enforce issues instead of saying this might be a good idea to fix.”
Council asked Davis to come back to the February meeting with proposed changes.
New Tahoe for police
Oxford Village Police Chief Micheal Solwold successfully explained to council why the department needed a new vehicle. Council voted unanimously to purchase a 2023 Chevy Tahoe for $40,000 “plus any dealer delivery and title costs and required uplifting costs yet to be determined.”
Councilmember Ross tendered her resignation to council. Council accepted her resignation with regrets.
Resolution for Gun Violence Survivors’ Week
President Cooke read into the record a resolution declaring the first week of February to be Gun Violence Survivors’ Week. After nine “whereases” the resolution ended with, “Now, therefore be it resolved that the Village of Oxford declares the first week of February to be National Gun Violence Survivors’ Week. We encourage all citizens to support their communities’ efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives.”
Council accepted the resolution.