Oxford moves toward $5.5 million bond sale

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Oxford officials approved a resolution on Tuesday to issue up to $5.5 million in general obligation bonds for projects as varied as recreation and fire protection.
“This will allow, but not obligate, the city to spend these funds,” said Pope Mallette, attorney for the Board of Aldermen.
One goal of the bond issue is the expansion of the John Leslie Tennis Center, with costs shared equally by Lafayette County and the University of Mississippi. As proposed, the project includes adding 12 new courts and some restroom facilities to the existing eight courts to enable Oxford to host regional tournaments. Part of the funding would also be used to build new practice baseball fields at FNC Park to replace those being lost to the tennis expansion.
Another proposal is for lighting for two soccer fields at FNC Park – one regulation size and one smaller practice field.
“Our hope is to have them for next spring’s soccer season,” said Rob Boyd, Oxford Park Commission executive director.
City officials are also eager to get a new fire station under way. Proposed for several years, a replacement for the current Station No. 1 on North Lamar Boulevard had been planned for a site at Price Street and Molly Barr Road across from Oxford Police Department and Oxford Activity Center.
The site’s long-ago use as a landfill, however, renders it unable to support a building foundation.
“It’s just not going to be practical to put that fire station there,” Mayor Pat Patterson said. Under the terms of the bond resolution, Oxford can also use funds to build or improve municipal buildings, streets, sidewalks, parkways, parking facilities and to purchase land for any of those purposes.
City officials will schedule a public hearing before a final vote on the bond sale.
errol.castens@journalinc.com