Ox­ford adopts 2015 budget

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

Ox­ford is ready to roll into next fis­cal year as its wal­let is set and spend­ing in or­der.

The Ox­ford City Coun­cil ap­proved its FY2015 budget, mak­ing no changes to the draft pro­posed at the May pub­lic hear­ing by pass­ing a $4.1 mil­lion com­bined budget.

This to­tal budget in­cludes the gen­eral, wa­ter and sewer, elec­tric and san­i­ta­tion funds. Last year’s budget to­taled $4.2 mil­lion, with the dif­fer­ence at­trib­uted to sales and property tax’s slow re­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to City Man­ager Bob Schwartz.

Schwartz said there are no ex­pected in­creases in taxes or elec­tric, wa­ter and sewer rates, giv­ing each fund a small sur­plus.

Most of the budget is al­lo­cated to salaries for the 13 mem­bers of the city’s full-time staff and the pay­ing for and re­selling elec­tric­ity to res­i­dents.

Mayor Jerry Rose­berry pre­pared the cap­i­tal projects fund as a sep­a­rate budget to in­clude an additional $1 mil­lion for all projects that may fall un­der the Ox­ford Com­pre­hen­sive Plan to live, work, play, shop and in­ter­act lo­cally. The largest project within this fund is the $1.2 mil­lion pedes­trian bridge and side­walk, $60,000 of which will be paid for by the city in 2015.

Schwartz said the cap­i­tal projects fund is in its sec­ond year and bud­gets five years down the road, with the four fu­ture years set to be re-ex­am­ined each year.

For this year’s 2015-2019 plan, there are 22 bud­geted projects.

“One city coun­cil can­not bind the next,” Schwartz said. “Each coun­cil stands on its own, even if it’s the same people.”

One item bud­geted for in the cap­i­tal projects fund is a $4,500 por­ta­ble walk­through metal de­tec­tor that will be used at City Hall for pub­lic meet­ings.

Moore and Soule im­prove­ments

The City of Ox­ford and New­ton County ap- proved an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment for both en­ti­ties to work to­gether to resur­face two streets that have earned com­plaints and needed at­ten­tion.

Coun­cil mem­bers agreed on the three- to four-day project Mon­day for an es­ti­mated start date to­ward the end of June. Repaving will im­prove Moore Street from city lim­its to Hay­good Av­enue and West Soule Street from Emory to Hull Street.

Schwartz said the City of Ox­ford will pay $80,000 for as­phalt, and New­ton County will fur­nish the la­bor, equip­ment and as­sis­tant county en­gi­neer’s ex­per­tise.

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