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Oxford Officials Recommend Parking Garage on Square

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Oxford’s downtown parking advisory commission recommends to the board of aldermen that a parking garage be built near the town’s historic square.
MayorPP-1-842x1024On Oct. 1, 2013, in a board of alderman meeting, the commission recommended that a parking garage be built behind the town’s city hall in order to meet the demands of more parking around the Square. More recently, the city installed parking meters in front of parking places around the Square. According to Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson, one of the main reasons the meters were placed was to help pay for the proposed parking garage.
“A parking garage is certainly one of our priorities,” Patterson said. “We’re hoping to build the garage off the revenue that the meters generate.”
Patterson said he does not want to raise taxes in the city, and that it will be a while before any parking garage behind city hall will be built. The city wants to keep track on how much money the parking meters make in order to construct a budget for the garage to be built. Patterson said it will cost about $20,000 a slip, or parking slot.
“If we built a 300 slip garage, we’re looking at $6 million plus you leave, you know, 20 percent for engineering and contingencies,” Patterson said. “You’re looking at $6 to $8 million. We need to get through a few cycles with our parking meters and see how much revenue they’re going to generate.”

One recommended spot for a parking garage in downtown Oxford is behind city hall.
One recommended spot for a parking garage in downtown Oxford is behind city hall

As of Dec. 16, public records show that the parking meters have generated $185,056 since September. That is about $12,000 a week that the meters are generating.The lowest month of revenue for the meters is December. So far, the meters have generated $25,662.40 this month. The highest month of revenue from the meters was in October, generating $59,626.95.
“We need to get through some January’s and spring breaks (talking about the revenue from the meters),” Patterson said.
While more parking near the square will meet the constant demand for better parking, it could cost problems for residents of condos that are built behind city hall. According to Tom Sharpe, chairman of the Downtown Parking Advisory Commission, the city might have to purchase those condos if the garage’s blueprints extend into the condo’s territory.
“Our recommendation was the city purchase those condos, but they (Board of Aldermen) have not made any decisions,” Sharpe said.
The mayor said that it is not a final decision that the garage will be behind city hall, but it “certainly seems like the most likely place.”
Emily Newton is a managing editor and reporter for Hottytoddy.com, and can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com.

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