By Alyssa Schnugg
To help plan and implement infrastructure projects in Oxford Commons, residents in the development have petitioned the city of Oxford to form a Public Improvement District.
A PID is a defined geographical area, in this case, Oxford Commons, established to provide specific types of improvements or maintenance which are financed by assessments against the property owners within the area.
Most of the projects will involve infrastructure, like road improvements, landscaping and common area improvements.
On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a resolution acknowledging the receipt of the petition to create the PID and scheduled a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 at City Hall.
Oxford Commons is a 500-acre area that is being developed largely by residential developer David Blackburn and several other landowners in the commercial district of Oxford Commons.
There are about 125 homes built in the residential with another 750 planned to be constructed over the next 20 years.
However, construction is being stalled by the city’s Planning Commission ruling that only a certain number of Certificate of Occupancy permits can be issued until improvements are made to Highway 7 and Sisk Avenue.
Blackburn is working with the city of Oxford and Lafayette County and using Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, to fund some of the road projects. Blackburn will pay for the improvements. Once new construction in an 80-acre area around Oxford Commons is built and enough sales and ad valorem taxes are collected from those new properties to cover a bond payment, the city will sell the bonds and repay the developer.
The city and county will then repay the bond from the taxes collected from the businesses and properties built after the road improvements. However, the county will only be repaying the bond with ad valorem taxes collected on future construction since the county does not collect sales tax.