By Alyssa Schnugg
After no objections were made Tuesday during a public hearing, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a petition from the residents of Oxford Commons 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.
A five-member board will be established to oversee necessary improvements and will serve as Board of Directors of the PID. Those members will be Jerry Veazey, Phillip Carr, City Engineer Reanna Mayoral, Luke Chamblee and Pat Garrigan.
The District Board will comply with the laws of the State and the ordinances of the city in connection with the construction of public improvements within the District.
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.
The Board also approved a Development and Reimbursement Agreement between the city of Oxford and Oxford Commons Improvements, LLC.