By Anna Grace Usery
In its special meeting Tuesday, April 23 the Board of Aldermen agreed they will not fund phase two of the West Oxford Loop Extension. The project was estimated to cost $1 million.
The portion of the project discussed applied only to the existing road between West Oxford Loop and Anderson Road. The $1 million that the Board said was not budgeted in the city’s operating fund, would incorporate sidewalks, curbs and gutters and implement a drainage system.
Bart Robinson, chief operating officer for the City of Oxford, asked the Board if they wanted to consider continuing the extension and to what level of funding.
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill voiced concern over putting that money into a project when there are other pressing projects in the community, especially the University Ave and Hwy 7 crossing, she said.
“My concern is we have $750,000 the state has given us—MDOT has spent in the $400,000 range in survey and design fees—and I’m hesitant to commit $1 million to a project that isn’t that one,” she said.
The mayor asked if devoting a certain amount of money to the project would incentivize the state to fund more of the project. Robinson clarified that it did not.
“If committing that money made a difference for state funding, we would be willing to match the amount,” she said. “But we didn’t get those funds.”
Alderman Preston Taylor said he sees improving other streets as a priority.
“We’ve talked about other streets that need improvement,” he said. “I don’t see anyone walking down (the sidewalks on the existing road).”