The Oxford mayor and Board of Aldermen convened a recess meeting Thursday morning to discuss the closing of the animal shelter and the implementation of the new bar ordinance.
The ordinance has been the subject of major debate for the last several months. It was approved by the board of aldermen earlier this month. The ordinance is now officially titled the Regulation and Safety of Patrons and Employees of Restaurants, Bars and Similar Business, Including Event Venues Ordinance.
On October 5, the ordinance will affect a certain portion of the Square known as the Downtown District. This district is defined as “that area in the city which lies adjoining and to the north side of University Avenue starting at 9th Street, proceeding east until 14th Street: proceeding north on 14th Street to Jefferson Avenue to include all businesses on the west side of 14th Street; and proceeding west on Jefferson Avenue to 9th Street, to include all businesses on the north and south sides of Jefferson Avenue, and then proceeding south on 9th Street to University Avenue to include all businesses on the east side of 9th Street.”
It makes a lot more sense if you’re looking at a map.
On January 1, all business that serve alcohol for consumption on the premises located within the Oxford city limits will also be subject to the terms of the ordinance.
Ward 3 Alderman Janice Antonow was the one who made the motion for the aldermen to approve the ordinance on the condition that the rollout be staggered. In the meeting on Thursday, which she participated in via phone, Antonow explained that her reasoning behind this particular stipulation was that the businesses outside of the Downtown District had not been involved in the planning for the ordinance as long as the those within the district have. She said that she felt it would be unfair to hold both to the same standard so immediately.
The board also discussed the closure of the animal shelter following the contract between the city and the Oxford Lafayette Humane Society ending at the end of the month. Starting on October 1, the shelter will be closed for about two weeks. During that time, the building will be cleaned and repaired.
Applications for which organization will be taking over the shelter are due by the 20th. Antonow, who has served as the board’s liaison for the shelter, suggested the formation of a committee to go over the application and choose to who gets the contract.
The committee will be composed of Antonow, Ward 5 Alderman Preston Taylor, two private citizens, Greg Pinon of building and grounds, Lafayette County District 3 Supervisor David Rikard and Mark Levee with the city’s Public Works Department.
Antonow also introduce an ordinance that would prevent people from abandoning animals at the shelter during this two week period. Her concern was that no one would be able to take those animals in during these two weeks and harm would come to them if they were left alone. This introduction counted as the first official reading of the ordinance. There will be a second reading and vote during the first meeting of October.