Oxford City Council: Survey to be done of possible site for new Bynum fire station
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
May 15, 2013 | 4838 views |  0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — Oxford took another step Tuesday toward construction of a new fire station in Bynum, to be located at the intersection of U.S. 78 and Bynum Cutoff Road.

The council voted to enter into a contract with the engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to complete survey work there, which is needed before the city makes a final decision on buying the property, said council president Steven Waits.

If built, the new station would replace the existing one which sits farther east on U.S. 78. The move will expand the fire protection coverage area of homes in the Bynum area that are within city limits but are more than 5 miles from the old station.

Prior to voting to enter into the contract, the council voted to terminate an old contract with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood that had the fire station being built on land near the Kronospan plant. That property was not chosen as the final location for the station, and so the old contract was terminated and a new one drafted.

To help pay for a new ambulance for Oxford Emergency Medical Services, the council Tuesday approved a payment of $98,500 to the nonprofit ambulance service.

The council in January agreed to pay Oxford EMS $180,000 annually with a one-time payment of $90,000.

In a bit of recognition Tuesday, two paramedics with Oxford Emergency Medical Services received commendation for their effort to save a life last month.

Jake and Tom Slick responded to an April 16 house fire in which a man was reported to have been trapped inside.

Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sparks said Jake and Tom entered the home and pulled the man from the fire, and although the man died the next day the two men’s actions were to be commended.

“They didn’t have to do that. That’s above and beyond their call of duty,” Sparks said.

“I would like to commend the two gentlemen for a job well done,” said Mayor Leon Smith. “…I’m sure you did just what you thought you should have done from the word go, and that’s what makes you so special.”

Just three days before the Alabama Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to hold the first concert in the city’s new performing arts center, the council voted to allow Smith to sign a contract with the orchestra for the performance.

The concert will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the center. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and may be purchased at the Oxford Civic Center, BB&T, Noble Bank and Trust, and Cheaha Banks.

Former Oxford councilwoman Norma Martin was also recognized by the council, with a resolution proclaiming May 17, 2013, as Norma Martin Day in Oxford.

“I don’t know anyone that has contributed to the city more than Norma Martin,” said Oxford Parks and Recreation Department director Don Hudson said, explaining she was instrumental in the formation of the arts council, culminating in the construction of the new performing arts center.

The proclamation will be presented to Martin at the performing arts center Friday.

Prior to closing the regular meeting, council members voted to go into a closed-door executive to discuss purchase of selling of real estate. City attorney Bruce Rice said the closed-door session was also needed to discuss two possible cases of litigation against the city.

In other business, the council:

— Approved a resolution to request funding from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program to help pay for two road projects: A lane addition on U.S. 78 from the Forest Hills Subdivision to just west of Watson Drive, and a lane addition on Leon Smith Parkway from I-20 to Boiling Springs Road.

— Appointed Ron Allen as city attorney on a contract basis in the event of a conflict of interest arises in any legal matter involving the City of Oxford and city’s current legal advisors at the law firm of Rice, Rice and Smith.

— Reappointed Patrick Miller to a four-year term on the Oxford Emergency Medical Services Board.

— Appointed Kyle McCoy to the Oxford Emergency Medical Services Board. McCoy will serve the remainder of Stanley Merrill’s term on the board after Merrill’s resignation. McCoy’s term on the board will expire Feb. 9, 2014.

— Appointed Kay Hubbard to the Calhoun-Cleburne Mental Health Board to serve the remainder of Carol Conde’s term on the board after Conde’s resignation. Hubbard’s term will expire June 30, 2014.

— Set a public hearing for May 28 to consider a request to rezone property at 48371 Alabama 21 from residential to agricultural.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.
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