During its regular meeting Tuesday, the council introduced an ordinance that would make it unlawful to drive a truck trailer or semitrailer weighing 30 tons or more on County Line Road West. After a first reading Tuesday, the ordinance was placed on the agenda for the next council meeting, at which time it could be approved or struck down.
The road is the access point for several residences, but may also be the only access road for Del-Ray Ranch, the site of poultry and cattle operation. Without the road, Del-Ray could not operate, owner Ray Bean said during a phone interview Tuesday.
“That would put me out of business,” said Bean, who was not told about the proposed ordinance by the council.
Mayor Leon Smith, who spoke in favor of the ordinance during the council’s work session, said the restrictions were needed to keep the poultry farm’s feed trucks from tearing up the road, which was recently paved by the city.
“Some residents came to me to put some limits on it,” Smith said. “I’m not going to stop (Del-Ray) from being in business … but they’re going to quit going the way they’re going. All I’m trying to do is save that road.”
Councilwoman June Land Reaves said during the work session that the poultry farm did not have access to any other road but County Line Road West, and cutting off its use would be wrong.
“I believe that would be a disservice,” Reaves said.
Smith countered by saying there was another small road behind the Del-Ray property built in the 1960s, which could be used for the feed trucks to get in and out.
Bean said there was a road, but he could not use it.
“I don’t own that land … I don’t have access to it,” he said.
Del-Ray, which is fully operated by Bean and his wife, has been in business for 18 years and was annexed into Ox-ford in 2002. Bean said he currently has four 40-by-500-foot poultry houses, which at full capacity hold 120,000 chickens.
“We’ve always taken a lot of pride in what we’ve done and tried to make everything look good for the community and so I don’t understand what is going on,” Bean said.
The next Oxford City Council meeting is scheduled for May 11.
Contact staff writer Patrick McCreless at 256-235-3561