MINUTES OF THE OXFORD MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, August 19, 2019 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor
Jerry D. Roseberry; Councilmembers: Jim Windham, Sarah Davis, George Holt, David
Eady, Mike Ready, and Jeff Wearing.
Matt Pepper, City Manager; Dave Harvey, Police Chief; Connie Middlebrooks, City
Clerk; Jody Reid, Utility Superintendent; Michael McQuaide, Art and Laurie
Vinson, Laura Gafnea, from Oxford College; Judy Greer, Chris Madden, Robert
Bayliss, Dave Huber, Nick Cole, and Caitlin Jett, from the Covington News.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerry D.
Agenda (Attachment A)
Mayor Roseberry began the meeting by welcoming back Matt Pepper. Matt
and his wife Xan welcomed their first child on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The
Mayor reminded Council that this week is qualifying week. Anyone interested in
running for City Council Post or for Mayor should register this week and can do
so in the Clerk’s office.
2. 107 W. Clark
Street Renovation Project
Councilmember Wearing updated Council on the status of the Yarbrough
House renovation project. He stated that he has not been able to communicate
with the architects from Carter Watkins Associates. Councilmember Wearing
stated he hoped to meet with them on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Therefore, there
were no updates to be reported at this time.
3. City Ordinance
34-26 Vehicle Gross Weight
Chief Dave Harvey addressed Council on concerns of several citizens
starting to park multi-axel vehicles at their residence inside subdivided
neighborhoods, which exceed weight limits addressed in city ordinance 34.26.
Council readdressed the concerns of resident Tim Williams (229 East Soule
Street), who has been parking his dump truck at his residence for many years
without issue. Councilmember Holt questioned if ordinance 34.26 was the correct
one to address the issue because the ordinance uses the terminology “through
traffic” and residential traffic is not through traffic. Mayor Roseberry
suggested Chief Harvey and Matt Pepper investigate improving the terminology of
the ordinance. In addition, Judy Greer (201 Fletcher Street) asked if Chief
Harvey could also search the city ordinances for how many cars can be parked at
a residence at any given time. She has noticed several residences with up to
five or six cars parked during the day.
4. Alley Between 712 and 802 Emory Street
Councilmember Eady summarized the discussion that
occurred at the last meeting regarding determining ownership of the alley
between 712 and 802 Emory Street. He stated the cost is minimal for the city to
continue the investigation to determine ownership. Councilmember Holt
questioned who is paying the taxes on the alley. Councilmember Eady replied that
the Roan family were paying the taxes until they brought it to the attention of
the NC Tax Assessor and the tax map was adjusted. City Attorney David
Strickland informed Council that the investigation that had been conducted by
Jordan Engineering went back to 1908, where the parcel is referenced as a
public alley. There is no documentation conveying the parcel to any one entity.
Councilmember Windham questioned how it became the city’s responsibility to
conduct all the research pertaining to the parcel. Councilmember Eady responded
that the city put the sewer line through that property based on the assumption
that the city owned that parcel and did so without acquiring an easement. The
easement acquired from the Roan family stops at that parcel. Mayor Roseberry
stated his position on the parcel is that the city should quitclaim the alley
to the parties involved (Roan and Bayliss). Mr. Strickland clarified the
difference between a quitclaim deed and a warranty deed. A quitclaim states you
are relinquishing interest in the parcel, but you are not guaranteeing what is included
in the parcel. Statute states that for a parcel this small, the city can offer
it to the parties involved without holding a public auction. It does not state
how it must be divided. That can be determined by the city. Councilmember
Windham advised that once a quitclaim deed occurs you create a common drive
which will affect the value of the property at resale. Councilmember Eady
reiterated that it is in the best interest of the city, especially since the
sewer line was run through the parcel and that a potential precedent will be
set, to move forward with determining and certifying ownership. He continued to
address the fact that the city had not held any public hearings to grant a
variance, to overturn the Planning Commission decision, or to amend any city
ordinance. At the August 5th regular session Council voted to allow
the Roan’s to move forward at their own risk, which Councilmember Eady was
opposed. Consensus of Council was to consider the quitclaim and the issue will
be moved to the next regular session for a vote.
Commission Membership Requirements
Council continued discussion on issues surrounding Planning Commission
membership and having enough members present at any given meeting to approve
development permit applications. Mayor Roseberry suggested reducing the current
quorum from four to three. Councilmember
Windham suggested dissolving the commission and Council calling a special
called work session to approve development permit applications, as needed. Councilmember
Eady stated there have been no significant timing issues with approval of permit
applications and the commission should focus on developing an attendance policy.
In addition, if the need arises and a period of time passes with no decision,
Council could issue a decision. Councilmember Ready suggested that the Planning
Commission consider the idea of calling a special called meeting when they are
aware a quorum will not be present to approve pending applications.
6. Pending City Projects
City Manager Matt Pepper updated Council on pending
projects throughout the city. He stated that at the last regular session,
Council had voted to re-bid the Moore Street Sidewalk project and to date, that
project had been re-posted; Emory Street Project – IGA between City of
Covington and City of Oxford had been approved and signed by both parties and
at present GADOT is preparing documentation with City of Covington; At present,
city staff is gathering information as to whether the East Clark Street project can be completed by HCS Services for
the original bid amount.
Control on Soule Street
Windham stated the city would be well served to put three speed tables on East
Soule Street. With the commercial development occurring between Alcovy Road and
City Pond Road, the city is sure to see an influx of through traffic.
Councilmembers Holt and Eady agreed and asked that the city receive a cost
analysis to install the speed breakers. Council also requested that Chief
Harvey investigate any laws or GADOT guidelines that would need to be upheld.
Fountains and Pet Sanitation Stations
Windham requested that Council consider the city installing more water
fountains and pet sanitation stations throughout the city. These items have
been a success at the new Asbury Street Park, and he believes it would
contribute to keeping the city clean and beautiful. Mayor Roseberry was in
favor and requested a cost analysis along with tentative location sites be
provided to Council.
Session Adjourned at 6:45 pm.
Called meeting called to order at 6:50 pm by the Hon. Jerry Roseberry
enter Executive Session by Wearing - Seconded by Windham. Motion approved
City Attorney David Strickland updated Council on ongoing litigation.
Council discussed circumstances pertaining to city staff.
adjourn Executive Session Windham – Seconded by Wearing. Motion approved
Called Meeting adjourned 7:23 pm.
adjourn Council Meeting 7:23 pm Wearing – Second Windham. Motion approved
Connie D. Middlebrooks