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Village wants public input on fate of old township hall

February 02, 2011 - If you've got an idea as to what Oxford Village should do with the old township hall, local officials want to hear from you.

A public hearing on the topic is scheduled for the village council's Tuesday, Feb. 22 meeting at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held in the council chambers at 22 W. Burdick St.

"This is one of those agenda items that I really wish we could hear from the community on because this is their building," said village President Teri Stiles. "What do they want to see happen here? Do they want more parking spaces? Do they want to see that building demolished?

"It's their property and it's difficult to make a choice of what needs to be done with that property without input from the community. It's a big decision."

On Jan. 11, the village took possession of the old township hall, located at 18 W. Burdick Street, as part of its final settlement with the township over the Oxford Public Fire and EMS Commission lawsuit.

Now, the big question is what to do with the aging municipal building, which consists of approximately 2,500 square feet of first-floor space, plus a basement area.

In a memo to council, village Manager Joe Young listed some possibilities including the following:

n Leasing it to local charity Love INC;

n Allowing Alcoholics Anonymous to meet there;

n House a museum annex/coffee shop there;

n Day care center;

n Relocating the village office there so as to allow for an expansion of the police department;

n Demolish it to create an additional seven to nine parking spaces.

If the village decides to use the building either for its own purposes or to lease it to a third party, the structure must first be repaired and brought up to code.

According to a previous estimate from village Building Official Jim Wilson that could cost about $75,000.

Young was directed by council to obtain cost estimates regarding all the work that's needed to bring the old township hall up to code and find out how much it would cost to demolish the building and install parking.

Council also directed the manager to advertise and solicit proposals for use of the 18 W. Burdick St. space.

Oxford Township moved its municipal offices out of this space and into a newly-constructed building at 300 Dunlap Rd. in 2006.

For more information regarding potential use of the old township hall, please call the village at (248) 628-2543.

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