The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted on Friday morning to postpone the start date of the recently approved Alcohol and Safety Ordinance.
The ordinance, which is intended to curb underage drinking and provide more security on the Square, was previously set to go into effect for the city’s downtown district on Oct. 5, but it will now take effect on Oct. 15 — 10 days later than the previous date.
The board met at 8:30 a.m. Friday to discuss the extension, which was the primary item on the agenda. After a call to order, the board went into executive session for several minutes before voting to change the start date, a measure which passed unanimously.
The ordinance will still take effect across the remainder of Oxford on Jan. 1, as previously planned.
The board previously met on Sept. 13 to “affirm the boundaries” of the downtown district ordinance that was approved on Sept. 4. At Friday’s meeting, they opted to have the ordinance take effect 30 days from that mid-September meeting rather than from the initial Sept. 4 meeting.
“At that time, we did not have the exact language in the written ordinance, and so just out of an abundance of caution, we … extended to 30 days from that,” Mayor Robyn Tannehill said after the meeting.
The downtown district includes the area that lies roughly east-west between the Lafayette County Courthouse and South 10th Street and north-south between Jackson and Van Buren Avenues.
The ordinance, referred to as the “alcohol and safety” ordinance, has undergone many changes since it was introduced last year following a shooting at The Lyric Oxford on April 27, 2017. In accordance with the ordinance, local bars and venues must add security cameras and ID scanners.
Multiple public readings were held and community members voiced their concerns at meeting hosted by the board. The final vote was held on Sept. 4 following several months of deliberation and delays leading up to the vote.