The AECOM contract recommendation was presented by City Service Director Mike Dreisbach, who also noted the support for the project from the Talawanda School District, which owns the Nelson-Morrow Building adjacent to the site chosen for the platform. He said that building is a key to the aesthetics of the site in hopes some arrangement can be made to remove it.
Prytherch said he wanted to make removal of the Nelson-Morrow building a part of the AECOM contract study and City Manager Doug Elliott said they would investigate a possible purchase of the building.
Dreisbach reminded council the Butler County Regional Transit Authority is also planning a bus facility near the site and the city had originally investigated finding one architect for both projects, but that turned out to not be possible.
He also told council the contract has separating points built into it so the work can be ceased if Amtrak or CSX indicate they no longer support having a stop here.
If the project is to proceed beyond the work in the AECOM contract, more funding will be required and Elliott said they are investigating potential grants to provide that funding.
Council Member Edna Southard said she hopes the design of the platform will include something to represent Oxford, possibly a mural, so outsiders coming through might be interested in later visiting here.
“We will work with the architect, but Amtrak has veto power,” Dreisbach said.