An Oxford resident is circulating a petition to garner support for the city’s pending Amtrak stop.
Resident Deb Clark said she has collected more than 1,000 signatures in support of a stop, though the city and Miami have not yet favored one specific site.
Many of those who signed Clark’s petitions also said they would be willing to provide funds or materials to make the station happen, she said.
G. Alan Kyger, Oxford’s development director, declined Monday to identify any potential sites, except to say that the search committee is focusing on sites that sit on public land, although a privately-owned site would not be ruled out.
The city has identified about five or six potential sites for the stop — including between High Street and the former Talawanda High School site on Locust Street — but officials declined to divulge the specific locations as conversations with property owners have not yet taken place.
“The eventual decision-makers are going to be City Council and Miami University,” Kyger previously told the Journal-News. “We’re trying to work together on this project.”
The committee plans to make a location recommendation to Oxford and to Miami by the end of the summer, Kyger said.
According to Clark, the location decision needs to be made “before the administration changes at Amtrak.”
“Once the administration changes, there’s a possibility that Oxford will have to start all over again,” Clark said. “It’s like it’s never happened.”
However, Marc Magliari, spokesman for Amtrak, told the Journal-News he doesn’t know about any pending administration change that would affect the timeline of the project.
“I don’t know that we’re up against any imminent deadline,” he said.
Amtrak, which gave Oxford and Miami the go-ahead to select a site earlier this year, said that it would be willing to place a stop in Oxford, but the city and the university would have to find the site and the funds to pay for it. For that reason, the city and Miami are looking at the least elaborate kind of stop called a “shelter station,” which has overhead canopies but no amenities such as restrooms.
Amtrak’s Cardinal Line, which travels from New York to Chicago, goes through Oxford three times a week at 3 a.m. but does not stop in the city. According to Miami spokeswoman Claire Wagner, the university has just over 1,500 students from the greater Chicago area.
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