Shut DownFriday, March 26, 2010
Construction on a multi-million-dollar Oxford sports complex halted a month ago because the discovery of ancient human remains at the site was not reported to the proper authorities — an oversight that so far has forced the city to pay approximately $200,000 to its idle project contractor.
The Oxford City Council briefly discussed the situation during the work session before its regular meeting Tuesday. The council agreed to sit down with all parties involved at 10 a.m. April 5 at City Hall to learn how the oversight occurred and to get the project started again. The parties involved include a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which shut down the project; Taylor Corp., the contractor; University of Alabama archaeologist Robert Clouse, who is overseeing the project; and engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.
"Every two days, we're paying Taylor Corp. what it would cost for a new police car," Spurlin said.
"As part of the wetlands permit process, archaeology is incorporated," Holstein said. "We told them there were 24 archaeological sites on that parcel of land, including a temple mound and village areas. The Historical Commission concurred, and the city signed off on it."
Holstein claimed earlier this year that someone had bulldozed the temple mound, which may have contained human remains. Clouse and the city claim the mound is still there.
Holstein believes the few remains the city found in January are only the beginning of what will be discovered at the construction site.
"They're going to find more bodies," he said. "(Indians) didn't just bury one person in a large town like that."
Karma, Oxford. Karma.