Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 6
 
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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Township Anticipates Capital Improvements, Prepares to Distribute Leaf Collection Schedule

Ellen Gilbert

At its Monday evening meeting, Township Committee approved the introduction of an ordinance appropriating $5,585,000, financed by the issuance of $2,660,000 of bonds or notes, for capital improvements.

Township Engineer Bob Kiser noted that money is already in place for a number of the projects, which include rehabilitation of the historic cachement area at Mountain Lakes, and the repair and resurfacing of Battle and Ober Roads, where utility work has left “very rough” conditions.

Money is also needed for the repair of Province Line Road, which “got beat up quite severely” during the months it served as an alternate route during the closing of the Stony Brook Bridge. Mr. Kiser noted that Lawrenceville Township will be doing the majority of the Province Line Road work.

A $2.7 million private donation for the Mountain Lakes project must be met by $1.65 million more for completion of that project. Mr. Kiser said that his department is “talking with potential donors,” and looking forward to going “out for bidding in the next three weeks.” He described the project, which includes the rehabilitation of the lower dam and widening and fortification of additional walls, as “very extensive,” and noted that his department is “working hand-in-glove with the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission and the State’s Historic Preservation Department.” An information meeting, at which consultants will be available to answer questions, is being offered to Mountain Lakes neighborhood residents on Monday, March 1. Completion of the project is anticipated in Spring 2011.

In addition to the $10,000 already in place, $25,000 is needed to complete a path being created through the Battlefield State Park. The new ordinance will also provide money for the purchase of in-house supplies and equipment, offering more efficient alternatives to using outside jobbers.

Although she was not present, Financial Officer Kathy Monzo received high praise as the Committee approved a bond ordinance appropriating $6,850,000 for the refunding of general improvement bonds to take advantage of more favorable rates. Committeman Lance Liverman noted that the transaction represented about $700,000 in savings for the Township, and Mayor Bernie Miller said that Ms. Monzo has “done a great job.”

As a result of the “very good discussion” at last week’s meeting about leaf collection, Mr. Kiser reported that preparations were being made for the distribution of this year’s leaf and brush collection schedule to every Township household. While the sequencing of pickups will be similar to last year’s, he noted, areas of leaf collection rotation have changed, and will begin this year in the Riverside (Area Two) area. Mr. Miller reported that suggestions made at last week’s meeting for improved communication are being implemented, and that schedules would not only be distributed by hand; they will be published in advertisements and disseminated through the community’s telephone service. He reiterated the value of the comments made at the special meeting, and promised to “continue to explore how we can do a better job of this.”

An eight-foot extension of the new Braeburn Drive Culvert enabled the Township to bypass a Mercer County requirement for “an elaborate guide rail system,” that would have been inconsistent with the look of the neighborhood, reported Mr. Kiser. The Committee’s approval of a final contract amount of $35,206.55 for the extension actually proved to be less expensive than providing the guide rails, he noted.

Mr. Miller introduced a video on sustainability in the community produced by Princeton TV. The brief service announcement, which currently runs on TV30 and can be seen at www.vimeo.com/8536305, suggests alternative ways of participating in sustainability efforts, such as carpooling, bike-riding, walking, and turning off appliances when they are not in use.

Proclamations marking February as Black History Month and March as Youth Art Month were read by Mayor Miller at the beginning of the meeting. Describing the “hard work, intelligence, and perseverance” and “significant role” of African Americans in Princeton history, the Black History Month proclamation noted the “valuable and lasting contributions” of that community.

The Art Month statement called for the support of “art teachers as they attempt to strengthen art education in their communities.” The “powerful benefits” of art education, it observed, include “developing problem-solving and creative thinking abilities, sensitivity to beauty and order, and a deeper understanding of multicultural beliefs.”

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