Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 19
 
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
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Borough Council Still Dealing With Issue of Closed Session NHKT Talks

Linda Arntzenius

When Princeton Borough Council met last night (after Town Topics press time) the item that topped the agenda was the ongoing issue of negotiations between the Borough and its developer Nassau HKT Urban Renewal Associates, LLC. (NHKT).

The Borough has been criticized for not making its dealings and dispute with NHKT public. That dispute has stalled the second phase of a development project that would result in a five-story commercial/residential building on a lot on Tulane and Spring streets.

Until there is a resolution of the question of ground rent that the Borough contends the developer should have been paying for the Tulane Street municipal parking lot since April 2006, it seems that the second phase of construction is a no go.

The Borough contends that it is owed $360,000 to date, which NHKT disputes, saying that it is unclear when the ground rent payment was to start.

At the last meeting of Council, Princeton resident Mark Alexandridis urged members to disclose details of the disagreement. He further suggested that it was time for the Borough to end its “dysfunctional” relationship with NHKT.

At that time, Mr. Alexandridis was supported in his call for transparency by at least two members of the council. Both Andrew Koontz and Roger Martindell agreed that more transparency would be beneficial since Princeton taxpayers were footing the bill for the project. Mr. Martindell has described the Borough’s decision to seek non-binding mediation to resolve its differences with NHKT as “a risky turn that jeopardizes the interests of the Borough taxpayer.” For more from Mr. Martindell on the issue, see this week’s letter page.

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Also on the agenda for last night’s meeting was the topic of curbing on Cleveland Lane, where residents have called for granite rather than concrete to be used.

Even though the construction work to replace curbing and repair sidewalks in the area of Cleveland Lane and Lafayette Road (between Cleveland and Hodge) is already underway, residents hope to persuade the council to make the switch from concrete to granite.

S. Brothers of South River was awarded a $1,434 million dollar contract last October and the work is scheduled for completion this September.

The council was also expected to vote on a resolution authorizing telecommunications company 4Connection, LLC, to install, operate and maintain a system of wiring within the public right of way; and a resolution to allow a “Click it or Ticket” campaign to take place from May 19 until June 1.

A fuller report of last night’s meeting will be included in next week’s Town Topics.

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