Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 41
 
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
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Township Committee Hears PSRC Views on Fiscal Health, Social Services

Ellen Gilbert

Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) Executive Director Susan Hoskins delivered a well-received annual report on the Center’s activities and plans at Monday evening’s Princeton Township Committee meeting.

Ms. Hoskins described the Senior Resource Center, which is headquartered at the Suzanne Patterson building behind Borough Hall, as “moving away from being a referral source” to becoming a full-fledged “social service agency, helping to get services to low- and low-to-middle income families.” Describing a recent phone call from a 74-year-old non-Princeton resident who wanted information on getting meals to her 104-year-old mother in Princeton, Ms. Hoskins noted that she no longer just gives out phone numbers, but “makes the calls” herself to arrange for the delivery of services.

The current financial climate is a particular concern for PSRC, which is staffed by two full-time and seven part-time employees, along with some 335 volunteers. The agency receives 26 percent of its funding from the Borough and the Township; the rest comes from outside fund-raising. Ms. Hoskins expressed the hope that a recently established endowment fund would provide some financial security in the future.

The fiscal health of the center’s current and future constituency — i.e., those over 50 — is also very much on their minds, said Ms. Hoskins. PSRC began a new program last year called “Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning,” to assist people in successfully making this important lifestyle change. Descriptions of programs associated with this and other PSRC activities can be found at www.princetonsenior.org.

Another new initiative, Ms. Hoskins reported, is “partners-in-caring,” a collaboration between the PSRC and six other agencies, focused on providing “wrap-around, comprehensive” services to those who choose to age in place. Partners-in-caring coordinates meal delivery, transportation, daily phone calls, home modification, and nursing services needed by aging adults in the community. Ms. Hoskins said she was “very excited” about the program, which receives funding from the United Way of Greater Mercer. “We began taking clients in March and we’re growing like crazy,” she reported.

Members of the Township Committee thanked Ms. Hoskins for her report, and expressed their appreciation for the work being done by the Princeton Senior Resource Center. Ms. Hoskins noted that besides financial stability, finding some volunteers with graphic arts skills to help with several new brochures is also high on her current wish list.

Another agenda item at Monday’s meeting was the approval of a bond ordinance providing for the refunding of all or a portion of general improvement bonds from 1999 and 2001, totaling $9,600,000. Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Monzo noted that, while it isn’t necessary to refund the bonds at this point, doing so now will result in saving money. She said that they “don’t anticipate problems” in finding funding, since the transaction has to do with refunding, rather than “new money.” Princeton’s triple-A bond rating also gives it a considerable edge over other municipalities, she added, noting that “we don’t even need to get insurance.” The committee unanimously approved the ordinance.

A complaint about the appearance of political signs on public rights-of-way in Princeton Township was made at the meeting by Henry Frank of Valley Road during the “comments” section of Monday’s meeting.

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