July 11, 2018

Parking, Recycling Costs Among Topics Discussed At Meeting of Council

By Anne Levin

Following a work session on parking and the financial modeling workbook being prepared by the consulting firm Dixon Resources Unlimited, Princeton Council voted Monday to introduce a parking contract agreement with the IPS Group for single space smart meters.

Last month, the Council approved a contract with PassportParking, Inc., for a new app that allows payment for parking through mobile phones. Monday’s vote was the next step in the revamping of the town’s parking system, and consultant Julie Dixon said she is hoping to schedule a kickoff meeting soon. She is hopeful that a rollout of the multi-layered plan can take place in mid-September. The public hearing on the agreement with IPS Group will be at the Council meeting on August 1.

Bob Hough, the town’s director of infrastructure and operations, told Council that costs for recycling by Mercer County are about to rise as much as 40 percent over the next five years. A letter last Friday from the Mercer County Improvement Authority informed Hough of the expected cost hike. The current agreement with the county expires at the end of the year.

In 2014, Princeton paid the county $190,689 for recycling; the prediction is that by 2023 it will be $318,909. Hough said the county intends to discuss the situation with the other municipalities that use their services. “My understanding is that the main contributor to this is glass,” he said. “It’s a major, major jump. Should we go out on our own to bid? There are a lot of things we need answered.”

Upon request of Council President Jenny Crumiller, Hough said he will look into the practices of municipalities that do not use the county’s services for recycling.

Kristin Appelget, director of Princeton University’s office of community and regional affairs, reported that a new traffic signal is being installed at the intersection of College Road and Alexander Street. The University is paying for the signal, ADA ramps, striping, and signal request buttons. The new signal, which is projected to be completed by September, is the result of numerous safety concerns expressed to the University, Appelget said. One parking space will be eliminated to increase sightlines.

Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton told Council that construction of the new Mary Moss Playground is on schedule for an opening on July 20 at 11 a.m. The playground at the corner of John and Lytle streets will feature new equipment, a pavilion with picnic tables, a stone boulder scramble embankment with new slides, benches, and bike racks.

During the public comment period, Hawthorne Avenue resident Galina Chernaya spoke about an ongoing dispute with developer RB Homes over damage to trees from a construction project next door to her house. Last week, the developer had the roots of the trees treated, and plans to do a soil treatment program.

But Chernaya said the developer has violated the town’s ordinance regarding a drip line. Mark Dashield, the town’s administrator, said the town’s arborist and the Shade Tree Commission had visited the site. “We want to look at the regulations concerning the drip line and then come back to Council,” he said. Chernaya was not satisfied with that response and said she hopes for more action from the Shade Tree Commission.