February 8, 2012

Township, Borough Budget Planning Proceeds With Consolidation in Mind

The Borough and Township have agreed to delay investing in capital projects and to postpone equipment purchases until the two municipalities are consolidated, said Township Mayor Chad Goerner at Monday’s Township Committee meeting. Consolidation will be finalized January 1, 2013.

In the meantime, Mr. Goerner said, the Borough and Township have agreed to work together to ensure that both will be financially in good shape for the merger. Both will be adopting budgets that will finance transition costs over five years, while a one year state grant covers more immediate cash outlays. The next meeting of the transition team will be Wednesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. in Township Hall.

Township Committee members present for the Monday evening meeting included Lance Liverman, Deputy Mayor Liz -Lempert, and Mr. Goerner, who wished absentees Sue Nemeth and Bernie Miller “a speedy recovery so that they can join us at our next action-packed meeting.”

Reports at this week’s session included Ms. Lempert’s description of recent meetings that have given area residents a chance to express their concerns about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) pilot project to test jughandle closures at Harrison and Washington Streets, ostensibly to relieve traffic congestion on Route 1. The coming move of the Princeton Medical Center to the other side of Route 1 adds to this concern. “Hopefully the DOT will hear us,” Ms. Lempert commented.

Also, this week Township Committee approved an ordinance to amend the code regarding taxicab licenses. Township Attorney Ed Schmierer explained that the new law is in compliance with recent state legislation that sets a minimum requirement for taxi drivers’ liability insurance, and requires them to undergo background checks at their own expense.

In response to a request from Princeton University security, Township Committee also approved an ordinance that will decrease the number of parking spaces and improve sight distance on Alexander Street. Township Engineer Bob Kiser reported that the new ruling had been reviewed by the Traffic Safety Committee.

Appropriations for sidewalk construction on both Grover Avenue and Roper Road were also approved at the meeting. Mr. Kiser noted that residents of each neighborhood will probably continue to discuss which side of the street to pave beyond the public hearing date of February 27.

Committee member Lance Liverman offered a “heads up” on “family dinner week,” which is scheduled to take place in Princeton from April 15 through 22. Local businesses and restaurants will be cooperating in this effort to encourage family members to dine together.

A hirsute Mr. Goerner and Freeholder Andrew Koontz will be guest-tending bar at this year’s “longbeard” competition at the Alchemist and Barrister on February 28. Proceeds of this year’s event will go to Derek’s Dreams, an organization dedicated to raising the awareness of ataxia telangiectasia, a hereditary condition characterized by progressive neurologic problems that lead to difficulty walking.