Writing in Support of Princeton Business Partnership for Community
To the Editor:
In 2005, I was part of the discussions with then Municipal Administrator Bob Bruschi on creating a Special Improvement District (SID) for Princeton. Unfortunately that effort didn’t get off the ground, and here we are 17 years later, looking at doing this. But, this time, I believe we have the consensus and impetus to move forward.
A Special Improvement District for our town is not an added bureaucratic layer. It is a mechanism for the business community to come together, to work in partnership with one another and to have a private-public partnership with the municipality. Aptly named, the Princeton Business Partnership (the proposed name for the SID) will do just that, build partnership throughout our community. As we have seen through these challenging times the need for better communication and a mechanism for management is clear — we struggled through without a strong voice for the businesses in town. Now we have the opportunity to emerge much stronger by working together to improve our town and enhance our vitality.
SIDs are designed to boost and reinforce economic enhancement of commercial areas by providing a range of focused services customized to local needs in addition to standard municipal services. No, the SID is not intended or allowed to replace municipal services. The SID dollars will be used to enhance existing services or create new ones.
For property and business owners like us, these enhanced programs will help us gain foot traffic during slow times, to counter the “feast or famine” waves of business. A well-run SID will have programs like restaurant weeks, loyalty promotions to encourage our local resident community to patronize our stores and restaurants, and coordinated efforts to better manage the tenant mix in ways that benefit all of the existing merchants and meet residents’ needs.
In addition to a sustainable funding source, the SID will also have access to private, state, and federal funding programs. This organization will be able to work not only on the short term projects, but on long-term planning that will enhance all the commercial zones.
I am strongly in favor of creating the Princeton Business Partnership. Let’s not let another decade or two slip by. Please join me in support of this critical initiative.
Route 27, Kingston