Princeton U. Contribution, Food Waste Program, Hospital Rezoning, Transition Task Force on Council Agenda Tonight

Participants in Princeton's food waste program will pay a fee to participate in 2013.
Participants in Princeton’s food waste program will be required to pay a fee to participate in 2013.

The public meeting of the Princeton Council begins at 7 p.m. in the main meeting room at the municipal complex at 400 Witherspoon Street. Following are the major items to be voted on:

Princeton University Proposed Contribution Amount Flat for 2013

The governing body of the new Princeton is slated to vote tonight on an agreement with Princeton University regarding the school’s 2013 voluntary payment to the town. Under the proposed agreement, the University would pay the town $2,475,000 — the same amount the school provided to the two Princetons combined last year.

In 2012, Princeton Borough received a $1,950,000 payment from the University, and Princeton Township received $750,000. A total of $500,000 of the contribution was earmarked for consolidation costs.

The agreement also reaffirms the University’s commitment to contribute $300,000 for the expansion of the Princeton Firehouse on Witherspoon Street, if and when that expansion ever happens. The school will also continue to make a $20,000 annual contribution to the fire department.

Downtown Hospital Site Rezoning Task Force

The Council is slated to approve the creation of a hospital rezoning task for tonight. The item, oddly enough, is listed on the consent agenda. Consent agendas are a list of items officials vote on as a package without discussion and public comment. The consent agenda is only supposed to be used for items of a routine nature like bill list approvals. The resolution slated for the consent agenda vote establishes a hospital rezoning task force. The task force will review the existing Borough and Township zoning ordinance for the hospital site and replace them with one ordinance.  Members of the task force will recommend modifications to the ordinance that will provide guidance “for the potential redevelopment of the site in a manner that incorporates the values of the Princeton community.” The residents, officials and staff slated to be approved to serve on the task force are: Joseph Weiss, Bill Wolfe, Marvin Reed, Areta Pawlynsky, Jenny Crumiller, Liz Lempert, Bernie Miller, and Lee Solow. Miller will chair the committee.

Food Waste Program Registration Fee to Be Approved

The Council is slated to introduce an ordinance that would set an annual registration fee for Princeton’s food waste composting program. The fee could range from about $42 to $65 per home.

Central Jersey Waste, the same trash hauler who handles trash and recycling pick up in Princeton, was awarded the contract for the food waste program last month. The cost of picking up the food waste, which Central Jersey Waste then hauls to a composting facility in Delaware, is estimated to be $240 per household.  The cost actually depends on the number of people who participate. The contract was awarded based on 1,000 household participating and the program will be capped at 1,000 users for this year.

Transition Task Force Report

The transition task force will review recommendations with the Council for monitoring the implementation of consolidation and other tasks moving forward in areas like police, finance, legal matters, and the creation of planning districts.

Let the Sun Shine

The Council is also slated to discuss its agenda posting and printing policy tonight. As advocates for open government and on behalf of residents, we urge the new governing body will use the technology available to post the agenda and all the supporting documents, resolutions, correspondence, and other items that are part of the agenda packet in a timely manner so residents can review the information prior to public meetings.