A presentation about the proposal for Chamber to take over running the downtown kiosks will be made at the Council’s 7 p.m. public meeting tonight. The meeting will be held in the main meeting at the municipal complex at 400 Witherspoon Street.
In February, the Council held off on endorsing the proposal by the Chamber to manage the kiosks. The Chamber proposed replacing the existing kiosks at the intersection of Witherspoon Street and Vandeventer Avenue with kiosks that would include ads, the FreeB schedule, and a smaller section for community flyers, which would be date stamped and taken down when an event is finished. Fifty percent of the panels for each kiosk would be dedicated to local merchants, regional businesses, and non-profits, and 50 percent of space would be set aside for municipal information and community flyers. In the pitch to the Council in February, officials said the Chamber would charge for ads and outsource the management of advertising but advertising rates were given out at the time. The Chamber would enter in to a five-year lease with the town to rent the kiosks.
Many residents have argued that the change would take away from the homespun, grassroots feel of the kiosks. Some residents also oppose adding advertising to the kiosks and say it would take away from the character of downtown Princeton. Support for the project seemed weak at the last Council meeting. But Administrator Bob Bruschi is a supporter of the project. Historic preservation advocates say the project would need to go before the local historic preservation commission for a review because the kiosks are located in a historic district, but Bruschi said in an email to Planet Princeton that the review would only be a courtesy review since the structures and design will remain intact.
The project is expected to take 10 weeks to complete if it is approved.