The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce has requesting that the Princeton Council table its application to lease the kiosk until a later date.
The Chamber still believes that kiosk upgrades are beneficial to the downtown community and is considering developing design changes and community partnerships to achieve this goal.
“The kiosks need to be upgraded. We continue to hear from the community that they are unsightly, disorganized and not achieving the goals that they were designed for,” said Peter Crowley, President and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, in a press release about the decision to postpone the vote on the plan. “We are asking for additional time before requesting final approval so we can make adjustments to the medium mix on the kiosk, which we are hopeful, will meet all of the community’s needs. We will continue to work with the municipality, the business, arts and local residents in a partnership approach so we can have a design that meets everyone’s needs.”
Listening to additional feedback and reevaluating the design is the next step for the project, Crowley said.
“We also want to further examine the costs of maintenance and upkeep and see if we can come up with a plan that reduces the cost to upgrade the kiosk and minimize the expected ongoing maintenance support,” Crowley said. “Our goal continues to be to develop a public – private partnership that does not have the taxpayers of Princeton responsible for funding the renovation costs. As a regional nonprofit organization it is very difficult for us to sustain a project like this alone without a way to fund it.”
Many residents oppose changing the kiosks, and don’t want the kiosks to include paid advertising. The Chamber argues that the kiosk upgrades will “enhance the Princeton experience” with additional room for information, maps and local cultural events.The Chamber is working on incorporating Council suggestions into the plan.
“Councilman Patrick Simon’s suggestion of an early release plan for both the lease and leaser was a unique approach and is an idea that we will incorporate into our discussion,” Crowley said. “We appreciate his, as well as many of the council’s suggestions for how the kiosk might be improved. We want the final design to be a partnership that works.”
The Chamber held a press conference to announce the delay. Planet Princeton was not invited because the Chamber has been unhappy with Planet Princeton’s coverage of the issue.