Princeton Council slated to vote Monday on paying a firm to remove the municipal fueling station canopy

princeton fueling station
The Princeton fueling station for municipal vehicles. File photo.

The governing body of Princeton will vote on a resolution Monday night to hire a contractor to remove the canopy at the Mount Lucas Road municipal fuel facility.

In February of 2019, the canopy was built as part of the new $500,000 municipal fueling station on Mount Lucas Road adjacent to the new Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad building. The fueling station is for fueling municipal vehicles and school buses. The station was built by the municipality in a residential zone, but officials did not review plans with residents in the neighborhood near the station before moving forward. A public outcry followed after the station was built. Residents complained about various aspects of the station, including the canopy and the harsh lighting at the facility at night.

Officials explored options for moving the station, then announced in the fall that they decided to keep it where it is. Some public works vehicles will now fuel up at another fueling station on Harrison Street. Officials said the canopy would be removed, new lighting would be added, landscaping would be added to the site, a generator would be removed, and a new nine-foot screening wall would be built. They said the town would also explore repairs to the River Road fueling facility to allow fueling of vehicles where practical.

Independence Contractors will charge the town $61,227 to remove the canopy, install two motion-activated LED lights on the existing fuel tank for vehicle illumination, install two switch-activated lights on the existing tank for tank refilling illumination, extended a masonry wall, raise all masonry walls to a nine feet, install a dark-colored stucco and capstone to the masonry wall, and install a transfer switch for emergency generator use.

The Princeton Site Plan Review Advisory Committee has recommended that a rain garden be removed and that additional screening of the site be added on the Route 206 side. The Princeton Council must work with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, the NJDEP and the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission to make the changes. The state holds three conservation easements on the land that is part of the proposed changes. It would cost an estimated $35,000 to relocate the rain garden, another $35,000 for state permits, and $32,000 for the elimination of the three conservation easements, plus legal fees and other costs, for a total of $124,500. The estimated costs do not include the construction of rain garden replacement and other site work to reroute stormwater runoff, landscaping to screen the fuel facility on all sides, or the installation of a fence or other screening material on the US Route 206 side of the fuel facility. The town would need to borrow the money to fund the work and other proposed sidewalk improvements near the site.

The Princeton Council meeting will take place in the main meeting room of the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street starting at 7 p.m. Monday.


  1. Egad. Look at that brutal eyesore. In a residential neighborhood? What were they thinking?

  2. I know that we are too far down the road, but I would love to understand why we are taking down a perfectly functional canopy and spending money to beautify an area that was not beautiful to begin with. It is an island between two busy roads. It has always been an ugly island between two busy roads.

    What is the problem that we are trying to solve and for whom are we solving it?

    Unless there is something that I am missing, if most Princeton taxpayers understood how much money we are proposing wasting to satisfy a few loud complainers, I think there would be outrage.

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