Workers could be seen on Monday morning removing the municipal fueling station canopy in Princeton
The governing body of Princeton voted last month to hire a contractor to remove the canopy at the fueling 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.
Independence Contractors will charge the town up to $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 those changes because the state holds three conservation easements on the land. 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 that work and other proposed sidewalk improvements near the site.