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Bond ordinance funds to purchase new tower ladder fire truck, provide road improvements

The Princeton Council approved a $15.1 million bond ordinance that includes money for public safety equipment purchases, as well as repairs and improvements to streets scattered throughout the town.

One of the big-ticket purchases is a new fire truck to replace the Princeton Fire Department’s tower ladder truck, officials said, noting the 23-year-old tower ladder truck has begun to incur expensive repair bills.

The new tower ladder truck will cost $2.4 million. It will take about two to three years to build, officials said. The new truck’s ladder will extend 100 feet into the air.

The bond ordinance also includes $217,000 for a high water rescue vehicle and $12,000 for assorted swiftwater and technical rescue gear.

The bond ordinance also earmarks $123,500 to purchase sirens, lights and other equipment for the Princeton Police Department patrol cars, plus ballistic vests and uniforms. There is $5,000 in the bond ordinance to make repairs to the firing range.

Nearly $8.5 million of the bond ordinance, or more than half of the total amount being borrowed, is earmarked for road improvements. State grants will be applied toward the cost of some of the road projects.

Traffic calming and other improvements to Alexander Street, Dickinson Street and University Place are included in the bond ordinance. It sets aside $1.2 million for those projects, to include a $724,820 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Terhune Road is in line for traffic calming and other improvements, which are expected to cost $2 million. A state grant of $636,000 will be applied toward the project costs.

The bond ordinance includes $1 million – including a $750,000 state grant – for pathway and bikeway improvements to a portion of Cherry Hill Road.

There is $2 million earmarked for repairs, replacements and various other road improvements to include Ross Stevenson Circle and Drakes Corner Road.

There is $106,000 in the bond ordinance for general park maintenance, turf maintenance, multi-purpose athletic field maintenance and baseball field improvements. The basketball courts will be resurfaced. Park irrigation upgrades will be made to various parks.

New trash and recycling cans for the parks, plus new park benches and picnic tables, will be purchased with $14,500 set aside in the bond ordinance for those items.

The bond ordinance sets aside $2.6 million for the Infrastructure Department, which includes Department of Public Works. Of that amount, $1.4 million will be used to purchase assorted equipment that includes a pickup truck with a snow plow, a dump truck with a snow plow and sander, a street sweeper and a backhoe.

Also, $145,000 is earmarked for repairs to the Witherspoon Street firehouse and repairs to the Witherspoon Hall and Monument Hall municipal buildings on Witherspoon Street and Stockton Street.

Additional office space will be created at the Witherspoon Street firehouse, which would allow the Fire Marshal’s Office to relocate from Monument Hall, officials said.

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