The Princeton City Council met in regular session Wednesday night at the Tourism Center in downtown Princeton.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, Mayor Danny Beavers called the meeting to order and City Clerk Julie Key called roll, Councilmember Jim Joiner was absent.

Mayor Beavers then welcomed special guest Amelia Wilson, who is Congressman James Comer’s field representative, before the council unanimously approved the minutes for the December 18th meeting. Mayor Beavers then presented the check register to pay bills as presented.

The meeting then moved to department and committee reports and the council heard from the Princeton Police Department, the Princeton Public Works Department, the ABC Council, the Water Commission, the Electric Plant Board, the Airport Board, and the Finance Committee. Princeton Fire Chief Brent Francis then addressed the council reminding them of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be an all too frequent occurrence during extremely cold weather as people turn to alternative heat sources. He suggested that people keep that in mind and make sure they have a carbon monoxide detector if they’re using alternative sources of heat this winter. Code Enforcement Officer Dickie Thomas then addressed the council with a year in review, stating that there were 97 cases involving 193 violations opened in 2017. Sixty-seven of those cases, which involved 122 violations, were closed by December 28th, 2017, leaving 30 cases involving 71 violations still open.

Princeton’s Main Street Manager Dakota Young then addressed the council, stating that his goals for the new year were to incorporate a digital newsletter to be sent out weekly via an email list and posted to social media, to continue updating the city’s website, to create a tourism website, and to hold a downtown photography contest. He then stated that a letter of re-accreditation for the state’s Main Street Program was due for the city by January 15th. He stated that the program works on a points system that allows a town to stay qualified for, and supposedly benefit from, the program. In order for Princeton to re-qualify the Main Street Program must have a $35,000 budget. Currently the budget sits below $15,000. After much discussion, Councilmember Kelly Crisp made a motion to discontinue participating under the state program and instead create a local program headed by Main Street Manager Young. This would allow him to work without jumping through mandates given by the state and would allow him to make better use of local taxpayers’ money. It was noted that the state has not given any money to Princeton for the project for several years and that statewide participation has dropped from 400 cities involved to less than 35. It was also noted that the name of the program was copyrighted and therefore Princeton will have to come up with a name besides “Main Street.” The motion was seconded and the council unanimously approved the motion.

The meeting then moved to the Mayor’s Report in which Mayor Beavers reminded those assembled of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Luncheon to be held at the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Princeton on Monday, January 15th, at noon. The guest speaker will be Dr. Carrie Allen from Chicago and tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Feather Your Nest and the Cat’s Tale Used Book Store. Mayor Beavers also mentioned that he will be having surgery on January 12th and may not be able to attend the next Princeton City Council meeting on January 16th. He also mentioned that DLZ will be holding their architect meeting on January 16th at 3:30PM to begin the process for the new Public Safety Building. DLZ will then give a presentation at the city council meeting at 5PM.

The meeting then moved to unfinished business of which there was only one item, the second reading of Ordinance 12-18-2017. The ordinance concerns the Princeton Water and Wastewater Commission’s use of city streets. In order for the city to receive a $1.4 million grant to replace 17,000 feet of aged and defective piping the city has to authorize the use of city property to the commission. City Attorney Todd Wetzel then read the ordinance. After a motion and a second and a roll call vote, the council unanimously passed the ordinance.

The meeting then moved to new business, of which there was none, so Mayor Beavers called for a motion to adjourn. After a motion and a second the council unanimously approved adjournment. The next regular session Princeton City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 16th, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and is open to the public.

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