Mayor and Council as part of the budgeting and annual reporting requirements have completed their annual review and discussions on priorities.. The annual process provides direction for council and staff on the issues and projects for initiation, implementation and/or completion in the current year. Progress is tracked and a progress report will be released by Council at the end of the year.
Council has committed to beautify Downtown of Princeton in the coming year with the replanting of trees on Bridge Street that were removed due to winter damage. The street lights will be painted black to co-ordinate with the lights that were installed in Veterans Square. The sidewalk benches will be refinished to improve aesthetics and safety.Sidewalk repairs will be made where necessary.
In addition, Council wishes to encourage everyone in Town to clean up. The Town will be identifying areas and taking steps to initiate cleanup efforts.
Attraction of new businesses and the retention of the existing businesses is important to the economic health and growth of our community. To this end, Council has budgeted for the preparation of a community profile that will provide a framework for action in addressing the key challenges and opportunities for Economic Development in the Town of Princeton.
The Economic Development Profile will capitalize on current and future economic opportunities.The final outcome will be a clear strategy that provides realistic, objective, and focused direction.An Economic Development Specialist with Urban Systems has been engaged to lead the project and the work program has been designed to involve the local business community and the general public in the development of the Economic Development Profile. The profile is expected to be completed by this spring.
HEALTH, WELLNESS AND AQUATIC CENTRE
Council is committed to improving our community’s health and wellness and will continue to seek opportunities for positive and healthy choices. Through a number of surveys and information gathered through the Recreation Strategic Plan process, Council is confident in the community’s desire to pursue a Health, Wellness and Aquatic Centre.
Council’s priority will be to prepare preliminary concepts and plans, identify funding sources, secure a location, develop a budget, and to work on operational strategies. Council has directed staff to engage the public for consultation when the time is deemed to be appropriate or as needed.
It is Council’s desire to be ready when capital funding programs are announced.
Council is confident that when the time comes to develop a Health, Wellness and Aquatic Centre that this type of facility will not only address some of our Social and Health concerns but will also be a regionally significant project that will enhance our community and make us more desirable for attraction and relocation.
Support for Health Care in the community remains a top priority. Council participates in the activities of the Health Care Steering Committee and has been actively involved in the recruitment of our newest doctor. Funds are included in the budget to support the committee and the recruiting activities.
Council has committed to Arena improvements that include painting the exterior and upgrading exterior lighting.
The arena was constructed in 1974 and for the most part is in good condition for its age. We recognized the value of the arena has for our community and we want to take pride in our civic buildings. The exterior of the building is constructed of metal cladding which was color coated from the factory. The exterior will be refreshed with more modern colors in keeping with the Town’s corporate image.
Council has also identified that the parking lot is a bit dark in the winter months. With new technologies in LED lighting, we are able to increase the lighting levels and reduce our power consumption. The Town completed a lighting upgrade in 2015 at the Riverside Community Centre and Council is very happy with the results. The arena will take on a very similar look and help to improve the safety of our citizens.
BRIDGE VIEW PARK
The Recreation Strategic Plan has identified the importance of trails and pathways within our community. Council also has placed an importance on improving our community’s health by promoting positive choices. Walking is an excellent choice to improve one’s health.
One of our busiest pathways is one that connects the residents living in the Allison Flats neighborhood to the downtown core by way of the wooden bridge. This pathway crossed private property and was in jeopardy of being developed by a private landowner, cutting off public access. In 2015, Council identified this as a concern. Earlier in 2015, Council had the opportunity to purchase this area of private property, thus securing the pathway for all to use in perpetuity.
Improvements include paving the path, general site cleanup, planting shade trees and other landscape work, and the installation of benches and tables. This work is scheduled for the summer of 2017 and will be completed by Public Works staff.
This has not only enhanced the pathway, but has also created a nice destination park and green space that will improve the look and feel of our downtown core.
CENTENNIAL POOL PARK
As identified in our recent Recreation Strategic plan; parks and green spaces are very important to our community. Over the past few years, council has been strategically improving and upgrading some of our community parks. The centennial pool park playground is on the 2017 Council Priority list for an upgrade.
The centennial Pool Park area has been used as a day use picnic area and a staging area for pool users. The park includes a beach volleyball pit, older playground equipment, picnic tables, some new shade trees and river access.
Improvements considered for this year’s park upgrade include, new Age-appropriate playground equipment, a water spray feature, additional picnic tables and a refresh of the beach volleyball pit.
These improvements will continue to make this a desirable destination park.