PRINCETON —áThe Princeton Post Office is gearing up for the annual National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which will be held Saturday, May 13.
Princeton food drive coordinator Scott Maschek spoke during public comment at Monday's city council meeting about the upcoming event, which will be the silver anniversary or 25th official food drive event.
He said to date, the nationwide food drive has collected 1.5 trillion pounds of food. Just last year alone, the drive accumulated 80.1 million pounds.
"Of that, Princeton contributed almost 22,000 (pounds). That put Princeton in 11th place nationwide in post offices with 25 routes or less — we have five," Maschek said. "We collected over 4,150 pounds per letter carrier here in the city. That's No. 1 in the nation. We're going to do it again this year."
Maschek said with this year being the 25th anniversary, there's a bigger push to beat records because the need for the drive is increasing, instead of decreasing.
Maschek is also motivated to make it the best year yet, as it will be his last.
"In 2016, our (Bureau County) food pantry helped 1,876 households and 4,780 individuals. That's the city of Princeton and surrounding communities. Our 22,000 pounds we got last year set all kinds of records and did something for our pantry we've never been able to do before. In the months of June, July and August, (patrons) got what is called 'second helping,' which means all the people in need got to go through twice during that quarter. We need to do that again this year," he said.
Maschek said one in five children are at risk of hunger. This time of year becomes harder for those kids who will go on summer vacation and won't be able to take advantage of the free breakfast and lunch program.
"That's why our drive is so important," he said.
Maschek thanked the city for their support of the drive and those with the city who have helped make the event successful each year. Because of the city's support, Maschek presented Mayor Joel Quiram with a presentation poster of the artwork used to advertise the drive over its 25 years.
The artwork was done by cartoonist Bil Keane who was known for his popular "Family Circus" comic strip. When Bil died in 2011, his son, Jeff, followed in his father's footsteps in creating and donating the special artwork to the drive. Princeton's poster will be hung in city hall.
During Monday's meeting, the council also passed a proclamation recognizing May 13 as Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Drive.
Euclid Avenue reconstruction project update
Also on Monday, the council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing an agreement addendum with Farnsworth Group for additional Phase 1 cultural resources coordination and reporting services, not to exceed $14,800, related to the Euclid Avenue reconstruction project.
Senior project engineer Joe Adams was present at the meeting and said because of the state's determination on the historic property, the firm must go to the next level of reporting. As previously reported, the state's historic preservation office had expressed concerns about removing the bricks. They had stated it might impact the historic value of homes located on Elm Place.
Adams said once the reporting is complete, it will move the project through Phase 1, which he said is the "bones of the design." He said the report would explore all options including keeping the bricks in place, repairing the bricks, replacing the bricks in kind or removing them completely.
"We will find something that fits the needs and budget requirements the city has," he said. "We're optimistic that salvaging the bricks and stockpiling them for some other use for streets in the future would satisfy the historic preservation office requirements for consideration."
According to the city's resolution, Farnsworth Group anticipates having the report finished no later than July.
In other news, the council:
• Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance for the annual budget for next fiscal year commencing May 1.
• Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance approving the sale of two water storage tanks on Putnam Street.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the city code to include an updated section on noise control.
• Approved a special use petition for Mobilitie to erect a small cell tower on city property located in the right-of-way of Claude Bailey Parkway.
• Approved a special use petition for Debra Nissen to operate a bed and breakfast in her home at 2312 S. Main St.
• Approved four proclamations, one recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a second recognizing the last Friday in April as Arbor Day, a third recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and a fourth recognizing May 13 as Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Day.
• Reviewed the sales tax report from May 2016 to March 2017. Total receipts totaled $2,235,507.17, which is an increase of $83,745.97 over the same period the prior year.
• Reviewed the hotel tax report from May 2016 to February 2017, which totals $99,801.41. This is a decrease of $10,769.58 over the same period the prior year.
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Princeton Police Stats for March
Total incoming calls 636
Ambulance/EMS related 328
Fire related 86
City utility related 75
Total calls 183
Rescue and EMS 171
Total calls responded to 388
Miles patrolled 12,810
Service calls handled 113
Arrests and warnings 56
Accidents handled 22