Princeton town council announces priorities

An overview of town council's priorities, including town hall office relocation, urban deer management and hospital development.

Princeton mayor and council have announced their priorities for this year and next.

They took part in a workshop that helped them come up with the following priorities, which could be changed at any time depending on what’s going on in town.

Town hall office relocation

Princeton needs a new, larger town hall to accommodate the people who work there, said deputy mayor Jason Earle, who is filling in for Mayor Fred Thomas while he is sick.

“We’re exploring our options on either renovating or relocating to fix the town hall problem,” Earle said.

Building a new town hall was in the plans but was stopped for financial reasons, he said.

The plans are in the initial stages, so it is too early to know whether town hall will be renovated or moved entirely.

Urban deer management

Princeton is following the steps in the government-produced Urban Ungulate Conflict Analysis, and is looking after education about urban deer and bylaw enforcement, Earle said.

One Princeton resident has been fined for feeding deer so far, he added.

Now that an educational brochure has been sent out, town council is forming an urban deer management committee that will begin in May.

Earle is attending a meeting about urban deer control in Cranbrook this month to get more information about the next steps to take.

Service capacity review

Town council is hiring an outside party to go over how town hall is run to see if there are any ways to improve efficiency.

One area that needs improvement is Princeton’s out-of-date zoning bylaws.

“We have a lot of people coming into see council about variances on set-backs on secondary suites,” Earle said, adding that the process could be made more efficient.

Hospital business case development

“I’ve been on council for four years, I’ve been listening to Interior Health with their strategies for four years – now they’ve come and told us these strategies haven’t worked,” Earle said.

A town advocacy committee is in the works so council can help Interior Health find solutions, he added.

Council’s concerns about the hospital rose after an announcement April 2 that the hospital will be closed four times a week starting May 1.

Airport business plan update

Princeton council is looking at land use planning for the airport, including whether to make it more prone for airport-related business or more residential.

“We have a fantastic facility there. What need to work to make it better,” Earle said.

Other locations in Princeton such as the industrial park already have a land use plan, and the airport is next on the list.

Economic development strategy

Princeton has already reduced its business taxes, and now needs to work on attracting more business, Earle said.

“A healthy community has a healthy business community, so we as decision makers need to try to find out how to make it better.”

Recreation master plan

Princeton council is looking into whether winter and summer activities are attended as much as they should, and what can be done to improve them.