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PRINCETON — Monday night’s Princeton City Council meeting saw more audience participation than usual as subjects including a proposed change in zoning and converting Douglas Street to full-time one-way status were brought up by audience members.

Hale Avenue resident Andrew Rosale asked Council to consider relaxing zoning ordinances to allow residents to keep chickens and rabbits for food purposes.

“We’re facing potential food shortages and growing expenses. I’m growing wheat, beans and buckwheat on my property as part of the growing food movement, “ he said

Edward Powell of Douglas Street said the current status of the street which is one-way from 7-8 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m. when Mercer School is in session was “confusing” and asked Council to consider changing the street to one-way status permanently.

Police Chief Tim Gray said he had talked to Mercer School principal Kelli Stanley and both were in favor of Powell’s suggestion, which would have vehicles enter off of North Walker Street and exit onto Mercer Street.

Princeton Railroad Museum Director Pat Smith said that the museum had 428 visitors thus far in June with 118 coming from the British V8 car club visiting town Monday. She added that the visitors were so pleased with the visit that they were considering Princeton as the location for their 2023 meeting.

Smith also praised Director of Public Works Jackie Phillips and Assistant Director of Public Works Eric Gatchell for their painting job on the Virginian Railway caboose.

Council, on motion of Councilman Dewey Russell and second of Councilman James Hill, voted to approve a $44,251.21 drawdown payment from Region I Rogers Street Drainage Project.

On motion of Councilman James Hawkins with a second by Russell, Council approved on second reading, an increase of $2 in the residential garbage fee from $18 to $20 a month as of July 1st with another $2 hike on July 1, 2023 to $22 a month. The fee hike is to offset the cost of a new garbage truck and projected increases in the tipping fee.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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