Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 12, 2013

Princeton officials vote to resubmit for Small Cities Block Grant for flooding

PRINCETON — Elected city officials took a last step Monday toward submitting a new state Small Cities Block Grant for funding that would help Princeton alleviate flooding along Stafford Drive.

The Princeton City Council conducted a public hearing concerning the city’s resubmission of state/HUD Small Cities Block Grant application. No members of the public asked to speak, and the council unanimously passed a resolution to apply for the funding.

Princeton has applied between five and six times for a state Small Cities Block Grant to help fund improvements for the Stafford Drive area’s drainage system, said Mayor Patricia “Pat” Wilson. Intersections along Stafford Drive like the ones on Bee Street and Trent Street are often covered with high water after heavy rain falls. In late January, a woman and child were almost swept under an Oakvale Road bridge after their vehicle went into Brush Creek. First responders and passersby rescued them from the high water.

City Manager Elke Doom said the city would submit the application in late April.

The Hugh I. Shott Jr. Foundation has provided a $250,000 grant for the flood-alleviation project. More than $500,000 is needed to fund the overall project.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a recommendation from Code Enforcement Officer Bill Buzzo Jr. to have a consultant assess a building at 1450 Main St. for potential structural damage.

The evaluation needs to be done in order to learn if vines on the building can be removed safely, said Councilmember Dewey Russell. Large flocks of starlings have been using the vines at a roost, and Buzzo told the council earlier that he had received some complaints about the birds.

— Contact Greg Jordan at


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