Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 14, 2013

Giving downtown an upgrade

Princeton officials seek suggestions for Mercer Street renovations

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Residents and business owners on Mercer Street are being asked for their feedback as part of the city of Princeton’s Blueprints Communities team’s downtown revitalization project.

City Manager Elke Doom updated the Princeton City Council Monday on efforts being made to revitalize Mercer Street as part of the Blueprints Communities initiative. In addition to code enforcement officers reaching out property owners about upkeep and maintenance, Doom said the city has been handing out surveys asking visitors, business owners and residents their opinions of Mercer Street.

“We gave out questionnaires during All-Together Arts Week asking what the people liked, wanted to see more of and what they didn’t enjoy. We have sent out similar questionnaires to local business owners. When we get them back, we will review the information and report that back to the council. I am sure some of the response will be expected and some will be surprising.”

Other questionnaires will be distributed through the Princeton Times, Doom said.

“We are getting data from residents, business people and others who visit the downtown area,” Doom said. “We hope to get as much response as possible. The more input we can get in the more we can determine what the community is feeling and wants.”

Doom said the Blueprints Communities team for Princeton has created a map of Mercer Street identifying businesses and potential areas for development, green spaces, parking areas and other improvements.

Mayor Patricia “Pat” Wilson said the city hopes to encourage local residents and businesses to return to Mercer Street.

“We would like to see more businesses come back downtown, to see storefronts cleaned up and to see people back on Mercer Street again,” she said. “We want people to be proud of Mercer Street.”

In other action, the city council approved the Princeton Police Department’s application for an Edward Byrne Memorial 2013 Justice Administration Grant by a 6-0 vote with member Chris Stanley absent.

Fire Captain Sean Wyatt and Lt. Dwayne Harvey both took the oaths of office for their new positions within the Princeton Fire Department.

— Contact Kate Coil at