University contributions to Princeton town

Summary of the many ways in which Princeton University currently contributes to and engages with the Princeton community. Submitted in a memo by President Christopher L. Eisgruber to the Princeton mayor and council on Oct. 28, 2014.

Voluntary Payments (calendar year basis)

  • $1.18 million to Princeton Borough and $500,000 to Princeton Township in 2011
  • $1.5 million to Princeton Borough and $775,000 to Princeton Township in 2012
  • $2.475 million in 2013 to Princeton
  • $2.75 million in 2014 to Princeton per 2014 contribution agreement; unrestricted contribution will escalate by 4% annually over seven-year term of agreement
  • Seven-year contribution agreement signed in 2014 also includes the following pledges to major community initiatives:
    • $500,000 toward construction of a new Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad facility on municipal land
    • $250,000 toward the expansion of the Witherspoon Fire Station (in addition to $300,000 already committed to this project under a prior agreement)
    • $500,000 toward the purchase of fire-fighting apparatus
    • $250,000 toward the construction of a new storage facility for municipal Department of Public Works equipment
    • Donation of the University-owned Franklin Street Lot for municipal use
    • $90,000 toward new FreeB vehicle

Taxes Paid (calendar year basis)

  • 2014: $7.75 million property tax payment to Princeton (this does not include sewer payments)
    • Of the $7.75 million, $3.05 million is for housing that could be taken off the tax rolls
    • Of this $3.05 million, $657,000 goes directly to the municipality for municipal taxes, municipal open space taxes or Princeton Library taxes.

The town's Aaa bond rating is partially based on the "stabilizing presence of Princeton University"

  • The recent Moody's report cites "the stabilizing presence of Princeton University" and notes that "Princeton University (7,912 students) contributes to the municipality's strong local economy." Its AAA rating reduces the town's borrowing costs below the costs of many other municipalities.


  • Provided aerial mapping necessary for preparation of consolidated Princeton tax map at no charge. The value to the town was $270,000.

Contributions to important community organizations/initiatives/causes

  • Princeton Public Library, construction and endowment
  • Princeton Public Schools, including renovation of the high school auditorium/library
  • Technology for the new JW Middle School Media Center
  • Princeton Charter School
  • Arts Council of Princeton building renovation/expansion
  • Hinds Plaza
  • Princeton Community Pool reconstruction
  • Princeton Recreation skate park
  • Battle Monument renewal and lighting project
  • Support for new Princeton hospital
  • Founding sponsor of Send Hunger Packing
  • Brainfuse program at Princeton Public Library
  • Sustainable Princeton Energy Smart Homes Campaign
  • Morven Museum and Garden Endowment Campaign
  • Garden State on Your Plate program in Princeton Public Schools

Affordable housing

  • Constructed 9 units on Leigh Avenue (occupied)
  • Constructed 16 units as part of phase one of Merwick-Stanworth project (occupied)
    • 40 additional units to be constructed as part of phase two
  • Contributions to Princeton Community Housing for Shirley Court and Harriett Bryan House
  • Donation of land for Karin Court


  •  Joint training/meetings:
    • Any in-service training held on campus and sponsored by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been, and will continue to be, offered to the Princeton Police Department (PPD)
      • May 2014: DPS sponsored Crowd Management Training in Frist Campus Center. Six PPD officers attended.
      • June 2014: DPS sponsored Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement Officers by Kevin Gilmartin, for both the DPS and PPD Command Staff. The PPD Chief of Police, four Lieutenants and four Sergeants participated.
      • August 2014: PPD Corporal and K-9 Trainer Matt Solovay demonstrated the effectiveness of the PPD new K-9.
      • November 2014: Diversity Training. PPD intends to send approximately thirty officers.
      • November 2014: Mercer County in-service training which includes Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Bias Crimes. PPD intends to send approximately ten officers.
    • Both DPS and PPD Command Staff meet monthly on a rotating basis between Princeton Police Headquarters and Princeton Public Safety Headquarters. These meetings are used to review issues and plan for upcoming town or Princeton University events.
    • Executive Director Paul Ominsky, Director of Operations Stef Karp and Chief Nick Sutter meet monthly.
  • Tours of campus buildings:
    • Between January 2014 and October 2014, PPD officers were given tours of campus buildings to improve emergency response and to promote regular interaction between the PPD Officers and the campus community.
      • 16 sessions conducted
      • 19 administrative buildings have been toured
      • Each PPD officer has participated in multiple sessions.
      • Additional tours scheduled for November 2014.
  • As a result of the DPS/PPD operating agreement signed in 2013, call volume for PPD response to campus-related incidents is minimal
    • Request for police assistance for specific crimes/serious incidents (violence, domestic violence, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults, homicide, unattended deaths, fires, bomb threats, incidents involving a firearm, report of person with firearm):
      • 2012-total of 10 calls (1 Township, 9 Borough)
      • 2013-total of 7calls
      • 2014 (to date)- 1 Domestic Violence call that PPD responded to and assisted DPS
    • Police co-operation reports are filed when there is an interaction of any kind between municipality and public safety that is not investigated by DPS or does not fall into DPS jurisdiction. This includes requests by municipality for DPS tassist in a case or investigation (i.e. assistance in locating missing individual, assistance with traffic control, assistance with serving subpoenas, use of Spanish-speaking DPS officer for interview purposes, transportation from PPD tcampus for students).
      • 2012-total of 95 calls (72 Township, 23 Borough)
      • 2013-total of 135 calls
      • 2014 (to date)-total of 52 calls

Emergency Services

  • Financial support for the municipality’s Director of Emergency Services position.
  • University staff participation on Princeton’s Municipal Emergency Planning Committee.
  • Princeton Fire Department
    • $250,000 pledged toward the expansion of the Witherspoon Fire Station (in addition to $300,000 already committed to this project under a prior agreement).
    • $500,000 pledged toward the purchase of fire-fighting apparatus.
    • Fire Department Associate Member Program: University staff serve as Princeton Fire Department volunteers during weekday work hours
      • Program currently has 40 university employees participating
      • For fiscal year July 2013 to June 2014, associate members have responded to 205 calls totaling 911 hours
      • For fiscal year July 2013 to June 2014, associate members have participated in 622 hours of training during regular work hours
        • In addition, 6 employees attended Pump Operations training – 168 hours of training during regular work hours.
      • Firefighter One Class planned for Fall 2015.
      • Firefighter Two Class planned for Spring 2015.
    • In January 2014 the University hosted a continuing education program for firefighters and fire inspectors, featuring changes and processes for the inspection and testing of life safety systems attended by 100 fire inspectors from the Princeton area.
    • In March 2014 the University hosted a continuing education/lecture program featuring a nationally known fire-training professional attended by 125 firefighters from the Princeton region. Similar training planned for winter 2015.

Communication Systems

  • Mercer County’s new countywide public safety communications systems is supported at Fine Hall.
    • A full radio receiver site for Mercer County’s new countywide public safety communications system has been installed to provide mobile and portable public safety radios with the ability to be clearly heard on this system when operating throughout the Princeton area. A formal multi-year agreement with Mercer County was put in place to support this into the future.
    • Also installed were receivers for Mercer County Central Dispatch to be able to monitor all on-scene ground communications during fire incidents in the Princeton area.
    • In addition, a microwave link site was installed to connect not only this site, but two (2) additional sites into the new communications network. This support includes electronics infrastructure installed in a secured room, as well as rooftop antennae.
  • Equipment and antenna support for Princeton Police, PFARS and Princeton Fire Department at Fine Hall:
    • A radio repeater is installed in a secured room and connected to an antenna located on Fine Tower to alert PFARS ambulance and rescue department pagers of a call. This same repeater is used for operations associated with PFARS calls. (We do not maintain this radio equipment or the antenna; we just provide secure space and power.) A formal multi-year agreement with the Town of Princeton was put in place to support this into the future.
      • Mercer County Central Dispatch uses this same repeater to alert the Princeton Fire Department pagers of a call.
      • PFARS has a dedicated repeater and antenna at Fine Tower that is used as their tactical/ special-operations channel. A formal multi-year agreement with PFARS was put in place to support this into the future.
      • Princeton Police Department has been provided with three (3) encrypted talkgroups on the University radio system for use in tactical/special-operations throughout Princeton (not on campus).
      • Princeton Police Department has access to our encrypted campus Public Safety radio communications system for interoperability with all their cars and portable radios.
      • Dedicated radio link equipment and antenna were installed at the Princeton EOC for use during an emergency, as well as daily use by Princeton Police for interoperability with University Public Safety.
      • The University has installed and maintains a second base radio for fire department response and operations on the new Mercer County Public Safety Communications System at the Princeton Fire Department sub-station at 306 Alexander Road. (We continue to maintain the base radio we installed for use on the existing fire radio system as the transition tthe new one continues.)
      • The University maintains six portable radios for use with the Princeton Fire Department truck located at the 306 Alexander Road sub-station.


  • $500,000 pledged toward construction of a new Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad facility on municipal land.
  • $35,000 annual contribution to Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to support squad operations.
  • The University, through DPS, provides a parking space with accessible power for an ambulance next to 200 Elm Drive.
  • Of 111 volunteer members, 21 are university students and six are university staff.
    • Students are some of the most active/”top responder” volunteers in the EMT corps
  • We provide free campus housing for up to six (6) students each summer so they can actively volunteer with PFARS during the summer months.
  • The University has provided radio equipment that is installed in all PFARS apparatus, as well as portable radios for use on the University encrypted radio system. This radio equipment was recently upgraded by the University to allow PFARS operation on the new countywide radio system, providing this key communications capability without the need to purchase additional apparatus or portable radios.
  • A DPS portable radio has been placed at the south Guard Booth for use by any Mutual Aid EMS unit responding to campus.
  • Frick Chemistry was provided as location for a confined space rescue drill.
  • 156 Alexander was used on six separate occasions to practice hose line advancement search and rescue, ventilation and laddering drills.
  • Lot 7/West Garage was provided as location for car fire drills.

Education Outreach

  • PHS students who have exhausted the coursework in the high school can take classes at the University; coordinated by PHS guidance department
  • Tutoring for Princeton Public Schools students through Community House Programs
  • PUPP (college prep program for economically disadvantaged students) open to Princeton High School students
  • Many lectures and other intellectual and cultural offerings on campus are open to the public and almost always free of charge
  • Access to Firestone Library is available for a fee
    • Firestone exhibits and Cotsen Children’s Library available for free

Community Auditing Program

  • 40% of the roughly 750 program participants each semester are from Princeton
  • 50% of the class seats available each semester are taken by Princeton residents due to first day registration preference given to Princeton residents
  • The program includes special courses and lectures designed especially for auditors

Cultural Offerings on Campus

  • Princeton University Art Museum
    • Free and open to the public
    • Provides a wide variety of free educational and family programming
  • Theaters
    • McCarter and Berlind theaters are owned and financially supported by the University
    • Theater Intime provides summer programming for area residents as well as academic-year offerings (although closed for repairs in 2014)
    • Additional theater, dance and visual arts programming available at other locations on campus, including 185 Nassau Street
  • Musical Performance
    • Performances at Richardson Auditorium and Taplin Auditorium
  • Chapel
    • Weekly “After Noon” organ concerts
    • Special performances sponsored by the Chapel Music program
  • Princeton University Concerts
    • Hosts annual music series featuring classical music performed by professional musicians in Richardson Auditorium. Also presents a family concert series and special events.


  • Community members participate in Chapel services on a regular basis and special occasions
  • Community members also participate in services by religious groups associated with the University through chaplaincy programs and the Center for Jewish Life
  • Special religious services take place in Richardson Auditorium

Community Events on Campus

  • Communiversity (on campus and in town)
  • Community and Staff Day (fall football game); free tickets to local residents offered, nearly 10,000 attended in 2014
  • Princeton Adult School holds spring lecture series, fall lecture series, and “Last Chance” film series on campus
  • University hosts the annual Community Works Program attended by 500
  • Spirit of Princeton July 4th Fireworks
  • Community invited free of charge to Reunions fireworks
  • John Witherspoon graduation hosted in Richardson Auditorium
  • Two Princeton election polling districts hosted on campus
  • Hosted swimming and track and field events at WeaverTrack and DeNunzio Pool during 2014 Special Olympics National Games held in Mercer County


  • Free or low price access to collegiate athletic events on campus.
    • In the past year there were 264 regular season games, of which 208 were free and required no tickets
  • Dillon League Saturday morning youth basketball program has existed for 44 years with nearly 300 participants each year
  • Carnegie Lake open to the public for recreational ice skating via collaboration with Princeton Recreation Department
  • Dillon Gym access provided to YMCA fitness members during renovation of YMCA facilities summer 2013 and during their annual YMCA facility shutdown week
  • Provide scholarships to Princeton youth to attend Princeton University Summer Sports Camps in collaboration with Corner House; 7 participants in summer 2013
  • Campus athletic facilities used by Princeton High School hockey (boys and girls) and track, Princeton Youth Hockey Association, Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, Princeton masters swimming, Princeton Recreation Department squash and youth wrestling programs, and Princeton junior squash
  • Princeton student-athletes undertake numerous volunteer efforts through the Princeton Varsity Club and as teams:
    • Participation in Communiversity, Community and Staff Day, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Skate with the Tigers
    • Volunteer with Princeton-based organizations including: Princeton YMCA, Princeton Public Schools (elementary, middle, and high schools), Princeton Youth Hockey, Dillon Youth Basketball League

Community Resources

  • Garden Theater
    • Owned by the University, operated by separate non-profit organization, Renew Theaters, which was selected partially because of their commitment to community engagement; upgrade at cost of approximately $400,000 to sound systems and installation of digital projection system
  • HistoricalSociety
    • Lease Nassau Street building for $1 a year
    • The Historical Society will be relocating operations from Bainbridge House to Updike Farm by the end of 2015
  • Labyrinth Books
    • Helped bring an independent bookstore to Princeton
  • Nassau East
    • Own and manage properties along the south side of Nassau Street just west of 185 Nassau Street, which include a variety of local business
  • Provide off-site parking, at no cost to municipality, on the University-owned Franklin Avenue parking lot for municipal employees and Community Park Pool staff.
  • Provide space for local non-profit organizations’ fundraising events. Recent organizations hosted on campus include Fund 101, Princeton Nursery School, Mercer County Community College Jim and Fannie Floyd Scholarship Fund, Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Public Library, Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, Princeton Symphony Orchestra
  • Host Corner House summer leadership program on campus

Cell Towers

  • There are 9 wireless carrier cell towers on University buildings
    • Reduces visual impact of/need for monopoles in town and improves service to the community

Maintenance of 8.27 miles of roads in Princeton used by the public

  • Annual cost to the university is approximately $500,000

Collaboration on regional planning issues

  • Route One turn lane prohibition; engaged outside consultants to assess proposals for Route One improvements
  • Contributed land to make construction of new left hand turn lane at Harrison Street/Route One possible
  • Provided half of the funding for the Alexander Street/University Place Traffic and Transportation Task Force
  • Contributed $500,000 to community’s Transportation Trust Fund


  • Tiger Transit is “free and open to the public”
  • Provided subsidies for Princeton Free Band for NJ Transit 655 bus connecting Princeton to the new hospital; provided back-up vehicle to Princeton for FreeB service; pledge to provide $90,000 towards new FreeB vehicle as part of 2014 Contribution Agreement
  • TigerPaWW has been providing free transportation between Princeton Station and Princeton Junction Station during construction of the new Princeton Station
  • New Princeton Station opening November 2014 will be a multi-modal transportation hub adjacent to a new Wawa that will provide opportunity to improve mass transit connectivity in Princeton
    • Bike rental pilot program at new Princeton Station; pilot provides opportunity to partner with community to develop bike share program in town and on campus
  • Provide GIS mapping data to Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee for the community bike map project
  • Work collaboratively with the community on expansion and improvement of bike and pedestrian paths

Surplus Equipment Program

  • Access provided for area non-profit organizations to the University surplus equipment program. Items given free of charge to area non-profits for their organizational use.

Volunteer Support

  • Students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents with many Princeton non-profit organizations including:
    • Corner House, Dillon Youth Basketball League, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton Healthcare System, Princeton Regional Schools (elementary, middle school, high school), Princeton Nursery School, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton Young Achievers, Princeton YWCA, SAVE Animal Shelter, YWCA Princeton
  • Through the Community Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) faculty and students provide in-depth research and studies for community organizations through specially developed Princeton courses. In the past year CBLI courses included work with the Crisis Ministry, Community Without Walls, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Centurion Ministries, and Sustainable Princeton. Students in Physics 104 demonstrated principles of electricity and magnetism at many local schools and organizations, including the Princeton Nursery School.
  • The Pace Center for Civic Engagement undertakes a wide variety of programming in the local community including:
    • After-school tutoring, both middle and high school students through Community House, CHASA, Gen1, and SAT Prep
    • One-on-one tutoring at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church through the Student Volunteers Council (SVC)
    • Class on effective dialogue and conflict resolution for middle school students
    • PEEK [Princeton Engineering Education for Kids]
    • Local Princeton family dinner series to support social-emotional wellness and academic success (Community House student volunteers)
    • STEM summer camps
    • Princeton Senior Resource Center – Senior Center Geek Squad
    • Princeton Young Achievers
    • SAVE Animal Shelter