Mayor Mikulski – Update on COVID-19 – March 27th

March 27, 2020

Fellow Southampton Residents,

On behalf of the entire Township Committee, our Administrator, and all our employees, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the impact of the restrictions on the services provided by the Township.  I’d also like to extend a special thank you to the Public Works department particularly for the efforts to keep the trash pickup on schedule.

Regarding trash – please help the Public Works department by ensuring your trash is placed inside sealed/tied trash bags.  Trash should not be dumped “loose” into cans at the curb.  Also, as a reminder, the Township has a weight limit of 45 pounds per trash can.

We wanted to provide you with an update from the State.  Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order #110 which requires all child care centers in New Jersey to close effective April 1, 2020 UNLESS the center serves the children of essential workers.  Child care centers who serve the children of essential workers must certify that operation by TODAY.  The form for this certification can be found at:  https://www.nj.gov/dcf/coronavirus_licensedchildcare.html

If you have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which include masks, face shields, eye protective goggles, and/or cleaning supplies, please reach out to the Township as we are looking to obtain more of this equipment, which as you know is currently under great demand.

Sewer departments throughout the County have seen an increase in clogged pipes and sewage back-ups as people flush cleaning wipes and baby wipes into the sewer system.  Please throw these items in the trash and avoid flushing them down your toilets.

The NJ State Police has warned of scams involving the virus outbreak and the checks that may be issued by the Federal Government.  Please be vigilant in looking at any offer that comes to you by mail, phone, text or e-mail.  If you are uncertain, please ask someone you trust to review the offer or before “clicking” on any link contained in electronic correspondence.  Always be careful before clicking any link in an email, particularly if the email does not address you by name.

Two websites that you may find useful.  First, the State of NJ has a website for COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation.  It can be found here:  https://www.njhomelandsecurity.gov/covid19.  The second is a listing of employers in New Jersey who are currently hiring.  The New Jersey Jobs and Hiring Portal can be found at:  https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/.

Finally, we have been advised by the County Department of Health of one positive test in Southampton.  As a reminder, maintain social distancing, avoid gatherings, avoid touching your face and wash your hands often and thoroughly.

Please feel free to reach the Township if you need assistance (609-859-2736).  We are all in this together!

Mike Mikulski, Mayor

 

 

 

NJ Human Services Announces $70 Million in Food Assistance for Vulnerable Families in New Jersey

NJ Human Services Announces $70 Million in Food Assistance for Vulnerable Families in New Jersey

Amid the COVID Pandemic, Many NJ SNAP Recipients Will Receive Enhanced Benefits

TRENTON – Many New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive an extra benefit payment on Sunday and their benefits will be higher in April to help address critical food needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SNAP supplemental payments were included in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A total of $70 million in extra NJ SNAP benefits will be provided over the next two months to New Jerseyans to help with the purchase of groceries.

On Sunday, March 29, $35 million in supplemental payments will be provided to approximately 205,000 New Jersey households enrolled in NJ SNAP.   April benefits also will be increased by $35 million for these households.

Supplemental benefits will be directly loaded to NJ SNAP recipients’ Families First EBT cards.

NJ SNAP currently serves about 670,000 New Jerseyans in 340,000 households.  Households eligible for the NJ SNAP supplemental benefit will receive the difference between their regular SNAP benefit and the maximum benefit for their family size.  These supplements will be in additional to standard monthly benefits.  Households’ standard monthly SNAP benefit is based on household size and income. Under federal policies implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, households that already receive the federal allowable maximum SNAP benefit are not eligible for supplemental payments.

“We want every individual and family to be able to have the food they need as they comply with the Governor’s directive to stay at home.  For many New Jerseyans and their families that means needing more NJ SNAP support, and these benefits are coming on Sunday,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We appreciate our congressional delegation’s continuing work to support the critical needs of all New Jerseyans during this challenging time.”

“Too many residents in the state of New Jersey go to bed without a meal every night – 1 out of every eight residents to be exact,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “No family should have to choose between paying their bills and eating a nutritious meal, but sadly that is the case for many during the current coronavirus health emergency. Ensuring SNAP recipients receive the assistance they need is critical as we wait for this pandemic to subside.”

Eligible NJ SNAP recipients will receive their first supplemental benefit on their Families First EBT card on Sunday, and will be able to use the benefits beyond the month of March. The April supplemental benefit will arrive together with eligible recipients’ typical monthly payment, meaning recipients will receive one combined payment in April of the supplement and their standard benefit.

NJ SNAP provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries through a benefits card accepted in most food retail stores and farmer’s markets.

“During these difficult times, access to additional SNAP benefits is even more critical,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Many SNAP recipients, including older adults and individuals with disabilities, are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, and efforts to protect them can be greatly enhanced as SNAP recipients are able to purchase more food.”

“We appreciate the dedicated staff at the County Boards of Social Services who are essential to getting these critical services to New Jersey families,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs the Department of Human Services’ Division of Family Development and oversees the SNAP program. “During this difficult time, we encourage residents who need food assistance to visit and apply for SNAP online at www.NJHelps.org.”

Human Services also has received federal approval to extend NJ SNAP recertification periods to six months for cases that are expiring in March, April and May. This means families receiving SNAP will not have benefit interruptions during that time.

 

NJEDA Announces New Initiatives to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 Press Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2020

CONTACT: Virginia Pellerin
Press Office: New Jersey Economic Development Authority
Email: VPellerin@njeda.com

NJEDA Announces New Initiatives to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
TRENTON – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives.
More information about the programs will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov.
“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in New Jersey has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching, especially on Main Street. The scope and scale of this new challenge requires immediate action to support New Jersey workers and businesses,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The new NJEDA programs announced today are a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal.”
Development of the grant program, support for CDFIs, and flexibility for current NJEDA borrowers was enabled by the legislature through A3845. Primary sponsors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Louis D. Greenwald, Ronald S. Dancer, and Senators Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Brian Stack.
The new NJEDA initiatives focus on businesses that have been hit hardest by the novel coronavirus outbreak: local small businesses, mid-size businesses that have had to close or drastically reconfigure operations, and new businesses who were just getting on their feet before the crisis hit. The programs provide a suite of compatible offerings that address these businesses’ varied needs and include mechanisms to provide funding and assistance as quickly as possible.
Many of the resources are designed to be scalable with the addition of federal and philanthropic resources if they become available. Philanthropic partners interested in donating to support the NJEDA’s small business grant program should reach out to donations@njeda.com.
“Small- and medium-sized enterprises are the heartbeat of New Jersey’s economy and it is crucial that we do what we can to provide the resources and assistance they need to withstand the outbreak of novel coronavirus,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “In coordination with our partners throughout State government, we are undertaking an unprecedented effort to support these businesses and the New Jersey residents who rely on them for their livelihoods. These are challenging times, but New Jerseyans are resilient, and together we will get through this and rebuild our economy.”
The suite of new initiatives includes:
• Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.
• Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
• Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
• CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
• NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.
• Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
• Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.
Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including eligibility requirements will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available here: https://covid19.nj.gov/.

Memo from Mayor Mikulski – 3/23/2020 – On COVID-19

MEMO FROM MAYOR MIKULSKI 3/23/2020

The past week has been filled with updates and announcements, so many that it was hard to keep track. On behalf of my bosses, I wanted to share with you some key information.
And, I wanted to offer this

CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL OF US:
We must practice social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette if we are to mitigate the effects of this virus.
Simply put, please stay home, wash your hands thoroughly, and please cover your cough or sneeze. We will get through this. We are Jersey Strong.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19:
The NJ Poison Control Center and 2-1-1 have partnered to provide information to the public on COVID-19. The hotline number is 1-800-962-1253. Or, you can call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns, or to access NJ’s statewide comprehensive information and referral service. Or text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. Additionally, NJ launched a COVID-19 Information Hub, covid19.nj.gov, where residents can get up-to-date information.

COVID-19 DASHBOARD AND HEALTH RELATED INFO:
The New Jersey Department of Health website www.nj.gov/health has updated information daily related to the public health emergency. Or visit www.cdc.gov

IF YOU’RE SICK:
Call your doctor if you’re sick or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Your doctor can give you medical advice if you develop a fever or other symptoms.

TESTING SITES:
A testing site opened on Friday at Bergen Community College for NJ residents only (proof of ID necessary) and those exhibiting symptoms. The site will have the capacity to test 2,500/ week. Monmouth County site is opening today at PNC Bank Arts Center. There are also plans for a testing site to open at Camden County College in Blackwood once tests become available, and the Burlington County Coronavirus Task Force is looking to set up a site within the county soon.

CLOSURES, CROWDS, AND CURFEWS:
All social gatherings and assemblies, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled including conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. Please note that law enforcement may charge folks who disregard these rules.
The Governor ordered the following businesses to close: non-essential retail; casinos and racetracks; gyms and fitness centers; entertainment such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs; shopping malls; places of public amusement; and personal care businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, spas, nail and eyelash studios, tanning salons, and tattoo and massage parlors. Bars and restaurants must be closed for on-premise dining but may provide take-out and delivery service only.

Certain essential businesses and facilities are considered exempt from these closures includes grocery and pet stores, food banks, medical industries, pharmacies and medical supply stores, gas stations, banks, and restaurants for take-out/ delivery. A complete list can be found here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/businesses-and-organizations/how-do-executive-orders-no.-107-and-108-on-closures-and-social-distancing-affect-my-business

INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES:
The State has created a new webpage for businesses with questions related to COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus. There is a portal to submit a question or use the chat tool. http://cv.business.nj.gov/

RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:
The US Small Business Administration approved NJ for disaster relief.
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

WORKER PROTECTION PROGRAMS:
Visit NJ Department of Labor’s website to determine if you are eligible for unemployment, family leave, earned sick time or worker’s compensation benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. The chart below is a useful tool. For more info:
https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml

FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT:
Many residents have reached out to our office for help with unemployment benefits. The NJ Department of Labor is encouraging anyone seeking benefits to apply on their website: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/

UTILITIES
The NJ Board of Public Utilities announced that utilities have suspended all shut-off orders for electric and gas. https://www.bpu.state.nj.us/bpu/newsroom/2020/approved/20200313.html

HOUSING
Governor Murphy recently enacted a moratorium on removals due to evictions and foreclosures. However, we know that the next few weeks, maybe months, may be financially challenging for some. NJ Department of Community Affairs has various rental assistance programs that can help during times like these and is accepting applications. Learn more: https://njdca-housing.dynamics365portals.us/en-US/

SOCIAL SERVICES/ CHILDCARE
For information on childcare, cash shelter and food assistance, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid, individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse, and support for older residents please visit:
https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/news/press/2020/approved/20200318b.html

PRICE GOUGING
Sadly, people will try to take advantage of others during times of crisis. Beware of scams and price gouging during this public health emergency. Report it at NJ Consumer Affairs: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/

MOTOR VEHICLES:
All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agencies will be closed. All driver licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months. Most renewals, replacements, changes of address, and other transactions can be processed online at www.NJMVC.gov. If your REAL ID Appointment was cancelled due to Agency closure from March 16, 2020 through March 29, 2020, keep your cancellation email. When MVC re-opens, you can bring the email to your appointment agency anytime within 30 days and get a REAL ID without an appointment.

MUNICIPAL COURTS
Chief Justice Rabner announced that municipal court sessions in New Jersey will be suspended for two weeks to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. More information about the closures may be found online at njcourts.gov.

FOOD SECURITY
The NJ Department of Agriculture has a list of Food Banks that serve each New Jersey County: https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/pdf/EFO%20%20Listing.pdf

TAX FILING
IRS has extended tax deadlines from April 15 to July 15.

CENSUS 2020
We are in the midst of the 2020 Census. Our current public health emergency is a reminder of the importance of having an accurate Census count. Even if you received an invitation by mail, or even if you have not, you can still complete the Census online at my2020Census.gov. It’s simple and only takes 10 minutes to complete.

NJTRANSIT:
NJ TRANSIT is running special weekday service beginning Monday, March 23rd, 2020. The River Line special weekday schedule maybe be found on NJ TRANSIT’s website by clicking here. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 response, customers are strongly encouraged to sign up for My Transit alerts and activate push notifications on the mobile app to receive the latest status of the system.

STUDENT LOANS:
For loan deferment due to unemployment: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/Relief%20Options/Unemployment.pdf.
For loan deferment due to temporary total disability: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/NJCLASSTempDisabilityForm.pdf.
For loan deferment due to financial hardship: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/Relief%20Options/Financial%20hardship.pdf.

Twp Committee Mtg 3/24 – View Online – Limited to 5 Members of the Public

MEETING NOTICE

Pursuant to the Order of the Governor of the State of New Jersey, and specifically Executive Order 107, limiting social gatherings, this meeting of the Township Committee is limited to ten total people.  The meeting room will include three members of the Township Committee in person (others electronically), the Township Clerk/Administrator and the Township Solicitor.  Five members of the public may join the meeting on a first come-first serve basis.  No other persons will be permitted to attend or enter the building.

Budget Work session 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/580911956?pwd=WFEwaExxMFQyOXVOWldhdEdDT1JOZz09

Meeting ID: 580 911 956

Password: 819990

Regular Work session 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/646060750?pwd=WERFc0FTR281SUhRNDc2bTZIbVdSZz09

Meeting ID: 646 060 750

Password: 096786

 

Kathleen D. Hoffman, RMC

Township Administrator/Clerk

Southampton Township

5 Retreat Road

Southampton, NJ 08088

(609) 859-2676

 

Please DO NOT flush disposable wipes down the toilet

Advisory: REMINDER: Please do not flush disposable wipes down the toilet.

Residents are encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, residents are reminded NOT to flush disinfecting wipes, paper towels and similar items down the toilet—they must be placed in trash cans.

Flushing these products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled “flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly.

Wipes are among the leading cause of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many such spills wind up in our water supply causing a broad range of impacts on public health and the environment. Sewer repairs can be costly!

Residents not connected to public sewers should never flush these products down toilets as they can cause clogs and damage to the septic system. Septic repairs can be costly!

We appreciate your consideration and cooperation.

Corona Virus Update #3 – March 18th

Print Version

Southampton Township
Coronavirus Update #3

The Department of Health has advised of the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Virus in Burlington Township. There have been other  confirmed cases in Florence Township, Evesham Township, and Delanco Township. Given all of the information available about the spread of
this virus, this is not an unanticipated development.

The Township, County, Department of Health and Office of Emergency Management have been preparing for just such an event. Due to HIPPA regulations and privacy concerns, there is not any more information available other than what has been released by the Department of Health.
The infected individual is under the care of the appropriate physicians and medical personnel.  As has been their practice, it is anticipated that the County Department of Health will be investigating and retracing the activities of all diagnosed individuals in order to provide information to those who may have been in close proximity to those infected.

As the virus has made its way into our community, it is now pertinent that we remain vigilant in following the five recommended steps to mitigate the spread of the virus:

  1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly;
  2. Maintain social distancing (6 feet away)
  3. Avoid touching your face particularly your eyes nose and mouth;
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze;
  5. Stay home if you do not feel well. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek and call your physician.

Please note the importance of social distancing cannot be stressed enough. As this situation progresses, cabin fever is going to set in and no matter what your age, the need to get out of the house will become overwhelming. While it is preferred that we all remain in our homes during
this time, the reality is if you do feel the need to go out, please limit contact with others. Please stay six (6) feet apart and avoid groups of more than ten (10) people.

If you need additional information about these mitigations steps, please refer to the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/covid19 , New Jersey Department of Health:

www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.stm
Michael Mikulski, Mayor
Kathleen D. Hoffman, Clerk/Administrators

Municipal Building is Closed – Special Instructions on Paying Property Taxes

Southampton Township’s Municipal Building is CLOSED to the public until further notice. The offices will be working with limited staff and hours.

Any concerns call 609-859-2736 or email clerks@southamptonnj.org the information will be forwarded to the appropriate department.

Payments can be left in the drop box near the parking lot. Information can be left in the bin outside the tax office door. This will be check on an hourly basis.