10-8: Six new COVID Cases; COVID Vaccine Clinics Today & Tomorrow; Habitat for Humanity Responds to Ida; SBA Disaster Loans; Local Diversity Festival Tomorrow; New Fire Engine Celebrated at “Wetdown;” Explore Local History; Voter Registration Deadline

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been six (6) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 10-5-21, and twelve (12) for the week ending today. Our region remains in the “moderate” zone for COVID cases.


MODERNA VACCINE CLINIC SATURDAY AT OKCC

The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering the Moderna vaccine on Saturday, October 9, from 9 to 11 am at the Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road.

In addition, the township is offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson every Friday from 1-3 pm at the Municipal Building, including this afternoon. Visit the Health Department website for a complete list of municipal vaccination clinics.

Additional vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.


COUNSELING OFFERED FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Rutgers University Behavioral Health Center (UBHC) is offering mental health clinicians and/or substance abuse clinicians to assist with the short-term needs of people dealing with problems related to COVID-19. They have a toll-free phone number which is live Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, serving as an initial point of entry for individuals seeking mental health and substance uses services from COVID-19. Therapeutic services are provided through telehealth.

To access the service, call 833-223-0011 Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. Additional information is available in a short video.


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SEEKS IDA RECOVERY VOLUNTEERS

In response to the damage done from Hurricane Ida earlier this month, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity quickly pivoted all repair programs towards recovery from the storm.

Through our “A Brush with Kindness” program, homeowners in Manville, Somerset and Bridgewater received help with storm cleanup, small repairs, and sanitizing. Repair and clean-up efforts are ongoing in the coming weeks.

This opportunity is still available to both those in need and those who would like to help! If you or someone you know could benefit from this type of service, download and fill in the online application, and a member of the RV Habitat team will be in touch as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in volunteering for those in need during this time – even if it’s only a day. Your willingness to serve will make a huge difference for someone still struggling! You can sign-up online to volunteer.

RV Habitat for Humanity is also seeking financial donations to support this work.


APPLY FOR SMALL BUSINESS DISASTER LOANS BY NOVEMBER 4

The U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging New Jersey businesses and residents affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Sept. 1-3, 2021, to submit their loan applications for physical damages even if they have not settled with their insurance company.

SBA disaster loans can cover the difference between an insurance settlement and what is needed to fully recover. If a survivor has not settled their insurance claim, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits. The insurance settlement will be used to reduce or repay the loan.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s/. Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.


COUNTY DIVERSITY FESTIVAL TOMORROW IN SOMERVILLE

In recognition of Global Diversity Awareness Month in October, Somerset County will host its third annual Diversity Festival, on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 12 to 4 p.m., in Somerville along Grove Street, at Veterans Memorial Plaza, and on the courthouse lawn.

The creative event will showcase and embrace diversity with multicultural entertainment, games, local restaurant participation, free prizes and exhibitors that promote the theme of the festival “Somerset County – Everyone Belongs Here.” Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson appears in a short video to welcome residents to the Diversity Festival.

Enjoy exciting entertainment at several locations along Grove Street including performances from bands that play a diverse range of music such as Israeli, Irish, Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, and Latin Swing.

Children and adults will enjoy free diversity-themed puzzles, games and giveaways, interactive art projects and selfie stations. Participants can visit exhibits and get materials from advocacy groups, community organizations, county departments, and agencies that promote diversity.

On the day of the festival, certain Somerville restaurants will offer special “passport” menus featuring multicultural food. Menu details and participating restaurants will be available at the festival thanks to the Downtown Somerville Alliance and participating Somerville restaurants.

Visitors can park for free in Somerville during the Diversity Festival in the Bernie Field Parking Deck on High Street and in the parking deck at 27 Warren Street.  For more information about the festival, contact Paul Grzella at grzella@co.somerset.nj.us or for a list of artists and exhibitors, visit https://bit.ly/EveryoneBelongsHere2021

 


NEW FIRE ENGINE CELEBRATED AT “WETDOWN” SATURDAY

Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Co No 2 is holding a delayed “Christening” of their new fire engine, #468, at a “Wetdown” celebration on Saturday October 9 at 10 am. The engine was purchased in 2020, but due to the pandemic the wetdown event was postponed.

A Wetdown is an event popular in U.S. Firefighting that celebrates the purchase of a new piece of equipment. Typically, neighboring Fire Departments vie to hose down the new firetruck—and one another! All are welcome to watch the fun unfold and join for refreshments.

Held at Fire Station 46, 529 County Route 518 Skillman, the event will feature a 50-50 Drawing, Prize Raffle, and Beer Garden. Prizes include Yeti Coolers, the Bad Axx, and Radio Strap. Participating vendors include Ridgeway Leatherworks, Mugs, T-Shirts, and Food.


JOURNEY THROUGH LOCAL HISTORY THIS WEEKEND

The Dirck Gulick House.

Somerset County’s annual Journey through the Past weekend will offer residents a chance to see over 20 historic buildings—many rarely open—this Saturday and Sunday, October 9th and 10th. Two Montgomery sites are on the list – the Dirck Gulick House on Route 601 and the Voorhees-Opie Barn and farm museum behind the 124 Club on Montgomery Road.

Also passing through Montgomery is the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, which is offering a self-guided tour via the MVP Coalition website Additional activities are a history hunt, trading cards, and a history traveler contest.

Participants can pick up a program guide to all participating sites in the county when they arrive at their first location.


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE NEXT WEEK

Many residents have received mail ballots for the 2021 New Jersey State Election that is now officially underway. Mail ballots can be returned via the US Postal Service or deposited in a secure drop box. The Somerset County list of drop boxes includes the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead.

If you are not yet registered to vote, or uncertain of your status, New Jersey offers a voter portal to assist you. The registration deadline is October 12.

Somerset County is still in need of paid poll workers for Election Day and for the first-ever “early in-person” voting that begins October 23. Residents interested in learning about temporary employment as a poll worker should visit the Somerset County Board of Elections website, where they will also find an application form.