8-31: Ten New Cases; Vaccinate Teens Before School Reopens; Get Vaccinated for Work; Donations for Afghan Refugees; Prepare for Ida; Donate Used Linens; Video Shows Off Monty Arboretum; County Seeks Input on Preservation Plan

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been ten (10) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 8-27-21. Throughout August, about 40% of the cases have been among youth under 20 years of age.


VACCINATE TEENS BEFORE SCHOOL REOPENS

 

School starts next Thursday, September 9, and about one-third of local teens 12-17 are not yet vaccinated. The Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends vaccination, even with universal masking in New Jersey schools.

“The CDC just published an analysis of data that shows vaccination remains our best tool to stop the pandemic:  Unvaccinated people are 5 times more likely to get sick, and nearly 30 times more likely to be hospitalized, than vaccinated people,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.

The nearest opportunity to vaccinate teenagers before school opens is the Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 which is offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online.


GET VACCINATED QUICKLY TO MEET EMPLOYER MANDATES

Many New Jerseyans are facing new vaccination requirements from employers, such as hospitals and state, county, and municipal governments. To help residents get vaccinated quickly for work, Montgomery Township will offer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine every Friday afternoon in September, from 2-4 pm.

The J&J vaccine provides full vaccination status in just two weeks from the date of vaccination. The township will accept all walk-ins, but also provides appointments for your convenience on the health department website.


DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES IN NEW JERSEY

More than 1,200 refugees from Afghanistan arrived at the New Jersey Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst this week with only the clothes on their backs. Over the next week or so, another 24,000 refugees are expected to arrive at the base.

The Muslim Center of Greater Princeton in Princeton Junction has started a clothing and supply drive to help the refugees, from 10 am to 10 pm through September 6. They are located at 2030 Old Trenton Road in Princeton Junction.

Skillman resident Pat Cannon brought this donation opportunity to the attention of the township. She is helping to coordinate donations from her neighbors who have reported visiting the Muslim Center and found the drop-off convenient, and that the organizers “couldn’t have been more welcoming and appreciative.”

According to the Red Cross, the first wave of refugees included many women, children, and babies. Pastors and others helping with relief efforts report that there is an immediate need for diapers and women’s underwear of all sizes, clothing, blankets, shoes, feminine hygiene supplies, wipes, baby food, lotion, towels, and other new items. Do not donate glass items, tampons, or pillows.


PREPARE FOR FLOODING RELATED TO STORM IDA

The remnants of Hurricane Ida are forecast to pass through our area Wednesday and Thursday, dumping large amounts of rain and causing flooding of the Millstone River and its tributaries.  The National Weather Service is estimating the Millstone River to crest at 13.5 feet Thursday night, similar to the flood level a week ago.

The Montgomery Police Department and Office of Emergency Management recommends residents prepare for the possibility of roads being closed for flooding, and possible loss of electricity. Do not attempt to drive through floodwaters: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

During the recent floods, Montgomery Police were forced to rescue a motorist who attempted to drive through high water.


ANIMAL CONTROL SEEKS USED LINENS

Montgomery Animal Control is seeking donations of well-worn towels, sheets, and blankets to help provide comfort to the animals we encounter. Our Animal Control team uses these old linens for bedding, and to reduce stress in animals we interact with.

Please bring your clean, worn-out towels, sheets, and blankets to our drop box in the Municipal Building foyer or drop off at the Health Department during business hours through September 15.


GET READY FOR FALL RECREATION SIGN-UPS

The Fall Montgomery Recreation Newsletter is available online in preparation for registration beginning September 7 at 8 AM.  The newsletter offers after school programs, virtual seminars, athletics, and senior programs, etc.

In-person programs require that masks be worn for COVID-19 safety.


NEW VIDEO SHOWS OFF MONTY ARBORETUM

 

The Montgomery Shade Tree Committee has released a 2-minute video that tells about the history and significance of the Montgomery Township Arboretum of Native Flora on Harlingen Road. The new video is this first in a series about the arboretum, in which Mayor Devra Keenan calls it, “one of Montgomery Township’s hidden gems.”

The video encourages township residents of all ages to walk, jog or bicycle through the accessible pathways in this beautiful 50-acre treasure adjacent to Montgomery Veterans Park. The video has been created for the Shade Tree Committee by local filmmaker Robert Meola.


SOMERSET COUNTY SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT INTO PRESERVATION PLANS

 

Somerset County is believed to be the first county in the country to incorporate three individual plans – Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation – into its overall, encompassing Preservation Plan. The current draft plan has been posted on the county’s website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/PresPlan21.  Public feedback is being sought before the plan is formally adopted.

The plan covers planning for the protection and prioritization of historic, open space, and agricultural assets in Montgomery Township and 20 other municipalities in the county.

“Our Planning Division has done an amazing job, and now we want to hear from the public to make sure that our plan meets the needs of the entire community,” said Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson.  Virtual public meetings will be held on these dates:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 22 – 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 28 – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Register for one of the Zoom public meetings at: https://bit.ly/PublicMtg21.

 

8-27: Six New Cases and 16 for the Week; Vaccinate Teens Before School Reopens; 3rd Dose Available; Police Video Shows Benefit of Locking Doors; Submit Art for Community Healing Event; Financial Relief Available

TODAY’S 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, 8-24-21, and 16 new cases since last Friday. Throughout August, 42% of cases have been among residents under the age of 20. With schools reopening soon, the Montgomery Township Health Department encourages all parents to vaccinate their eligible teens ages 12 and older.


VACCINATE TEENS BEFORE SCHOOL REOPENS

The nearest opportunity to vaccinate teenagers before school opens is the Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 which is offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online.

Last night, the Montgomery Health Department gave approximately 50 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to local teens as part of a special clinic at the Otto Kaufman Community Center.


 

MONTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERING THIRD VACCINE DOSE

The Montgomery Township Health Department is now offering third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to immunocompromised residents, in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Residents who meet these criteria are encouraged to book an appointment via the health department website or call 908-533-9331.

The CDC has also announced that all persons who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines will be eligible for an additional dose eight months after the second dose, beginning September 20. The Montgomery Health Department will begin offering those third doses according to the CDC guidelines in late September.

To prepare for additional doses, Montgomery residents are encouraged to download the New Jersey recommended “Docket” app to their smartphones to conveniently access and display the exact dates, vaccine types, and batch numbers they received previously.


MONTY POLICE VIDEO SHOWS THE BENEFIT OF LOCKING DOORS

The Montgomery Township Police Department has investigated 14 stolen vehicles since May 2019, including the theft of a 2013 Range Rover last Friday on River Road. The common denominator in all but one case: The cars were unlocked with the keys left inside.

In one instance, the theft of a second vehicle was interrupted when an intruder entered the home and encountered the homeowner inside the residence and fled. It is believed the suspect had entered the residence to search for keys to the second vehicle. Police Director Captain James Gill explains the problem is not just unlocked car doors, but also unlocked doors to residences.  Too often, car keys are left readily visible just inside the house, creating an incentive to enter.

MTPD this week released a Nest doorbell video provided by a Rutgers Lane resident whose locked doors defeated an attempted theft in May 2021. Two unknown persons are seen arriving via car. One walks up the driveway and attempts to open the parked vehicles, while the other walks up to try the front door of the residence. Footage shows both people returning to their vehicle and leaving after finding all doors locked.

“Although disturbing to see, the Rutgers Lane incident should be seen as a success,” said Captain Gill. “The potential thieves were thwarted by the vehicles and the residence being locked and/or secured. These homeowners are to be commended for routinely locking their home and cars at night. That’s what everyone needs to do.”


SUBMIT ART FOR COMMUNITY HEALING EVENT NEXT MONTH

 

Residents of all ages are encouraged to submit pandemic-inspired art or stories to be featured at a community healing event on September 20 at the Princeton Elks Lodge on Route 518 in Skillman.

Art of all kinds is welcome including, but not limited to, paintings, drawings, videos or recordings, crafts, poetry, essays, etc. The deadline to submit art is Monday, September 13. Submissions may be turned in at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building Front Desk or through email to clabelle@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

The free event is called Montgomery Together: Lighting the Way Forward – An Evening of Hope & Healing.  Organizers are the Montgomery Township Health Department and Municipal Alliance, in partnership with the Montgomery Recreation Department, Princeton Elks Lodge, and Somerset County Department of Human Services.

The event will feature an Interactive Art Gallery and Candlelight Vigil. The indoor gallery will be open from 3-7pm, with an outside candlelight vigil to follow. The rain date for the Candlelight Vigil is Tuesday, September 21st at 7PM (dusk). Masks will be required both indoors and outdoors.

For more information or questions, email Celine LaBelle at clabelle@twp.montgomery.nj.us or call at 609-874-8007.


FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE

 

Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.

  • Income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic.  Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
  • A new Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service to eligible households. The program also offers a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider (such as CenturyLink, Comcast or Verizon, and many cellular providers) or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org/  sort byFor more information, check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ.
  • Assistance is available to help you pay your utility bills. All New Jerseyans with outstanding balances are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs now to lower their balances and also contact their utility company to request a flexible repayment plan. You may be newly eligible for financial assistance programs to help you pay your bills. You can learn more and apply for utility help now using a new screening tool from the NJ Department of Community Affairs at gov/dca/dcaid.
  • Funeral expense relief is available via the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people who have had to pay funeral expenses for a family member lost to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Funeral relief information is available online.

8-24: Ten New Cases; Free Ice Cream at Back-to-School Vax Clinic; Montgomery Mandates Employee Vaccination; 3rd Dose Available; Submit Art for Community Healing Event; Be Ready for Next Emergency; Great Road Bridge Update; Ribbon Cutting for Sweet Gourmet

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been ten (10) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 8-20-21. Half of the new cases are among residents under the age of 20.


FREE ICE CREAM WITH VACCINE FOR MONTY TEENS

With township schools scheduled to open soon, the Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends vaccinating eligible teens 12 and older as soon as possible.

Montgomery will hold a second “Back to School” clinic with free ice cream on Thursday, August 26, from 4pm to 7pm at the Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road. The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine, the only one approved for teenagers.  While it is not necessary to pre-register, you may do so for convenience on the health department website.


TOWNSHIP MANDATES VACCINES FOR EMPLOYEES

The Montgomery Township Committee on Thursday passed a resolution requiring all township employees to be vaccinated within 30 days, with few exceptions. By that time, all employees will be required to provide evidence of vaccination.

The policy was brought forward by Township Administrator Donato Nieman in consultation with the Montgomery Health Department. “We know that people are losing their lives ever day to this virus and we have to act to protect one another and to bring this thing to an end,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.

Mayor Devra Keenan made a motion to adopt the new policy which was unanimously approved by the full committee.

The township decision coincides with the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, New Jersey’s announcement that state employees and schoolteachers must be vaccinated or regularly tested.


MONTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERING THIRD VACCINE DOSE

The Montgomery Township Health Department is now offering third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to immunocompromised residents, in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Residents who meet these criteria are encouraged to book an appointment via the health department website or call 908-533-9331.

The CDC has also announced that all persons who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines will be eligible for an additional dose eight months after the second dose, beginning September 20. The Montgomery Health Department will begin offering those third doses according to the CDC guidelines in late September.

To prepare for additional doses, Montgomery residents are encouraged to download the New Jersey recommended “Docket” app to their smartphones to conveniently access and display the exact dates, vaccine types, and batch numbers they received previously.


SUBMIT ART FOR COMMUNITY HEALING EVENT NEXT MONTH

 

Residents of all ages are encouraged to submit pandemic-inspired art or stories to be featured at a community healing event on September 20 at the Princeton Elks Lodge on Route 518 in Skillman.

Art of all kinds is welcome including, but not limited to, paintings, drawings, videos or recordings, crafts, poetry, essays, etc. The deadline to submit art is Monday, September 13. Submissions may be turned in at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building Front Desk or through email to clabelle@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

The free event is called Montgomery Together: Lighting the Way Forward – An Evening of Hope & Healing.  Organizers are the Montgomery Township Health Department and Municipal Alliance, in partnership with the Montgomery Recreation Department, Princeton Elks Lodge, and Somerset County Department of Human Services.

The event will feature an Interactive Art Gallery and Candlelight Vigil. The indoor gallery will be open from 3-7pm, with an outside candlelight vigil to follow. The rain date for the Candlelight Vigil is Tuesday, September 21st at 7PM (dusk). Masks will be required both indoors and outdoors.

For more information or questions, email Celine LaBelle at clabelle@twp.montgomery.nj.us or call at 609-874-8007.


BE READY FOR THE NEXT STORM OR EMERGENCY

Montgomery Township Police report a few township roads were closed temporarily during Tropical Storm Henri this week.  Yet the storm provided a reminder to be prepared. If you or a member of your household is particularly vulnerable during a public emergency, the MTPD and Office of Emergency Management recommend you sign up with the statewide Register Ready database, which forwards information to local first responders.

This registry is a safety net for residents who may find it difficult to evacuate during an emergency.  The New Jersey Special Needs Registry is free, voluntary, and strictly confidential. It is designed to help people who may have difficulty during an evacuation because of physical or cognitive limitations, language barriers or lack of transportation.

Registering will help first responders, such as police, fire, and rescue squad personnel, make the best use of limited time and resources to help people during an emergency.

It is also recommended that everyone sign up for the Nixle emergency notification system. Additional information is available on our public safety webpage.


GREAT ROAD BRIDGE REHABILITATION PUBLIC UPDATE

Somerset County’s Engineering Department held a public meeting last week to provide an update on the rehabilitation of the Great Road bridge over the Beden’s Brook. The study is intended to restore the structural integrity of the almost 40-year-old bridge which has been classified as structurally deficient.

A recording of the public meeting can be viewed online and includes a 40-minute presentation by engineering professionals. Additional project information is available at a dedicated website, www.greatroadbridge.com/.


SWEET GOURMET BUSINESS OPENING

 

Township Committeeperson Neena Singh (center) at the Sweet Gourmet ribbon cutting.

Sweet Gourmet, a boutique bakery, officially opened its doors at the Princeton North Shopping Center in Skillman this month.  Township Committeewoman Neena Singh, liaison to the Economic Development Commission, participated in a ribbon cutting with other members of the EDC, owner Karen Ambrose, and family members.


LAST WEEK TO MONTGOMERY PHOTO CONTEST!

The Rec Department has reprised its annual “Show Us Your Montgomery” photo contest. Through August 27, residents may submit photos of “their Montgomery” to recreation@twp.montgomery.nj.us. Each week the rec staff will vote on a weekly winner, and that photo will become the Recreation Department’s Facebook cover photo for the week.

Each week’s winning photo will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing. The residents will vote on the weekly winning photos the week of August 30th and the winner will be announced September 6th.  For additional detail, visit the Recreation Department website.

 

8-20: Six New Cases; Montgomery Offering 3rd Vax Dose; Pike Run Vax Clinic Tonight; Free Ice Cream at Back-to-School Vax Clinic; Restaurant Week Wrap Up; Financial Relief Available

TODAY’S 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, 8-17-21, and fifteen (15) for the week ending today. Presently, the Montgomery Health Department is monitoring 50 active cases in the township and Rocky Hill, including 22 cases under the age of 20 and six cases among residents aged 60 or older.


MONTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERING THIRD VACCINE DOSE

The Montgomery Township Health Department is now offering third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to immunocompromised residents, in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Residents who meet these criteria are encouraged to book an appointment via the health department website or call 908-533-9331.

The CDC has also announced that all persons who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines will be eligible for an additional dose eight months after the second dose, beginning September 20. The Montgomery Health Department will begin offering those third doses according to the CDC guidelines in late September.

To prepare for additional doses, Montgomery residents are encouraged to download the New Jersey recommended “Docket” app to their smartphones to conveniently access and display the exact dates, vaccine types, and batch numbers they received previously.


MODERNA VACCINE CLINIC TONIGHT AT PIKE RUN CLUBHOUSE

Montgomery Township will host a Moderna vaccine clinic today from 5pm to 7pm at the Pike Run Community Clubhouse.  Unvaccinated adults 18 and older may sign up for the clinics on the township website, where you’ll find additional information, or simply walk-in. The clinic will also provide third doses to immunocompromised persons who meet the CDC eligibility guidelines.


FREE ICE CREAM WITH VACCINE FOR MONTY TEENS

With township schools scheduled to start in just two weeks, the Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends vaccinating eligible teens 12 and older as soon as possible.

Montgomery will hold a second “Back to School” clinic with free ice cream next Thursday, August 26, from 4pm to 7pm at the Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road. The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine, the only one approved for teenagers.  While it is not necessary to pre-register, you may do so for convenience on the health department website.

Another convenient option to vaccinate teenagers is the Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 which is offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online.


MONTY’S FIRST RESTAURANT WEEK A SUCCESS

 

Township Committeperson Shelly Bell with Jennifer Cifelli, owner of the Blawnburg Bistro, during Montgomery Restaurant Week.

Montgomery’s first Restaurant Week was a success, according to Anna Mancilla, the chairperson of the Montgomery Economic Development Commission.

“We launched the first annual restaurant week hoping to highlight our local restaurants in what would otherwise be a slow month for business,” said Ms. Mancilla. “We received feedback from our restaurants suggesting the event was a success. We hope to continue to improve and shape this event to be a recurring annual event for our restaurants and our residents with new and original promotions to excite people to come out and enjoy our local cuisine.”

Several restaurants—including Aja, Beniamino’s, Saraha—have reported strong sales related to the promotional week.

In all, twenty restaurants participated in the event, most offering discounts or special menu items. You can still see the list of participating businesses at https://montyrestaurantweek.com/.


FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE

 

Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.

  • Income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic.  Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
  • A new Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service to eligible households. The program also offers a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider (such as CenturyLink, Comcast or Verizon, and many cellular providers) or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org/  sort byFor more information, check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ.
  • Assistance is available to help you pay your utility bills. All New Jerseyans with outstanding balances are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs now to lower their balances and also contact their utility company to request a flexible repayment plan. You may be newly eligible for financial assistance programs to help you pay your bills. You can learn more and apply for utility help now using a new screening tool from the NJ Department of Community Affairs at gov/dca/dcaid.
  • Funeral expense relief is available via the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people who have had to pay funeral expenses for a family member lost to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Funeral relief information is available online.

8-17: Nine New Cases; Monty Vax Rates Continue to Lead; Vaccine Opportunities this Week; Vaccinate Teens for School; Video Preview of New Montgomery Library; Taxes Due Sept. 15; Financial Relief Available

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been nine (9) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 8-13-21. According to the Montgomery Township Health Department, the Delta variant of the virus is driving infections among unvaccinated residents, generally teenagers and adults up to the age of 59. Seniors are not getting infected because their vaccination rate is nearly 100%.


MONTGOMERY VAX RATES CONTINUE TO LEAD

Residents of Montgomery and Rocky Hill continue to lead Somerset County towns in vaccination rates, according to data released last week. As of early August, 96% of Rocky Hill adults and 92% of Montgomery adults had received at least one vaccine dose.

Local vaccination rates are exceeded only by the small village of Far Hills, which reports a rate of more than 100%, due to errors in residency reporting. The latest county data also indicate that over 60% of Montgomery teenagers 12-17 are now fully or partially vaccinated.

“Montgomery Township residents have done a terrific job responding to the public health crisis,” said Montgomery Township Health Director Stephanie D. Carey. “And yet, with schools reopening soon, we are not out of the woods yet. Montgomery is a family-oriented community with many children. That makes us vulnerable with the return to schools, where this virus can spread.”

Ms. Carey urges everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, particularly teenagers who will return to school in three weeks. She also encourages the wearing of masks by everyone when in public, indoor settings.


MONTY VACCINATION OPPORTUNTIES THIS WEEK

Montgomery Township will host two vaccination clinics for adults 18 and older on Friday:

  • At the municipal building using the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine from 10 am to noon.
  • At the Pike Run Community Clubhouse using the Moderna vaccine from 5pm to 7pm.

Adults 18 and older may sign up for these clinics on the township website, where you’ll find additional information, or simply walk-in.

For the first time, third doses will be made available to immune-compromised people, following new CDC guidance. If you believe you qualify and want a third dose, call the Montgomery Health Department at 908- 533-9331.


VACCINATE TEENS BEFORE SCHOOL REOPENS

With township schools scheduled to start in just three weeks, the Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends vaccinating eligible teens 12 to 17 as soon as possible.

The closest opportunity to vaccinate teenagers this week is the Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 is the closest location offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online. The township urges parents to vaccinate teenagers as soon as possible in advance of schools reopening.


VIDEO PREVIEW OF MONTGOMERY LIBRARY RELEASED

The Somerset County Library System has released a new video previewing the Montgomery library to be opened next year in Montgomery Township. The video features Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan and county Library Director Brian Auger walking through the library under construction on Orchard Road as part of the new municipal center.

“It’s our first library branch since 1991,” said Mr. Auger. “We know it is probably going to be our second busiest branch.” The video describes the new cutting-edge automation systems and amenities that will be available to residents when the library opens in 2022.


AUGUST TAX BILLS DUE SEPTEMBER 15TH

Montgomery Township recently received certified tax rates from Somerset County that will allow August 1 tax bills to be sent out later this week.  They will be due on September 15.

Payments made on or before September 15th will not be considered late, but payments received after that date will be liable for interest payments back to August 1. Please contact the township tax office if you have any questions at (908) 359-8211.


ENTER MONTGOMERY WEEKLY PHOTO CONTEST!

The Rec Department has reprised its annual “Show Us Your Montgomery” photo contest. Each week through August 27, residents may submit photos of “their Montgomery” to recreation@twp.montgomery.nj.us. Each week the rec staff will vote on a weekly winner, and that photo will become the Recreation Department’s Facebook cover photo for the week.

Each week’s winning photo will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing. The residents will vote on the weekly winning photos the week of August 30th and the winner will be announced September 6th.  For additional detail, visit the Recreation Department website.


FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE

Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.

  • Income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic.  Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
  • A new Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service to eligible households. The program also offers a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider (such as CenturyLink, Comcast or Verizon, and many cellular providers) or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org/  sort byFor more information, check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ.
  • Assistance is available to help you pay your utility bills. All New Jerseyans with outstanding balances are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs now to lower their balances and also contact their utility company to request a flexible repayment plan. You may be newly eligible for financial assistance programs to help you pay your bills. You can learn more and apply for utility help now using a new screening tool from the NJ Department of Community Affairs at gov/dca/dcaid.
  • Funeral expense relief is available via the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people who have had to pay funeral expenses for a family member lost to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Funeral relief information is available online.

8-13: Six New Cases and 14 for the Week; Monty Vax Clinic Tomorrow at OKCC; Vaccinate Teens for School; Monty Restaurant Week Wraps Up; Police Step-Up Crosswalk Enforcement; Taxes Due Sept. 15; Secure Shredding Event Tomorrow

TODAY’S 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, 8-10-21, and 14 for the week ending today.

The Delta variant continues to drive infections among unvaccinated residents, particularly children under 18. According to the latest Somerset County data, 92% of Montgomery adults and over 6 in 10 teens 12-17 have had at least one dose of vaccine.


MONTY VACCINATION CLINIC TOMORROW AT OKCC

Montgomery will be offering a Moderna vaccine clinic for ages 18 and older from 9 to 11 AM tomorrow, Saturday 14th, at the Otto Kaufman Community Center. Walk-ins are welcome! Appointments are available for your convenience online or by calling the Health Department at (908) 533-9331. If you get voicemail, please leave a message so we can call you back.

For appointments at other times, visit the New Jersey vaccine finder page or the Montgomery Township Health Department vaccination page.


VACCINATE TEENAGERS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS

The township urges parents to vaccinate their teenagers as soon as possible in advance of schools reopening. The Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 is the closest location offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online.


MONTGOMERY RESTAURANT WRAPS UP SUNDAY

Montgomery Economic Development Commission Chair Anna Mancilla enjoying restaurant week with her family.

Montgomery Restaurant Week continues through Sunday, an effort organized by the Montgomery Business Association, the Montgomery News, and Montgomery Economic Development Commission to encourage residents to patronize local businesses recovering from the pandemic.

Twenty restaurants are participating, most of whom are offering special menu items and/or discounts. Special offers had been announced by 206 Corner Deli, Aja’s, Alfonso’s, Beniamino’s Cucina, Blawenburg Bistro, Buy the Cup, Genteel’s, New World Pizza, Playa Bowls, Ricky’s Thai, Robinson’s Chocolates, Rocky Hill Inn, Sahara’s, Sweet Gourmet, Tiger’s Tale, and YaYa Noodle’s/Sushi John’s. Learn more at MontyRestaurantWeek.com.


MONTY POLICE STEP-UP CROSSWALK ENFORCEMENT

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety, the Montgomery Township Police Department conducted a pedestrian safety enforcement operation this month on Blue Spring Road. The operation is focused on motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk.

During the most recent operation there were 33 motorists stopped for not stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Each motorist was issued a written warning or citation and provided a pamphlet highlighting pedestrian safety and laws from the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

“This pedestrian safety operation is another tool our department can utilize to improve traffic safety and educate motorists,” said Montgomery Police Captain James Gill. “When approaching a crosswalk where pedestrians are present, drivers must yield the right-of-way. This operation will serve as a reminder of this responsibility, and we expect that voluntary compliance will be improved as a result. As is the case with any other traffic law, it is easy to avoid a ticket – in this case, simply yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk.”

The Police Department is conducting this public awareness and enforcement program to educate and encourage members of the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking, and cycling throughout Montgomery. The pedestrian safety operation will continue to take place over the next several months.


AUGUST TAX BILLS DUE SEPTEMBER 15TH

Montgomery Township recently received certified tax rates from Somerset County that will allow August 1 tax bills to be sent out later this week.  They will be due on September 15.

Payments made on or before September 15th will not be considered late, but payments received after that date will be liable for interest payments back to August 1. Please contact the township tax office if you have any questions at (908) 359-8211.


SECURE SHREDDING EVENT TOMORROW IN HILLSBOROUGH

Residents may take advantage of a FREE, easy, and secure way to get rid of personal documents on Saturday, August 14, at the Somerset County Public Works Garage (South County Facility), at 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough. The event will occur rain or shine from 9 am to 1 pm, or until the trucks are filled.

Residents must be prepared to present a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill or any other bill that shows proof of a Somerset County address. Businesses and commercial vehicles are not allowed.

Residents from all 21 Somerset County municipalities may attend any county shredding events as they like. To view a list of shredding events, visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/shredding.

Participants may bring up to six boxes, containers, or bags of documents per visit, but they will be required to take back receptacles. Staples and paperclips do not have to be removed. Junk mail, magazines and newspapers will not be accepted.

 

8-6: Seven New Cases and Eleven for Week; Get J&J Vaccine Tonight, Tomorrow; Vaccinate Teenagers for School; Montgomery Restaurant Week; Rent Relief and Eviction Moratorium; Nominate Environmental Champions; Tax Bills Delayed

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been seven (7) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 8-3-21, and eleven (11) or the week.

About three-quarters of recent cases are among unvaccinated people, who are six times as likely as vaccinated people to get sick, and 30 times as likely to be hospitalized. “Getting your shot is the best way to protect yourself and your friends,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.

For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.


ONE-SHOT J&J VACCINE OFFERED TONIGHT AND TOMORROW

Want to be protected quickly against the COVID-19 virus? The Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers protection within two weeks of obtaining a single-dose vaccine and it is being offered tonight and tomorrow morning by the Montgomery Township Health Department.

The J&J clinics are at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead from 5-7pm this evening from 9-11 AM tomorrow morning. Adults 18 and older are eligible. Additional details are available on the township vaccination webpage. No appointment necessary.


VACCINATE TEENAGERS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS

Mayor Devra Keenan with newly vaccinated teenagers yesterday.

Montgomery Township vaccinated dozens of teenagers yesterday at a special “Back to School” clinic at the Otto Kaufman Community Center. Free ice cream, gift certificates, and prizes were offered.

The township urges parents to vaccinate their teenagers as soon as possible in advance of schools reopening. The Belle Mead CVS at 2311 Route 206 is offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older daily, with appointments required. Make your appointment online.


IT’S MONTGOMERY RESTAURANT WEEK!

The Montgomery Business Association, the Montgomery News, and Montgomery Township are collaborating on Montgomery Restaurant Week through August 15 to encourage residents to patronize local businesses recovering from the pandemic.

“Join me this weekend in supporting our great local restaurants, either by dining in or buying take-out,” said Montgomery Township Mayor Devra Keenan. “Our local businesses are vital to the quality of life we enjoy in Montgomery and making sure they rebound from the health crisis is important.”

Twenty restaurants are participating; many are offering special menu items and/or discounts. As of this morning, special offers had been announced by Aja Asian Cusine, Alfonso’s, Beniamino’s Cucina, Blawenburg Bistro, Buy the Cup, 206 Corner Deli, Genteel’s Brick Oven, New World Pizza, Playa Bowls, Ricky’s Thai, Robinson’s Chocolates, Rocky Hill Inn, Sahara Restaurant, Sweet Gourmet, The Tiger’s Tale, and Ya Ya Noodles. Learn more at the township website: MontyRestaurantWeek.com.


NEW JERSEY ACTS AGAIN ON RESIDENTIAL EVICTIONS

The nationwide ban on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent expired last Saturday, but New Jersey is one of several states that continues to prevent many evictions through the end of 2012, under a law signed by the Governor Wednesday.

As described this week NJ.com, “renters making less than 80% of the area’s median income will be shielded from eviction through Dec. 31. Those with income above 80% of the median will see the moratorium come to an end on Aug. 31.”

The law also appropriates $500 million of New Jersey’s federal American Rescue Plan aid for rental assistance and $250 million for utility payments. That relief is available to residents with income less than 120% of the area’s median.

All tenants are liable to pay back-rent, which is why rent relief programs are in place for New Jersey tenants. Rent relief funds from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) are available for eligible Somerset County families who are having trouble paying their rent because of a COVID-related loss of income. To receive assistance, applicants must complete an application and submit the required documentation.  To apply or review eligibility rules, visit the county website.


NOMINATE YOUR ENVIRONMENT CHAMPION!

The Montgomery Environmental Commission wants to recognize township residents, students, businesses and organizations who are taking steps to protect our shared environment with the inaugural Montgomery Environmental Awards.

For example, tell us about the efforts of your neighbor who turned their yard into a backyard habitat, or a student who volunteers to shine a light on environmental issues, or a local business going above and beyond to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations. The deadline for nominations has been extended to September 1.

The Township is seeking nominations in these categories:  1) Climate Change & Clean Air; 2) Water Resources; 3) Healthy Ecosystems & Habitats; 4) Landowner of the Year; and 5) Healthy & Sustainable Businesses.  For a description of eligibility, award categories, and the nomination process, visit the EC website.

Send nominations via email to LWasilauski@twp.montgomery.nj.us or via mail to:  Montgomery Environmental Commission, 2261 Van Horne Road, Belle Mead NJ 08502.

Winners will be announced this fall.


TAX BILLS DELAYED

Due to a delay in receiving certified tax rates from Somerset County, the mailing has been delayed for the 2021 Final Property Tax Bills for Montgomery Township, normally due on August 1. Ample notice will be given to all residents regarding a new due date as soon as we have data from Somerset County.  Please contact township CFO Michael Pitts with questions at mpitts@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

8-3: Four New Cases; Back-to-School Vaccine Event Thursday; Rent Relief and NJ Eviction Moratorium; Tax Bills Delayed; Montgomery Restaurant Week Begins Thursday; Montgomery to Honor Local Purple Heart Recipients

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been four (4) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 7-30-21. Many of the recent cases are occurring among unvaccinated children, prompting quarantines for their families. For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.

The Montgomery Health Department is offering several convenient vaccination opportunities in the coming days, listed on the township vaccination webpage. No appointments required.


BACK TO SCHOOL KICK-OFF VAX CLINIC THURSDAY

With the rise of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, the Montgomery Township Health Department is urging families to vaccine teenagers 12 to 17 this week, in time to be protected when schools reopen.

To help, the Montgomery Recreation Department is partnering with the Health Department to host a “Back to School Kick-Off” vaccine clinic Thursday featuring free ice cream for any teen receiving their first dose.  In addition, the first 20 teens to get vaccinated will receive donated gift certificates to local restaurants and shops—including New World Pizza, Robinson’s Chocolates, and Thomas Sweet’s. The Rotary Club of Montgomery and Rocky Hill is donating Apple Air Pods for a drawing among newly vaccinated youth.

The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 12 and older, from 4 to 7 PM at the Recreation Department’s Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road. We recommend you pre-register on the health department website, but walk-ins are also accepted.

The August 5 date was chosen because it is the last day to start the vaccination process and be fully vaccinated on the first day of school. The Pfizer vaccine requires 5 weeks from the first dose to full immunity, including 21 days between shots plus 14 days following the second dose. With school opening September 9 in Montgomery, that means the deadline for a first dose is August 5 for children to be fully protected in time for school.

Another good opportunity for vaccinating a child is the CVS at 2311 Route 206 in Belle Mead. They offer the Pfizer vaccine daily, with appointments required. You can make your appointment online now.

Parents with questions about the vaccine should talk to their child’s healthcare provider or to call the Montgomery Health Department at (908) 533-9331.


RENT RELIEF AVAILABLE, AS NJ EVICTIONS ARE DELAYED

The nationwide ban on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent expired on Saturday, but New Jersey is one of several states that continues to prevent evictions via state law. The New Jersey eviction moratorium continues through the end of 2021.

Nevertheless, tenants are liable to pay back-rent, which is why rent relief programs are in place for New Jersey tenants. By applying now, renters may be able to avoid large past-due balances when the eviction moratorium ends in December.

Rent relief funds from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) are available for eligible Somerset County families who are having trouble paying their rent because of a COVID-related loss of income. To receive assistance, applicants must complete an application and submit the required documentation.  To apply or review eligibility rules, visit the county website.


TAX BILLS DELAYED

Due to a delay in receiving certified tax rates from Somerset County, the mailing has been delayed for the 2021 Final Property Tax Bills for Montgomery Township, normally due on August 1. Ample notice will be given to all residents regarding a new due date as soon as we have data from Somerset County.  Please contact township CFO Michael Pitts if you have any questions at mpitts@twp.montgomery.nj.us or (908) 359-8211.


MONTGOMERY RESTAURANT WEEK STARTS THURSDAY!

The Montgomery Business Association, the Montgomery News, and the township are collaborating on Montgomery Restaurant Week between August 5 and 15 to encourage residents to patronize local businesses recovering from the pandemic.

Twenty restaurants are participating, some of whom are offering special menu items and/or discounts. As of today, special offers had been announced by Alfonso’s, New World Pizza, Playa Bowls, Sweet Gourmet, Blawenburg Bistro, and Tiger’s Tale. Learn more at : MontyRestaurantWeek.com


NATIONAL PURPLE HEART DAY IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 7
Seeking Purple Heart Recipients with a Montgomery Connection to be Honored

 

Did you know that Montgomery Township has the honorable distinction of being designated a Purple Heart Community? August 7th is National Purple Heart Day – a perfect time to remember our brave soldiers who sacrificed so much for the freedom and opportunities we all enjoy.  The Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee, working in conjunction with Montgomery Township and The Montgomery News staff, have been collecting stories for a “Purple Heart in Our Community” article to be published in September.

If anyone reading this knows of any Purple Heart recipients currently residing in Montgomery Township, or are current Township residents that are immediate family members of a Purple Heart recipient (including your parents /grandparents) with whom the committee has not yet spoken,  please contact:  mvmc@twp.montgomery.nj.us or call (908) 359-8211 Ext. 2279. They would like to recognize and honor all our Purple Heart residents on this special day and look forward to publishing all their compelling stories next month.