9-21: Eight new COVID Cases; Health Officer Updates Community on Pandemic; Healing Event Yesterday; Storm Debris Pickup Underway; Donations Accepted for Displaced Residents; Disaster Resources Available; Dead Tree Run Detour

COVID CASE SUMMARY

There have been eight (8) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 9-17-21.


MONTGOMERY HEALTH OFFICER UPDATES COMMUNITY ON PANDEMIC

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer

There’s a lot happening nationally and locally with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d like to give you a summary with my department’s perspective.

The best news I can report is that the level of overall vaccination in Montgomery Township is excellent. Fully 95% of our adults are vaccinated, and so are 90% of our residents 12 and older.  Those are some of the best numbers you will find anywhere in the nation. And yet, we still have some vulnerability when you consider that close to 5,000 residents are not yet vaccinated, including about 3,000 children under 12 who are not yet eligible. That leaves the virus with room to spread.

That’s why we’re experiencing a bump-up in cases—19 cases last week, the most since early May, and eight more over the weekend.  Most of these cases are in family clusters and involve unvaccinated children.

The biggest priority right now should be getting our teenagers vaccinated, especially with school back in session. About one-third of teens 12 to 17 are eligible but not yet vaccinated. I urge the parents of those children to schedule a first Pfizer shot right away. Getting your teen vaccinated now is the best way to keep them in school and on the playing field.

Over the weekend we got the good news that trials of the Pfizer vaccine among 5- to 11-year-olds were successful, both in terms of efficacy and safety. We can be optimistic that the Food and Drug Administration will review these results and provide emergency use authorization soon.  Once that happens, we can really stomp out COVID-19 and get our lives back to normal.

The other big news over the weekend was a recommendation by an FDA advisory panel to endorse booster shots for people 65 and older who were vaccinated eight months ago or longer.  The Montgomery Health Department will start providing booster shots as soon as the FDA issues an official decision.

Meantime, we are already providing third shots to immunocompromised people based on a prior FDA approval.

The big picture is we are seeing a lot of success in our efforts against the virus in our community. But we still have some challenges remaining, and we all need to remain cautious and committed to protecting ourselves, our children, and our neighbors.


PANDEMIC HEALING EVENT LAST NIGHT


A candlelight vigil concluded last night’s event.

Residents of all ages contributed art and stories at a pandemic-inspired community event yesterday, Montgomery Together: Lighting the Way Forward, an Evening of Hope and Healing. The event was held at the Princeton Elks Lodge on Route 518 in Skillman and ended with a candlelight vigil at dusk to remember fellow residents lost to COVID-19.

“This event came out of a community leader meeting and a recommendation that we needed to process our grief together, as a community,” said Montgomery Deputy Health Officer Devangi Patel, an organizer of the event. “It was deeply meaningful to the large group of people who attended.”

“COVID affected us not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Events like these help heal and lift us up, and build connections within our community,” said Township Committeeperson Neena Singh, in remarks at the event. “The key to learning from the pandemic is the lessons it taught us, and to grow as a community from those experiences.”

The event featured paintings, drawings, videos, crafts, poetry, essays, etc., all inspired by the pandemic. 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.


LIMITED CURBSIDE IDA DEBRIS PICKUP THIS WEEK

The Montgomery Township Department of Public Works has received DEP approval and is picking up storm debris from residences most seriously impacted by the Hurricane Ida flooding.

Residents unable to address debris removal themselves are advised to fill out an Emergency Help Form on the township website indicating their situation. This is the last week these requests will be considered. Alternatively, call Montgomery’s storm Ida hotline at (908) 395-7991 and leave a message with your name, address, and phone number.

The Container Facility remains open through Saturday this week, 8am to 2pm, with coupons/fees waived for storm debris originating in Montgomery. Be prepared to prove residency when dropping off debris.


DONATIONS ACCEPTED FOR DISPLACED RESIDENTS

Montgomery Township is aware of at least 18 homes seriously damaged during Storm Ida, and these households remain the focus of township attention. Seven of them, so far, that have been condemned as uninhabitable. Some of the displaced families have school-aged children.

Residents wishing to donate recovery aid to residents impacted by Storm Ida may consider donating online to the Montgomery Charity Foundation or to the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129. Both organizations are coordinating with the township to identify families most in need of assistance.


DISASTER RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, NONPROFITS

Somerset County is part of a declared Federal Disaster area due to Hurricane Ida, meaning that Federal relief monies may be available to residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

If you are facing a major loss, use the state portal to report damage and keep documentation, photos, and receipts. This should expedite reimbursement. Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. FEMA has created a webpage that includes New Jersey resources and assistance for families. If you wish to assist with the recovery efforts, visit FEMA’s Volunteer/Donate page.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved a disaster relief program that will provide grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to New Jersey businesses and non-profits with up to 50 employees that suffered physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Ida and any additional flooding immediately thereafter. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible.

Governor Phil Murphy also announced a rideshare partnership with NJ 211, United Way Worldwide, Uber, and Lyft to provide access to free and discounted rides to New Jersey residents who lost a personal vehicle as a result of Tropical Storm Ida. For the next two weeks, New Jersey residents who lost a vehicle and need help accessing essential services can text NJIDARIDE to 898-211 to request a Lyft or Uber ride. Those without access to a smartphone can dial 2-1-1.

Local lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township and Somerset County websites.  Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established a special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991. In addition, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help with a range of extraordinary challenges via an Emergency Help Form on the township website.

Additional resources include these hotlines: NJ Mental Health 866-202-HELP, SAMSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990.


ROADWORK ON DEAD TREE RUN ROAD AND MILL POND ROAD

Dead Tree Run Road (between Bridgepoint Road and Mill Pond Road) and Mill Pond Road (between Dead Tree Run Road and Harlingen Road) were closed yesterday for planned roadwork.

Please follow the posted detour and note that the construction zone is in blue. Access will be maintained to residents who live in the work zone. Mill Pond Park will be accessible using Dead Tree Run Road from River Road. Accommodations will be made if River Road experiences a closure. Construction is expected to last 3-4 weeks on weekdays between 7 am and approximately 5 pm, weather depending. Please sign up for Nixle alerts for periodic updates.

The work does not involve the historic Mill Pond Bridge, as incorrectly reported in this ebulletin Friday.


CELEBRATE FALL HARVEST AT MONTGOMERY’S FARMS

It’s harvest season, and Montgomery’s farmers are busy!  Support our local farmers by shopping at their farm stands (many are open, find a list here), and by participating in harvest season events.

This coming weekend, Saturday September 25, Hidden Spring Lavender in Skillman is having their Alpaca Farmers Day Festival from 11 AM to 4 PM, with advance ticket purchase required. Call (609) 558-7034 or book online at:  https://hiddenspringlavender.com/

9-17: Nineteen new COVID Cases; Pandemic Healing Event Monday; Storm Debris Pickup Underway; Donations Accepted for Displaced Residents; Detour for Bridgepoint Area Roadwork; Disaster Resources Available; 2021 Election Begins

NEW COVID CASES AT 4-MONTH HIGH

There have been nineteen (19) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 9-14-21. For the week ending today, the township had twenty-seven (27) cases, the highest weekly total since early May.

“We’re experiencing a bump up in cases that is associated with family clusters and late summer travel,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey. “About half of today’s new cases are among unvaccinated children, who are now quarantined and not attending school.”

The health department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated and is offering two clinics today, Friday, with a J&J clinic this afternoon from 1-3 pm at the Municipal Building, and a Moderna Clinic this evening from 5-7 pm the Pike Run Clubhouse. More information on municipal clinics is available on the health department website.

About two-thirds of eligible teens have been vaccinated. For those who aren’t, the quickest option is to find a local pharmacy offering the Pfizer vaccine, approved for teenagers, through the NJ Vaccine Finder.


PANDEMIC HEALING EVENT MONDAY

Residents of all ages are encouraged to attend a pandemic-inspired community event, Montgomery Together: Lighting the Way Forward, an Evening of Hope and Healing. The event will be on Monday, September 20, from 3 to 8 pm, at the Princeton Elks Lodge on Route 518 in Skillman.

The event will feature paintings, drawings, videos, crafts, poetry, essays, etc., all inspired by the pandemic. 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.

An indoor gallery will be open from 3-7 pm, 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.


LIMITED CURBSIDE IDA DEBRIS PICKUP UNDERWAY

The Montgomery Township Department of Public Works has received DEP approval and is picking up storm debris from residences most seriously impacted by the Hurricane Ida flooding.

Residents unable to address debris removal themselves are advised to fill out an Emergency Help Form on the township website indicating their situation. Township staff will review requests and let you know whether and when assistance can be provided. Alternatively, call Montgomery’s storm Ida hotline at (908) 395-7991 and leave a message with your name, address, and phone number.

“If you can remove debris to our Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road, that’s going to be your quickest solution,” said Township Administrator Donato Nieman. “But we’ll eventually get to every seriously impacted neighborhood, as we did after Hurricane Irene ten years ago.”

The Container Facility will be open Monday through Saturday this week and next, 8am to 2pm, with coupons/fees waived for storm debris originating in Montgomery. Be prepared to prove residency when dropping off debris.


DONATIONS ACCEPTED FOR DISPLACED RESIDENTS

Montgomery Township is aware of at least 18 homes seriously damaged during Storm Ida, and these households remain the focus of township attention. Seven of them, so far, that have been condemned as uninhabitable. Some of the displaced families have school-aged children.

Residents wishing to donate recovery aid to residents impacted by Storm Ida may consider donating online to the Montgomery Charity Foundation or to the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129. Both organizations are coordinating with the township to identify families most in need.


BRIDGEPOINT AREA ROADWORK TO TAKE THREE+ WEEKS

Roadwork on Dead Tree Run Road (Bridgepoint Road to Mill Pond Road) and Mill Pond Road is expected to start on or about Monday, September 20, 2021 and last for three to four weeks.

A detour plan has been established. Follow the posted detour signs around the construction zone between Bridgepoint and Mill Pond Roads. Access will be maintained to residents who live in the work zone. Mill Pond Park will be accessible using Dead Tree Run Road from River Road.

Please sign up for Montgomery Police Nixle alerts for periodic updates. (You may also text your zip code to 888777 to subscribe.) Construction time will depend on the weather.

Updated: 9-20-21


DISASTER RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, NONPROFITS

Somerset County is part of a declared Federal Disaster area due to Hurricane Ida, meaning that Federal relief monies may be available to residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

If you are facing a major loss, use the state portal to report damage and keep documentation, photos, and receipts. This should expedite reimbursement. Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. FEMA has created a webpage that includes New Jersey resources and assistance for families. If you wish to assist with the recovery efforts, visit FEMA’s Volunteer/Donate page.

Last week, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved a disaster relief program that will provide grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to New Jersey businesses and non-profits with up to 50 employees that suffered physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Ida and any additional flooding immediately thereafter. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible.

Governor Phil Murphy also announced a rideshare partnership with NJ 211, United Way Worldwide, Uber, and Lyft to provide access to free and discounted rides to New Jersey residents who lost a personal vehicle as a result of Tropical Storm Ida. For the next two weeks, New Jersey residents who lost a vehicle and need help accessing essential services can text NJIDARIDE to 898-211 to request a Lyft or Uber ride. Those without access to a smartphone can dial 2-1-1.

Local lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township and Somerset County. websites.  Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established a special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991. In addition, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help with a range of extraordinary challenges via an Emergency Help Form on the township website. Use this to report problems with housing, food insecurity, transportation issues, debris removal, etc.

Additional resources include these hotlines: NJ Mental Health 866-202-HELP, SAMSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990.


2021 ELECTION BALLOTS MAILED AS COUNTY SEEKS POLL WORKERS

Mail ballots for the 2021 New Jersey State Election soon will begin arriving in the mail. Elections for governor, state legislature, county commissioner, and municipal governing officials are on the ballot.

Mail ballots can be returned via the US Postal Service or deposited in a secure drop box beginning late next week. The Somerset County list of drop boxes includes the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead.

Somerset County is seeking 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.

9-14: Fifteen new COVID Cases; Limited Storm Debris Pickup Begins; Donations Accepted for Displaced Residents; Disaster Resources Available; Storm Impact on Wildlife; Highlights of Monty 9-11 Events: Art Sought for Pandemic Healing

TODAY’S COVID-19 SUMMARY

There have been fifteen (15) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 9-7-21. For the week ending last Friday, the township had thirteen (13) cases.

The Montgomery Township Health Department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated and is offering several clinics this week, including a Pfizer Clinic for youth on Thursday evening at OKCC, a J&J clinic Friday afternoon at the Municipal Building, and a Moderna Clinic Friday evening the Pike Run Clubhouse.


LIMITED CURBSIDE IDA DEBRIS PICKUP BEGINS

The Montgomery Township Department of Public Works received DEP approval and started picking up storm debris from residences most seriously impacted by the Hurricane Ida flooding.

Residents unable to address debris removal themselves are advised to fill out an Emergency Help Form on the township website indicating their situation. Township staff will review requests and let you know whether and when assistance can be provided. Alternatively, call Montgomery’s storm Ida hotline at (908) 395-7991 and leave a message with your name, address, and phone number.

“If you can remove debris to our Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road, that’s going to be your quickest solution,” said Township Administrator Donato Nieman. “But we’ll eventually get to every seriously impacted neighborhood, as we did after Hurricane Irene ten years ago.”

The Container Facility will be open every day this week and next, Monday through Saturday, 8am to 2pm, with coupons/fees waived for storm debris originating in Montgomery. Be prepared to prove residency when dropping off debris.

The private hauler Blue Star Carting announced they started catching up on garbage pickups yesterday and starting today, Tuesday, will be following their normal day-of-week schedule.


DONATIONS ACCEPTED FOR DISPLACED RESIDENTS

Montgomery Township is aware of at least 18 homes seriously damaged during Storm Ida, and these households remain the focus of township attention. Six of them, so far, that have been condemned as uninhabitable. Some of the displaced families have school-aged children.

If you are aware of suitable housing within the township, please contact Mayor Keenan at mayor@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

Residents wishing to donate recovery aid to residents impacted by Storm Ida may consider donating online to the Montgomery Charity Foundation or to the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129. Both organizations are coordinating with the township to identify families most in need.


DISASTER RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, NONPROFITS

Somerset County is part of a declared Federal Disaster area due to Hurricane Ida, meaning that Federal relief monies may be available to residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

If you are facing a major loss, use the state portal to report damage and keep documentation, photos, and receipts. This should expedite reimbursement. Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. FEMA has created a webpage that includes New Jersey resources and assistance for families. If you wish to assist with the recovery efforts, visit FEMA’s Volunteer/Donate page.

Last week, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved a disaster relief program that will provide grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to New Jersey businesses and non-profits with up to 50 employees that suffered physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Ida and any additional flooding immediately thereafter. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible.

Governor Phil Murphy also announced a rideshare partnership with NJ 211, United Way Worldwide, Uber, and Lyft to provide access to free and discounted rides to New Jersey residents who lost a personal vehicle as a result of Tropical Storm Ida. For the next two weeks, New Jersey residents who lost a vehicle and need help accessing essential services can text NJIDARIDE to 898-211 to request a Lyft or Uber ride. Those without access to a smartphone can dial 2-1-1.

Local lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township and Somerset County. websites.  Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established a special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991. In addition, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help with a range of extraordinary challenges via an Emergency Help Form on the township website. Use this to report problems with housing, food insecurity, transportation issues, debris removal, etc.

Additional resources include these hotlines: NJ Mental Health 866-202-HELP, SAMSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990.


STORM IDA IMPACT ON LOCAL WILDLIFE

The Montgomery Township Animal Control officers are seeing an increase in deceased deer on properties, roadways, and backyards recently.  In part this is a result of the recent storms, but there may also be certain neurological disorders going around in area deer populations, harmless to humans, but which should be reported to us and to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

If you ever see any animal – domestic, wild, or otherwise – that is deceased or just doesn’t seem right, potentially sick, injured, or wounded, call us at 908-359-8211 x2247. Leave a message and if we don’t get back to you quickly then please call the non-emergency police line (908) 359-3222. Do not approach animals that appear ill, injured, or that act strangely.

The removal of dead deer is going more slowly than usual because of the high demand. What normally takes a couple days is taking almost a week.


MONTGOMERY REMEMBERS 9-11-01

 

Montgomery Township remembered the victims of the attack on America on September 11, 2001 with events at both township 9-11 memorials on Saturday.

In remarks at the Montgomery Fire Department #2 in Skillman, Mayor Devra Keenan recalled her own experiences on that day in 2001, when she was overseas on vacation from a job with colleagues next door to the World Trade Center.

“Today, we honor those Americans who always offer help, even at the risk of their own lives,” the mayor said. “The dedication of our Fire Fighters, Police, and Emergency Medical Services are among the great national treasures we have.  Here in Montgomery, many of those heroes are volunteers, dedicated to serving our community just because it’s the right thing to do. Our first responders continue to set an example of commitment to community, an example that we should all do our best to follow. I hope moments like this one can inspire us all to renew our sense of kinship with the entire human family.”

Three people with ties to Montgomery Township were lost in the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001: Brian Thomas Cummins, who grew up in Belle Mead; Steven Goldstein; and Philip L. Parker. Rocky Hill resident William F. Fallon was also lost that day.

The day included a service project at Hobler Park in Skillman where more than 25 volunteers planted trees, including a row of white flowering dogwood along the parking lot edge.  Serviceberry, white oak, tulip poplar and more were added in the area behind the gazebo, in a project organized by the Montgomery Environmental Commission.

The day concluded with a wreath laying by township officials at the 9-11 Memorial at Montgomery Veteran’s Park. Visit or follow the Montgomery Township Facebook page to see this year’s 9-11 commemoration photos.


SUBMIT ART FOR HEALING EVENT NEXT WEEK

Residents of all ages are encouraged to submit pandemic-inspired art or stories to be featured at a community healing event on Tuesday evening, 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 has been extended to Thursday, September 16. 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.


2021 ELECTION BALLOTS MAILED AS COUNTY SEEKS POLL WORKERS

Mail ballots for the 2021 New Jersey State Election will begin arriving in the mail within days. Elections for governor, state assembly, county commissioner, and municipal governing officials are on the ballot.

Mail ballots can be returned via the US Postal Service or deposited in a secure drop box beginning late next week. The Somerset County list of drop boxes includes the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead.

Somerset County is seeking 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.

9-9: Storm Ida Road Update; Donations Accepted for Displaced Residents; If You Need Recovery Help; Removal of Storm Debris; Vaccine Clinics Friday & Saturday; Montgomery 9-11 Anniversary Events in Montgomery

ROAD REPAIRS CONTINUE FOLLOWING STORM IDA

 

A Montgomery Public Works crew repairing Hollow Road in Skillman.

Montgomery Township continued to make progress recovering from Hurricane Ida this week as municipal and county Public Works Departments worked to reopen roads, and residents pitched in making donations and volunteering.

Importantly, the Burnt Hill Road bridge between Skillman Road and the Lower Middle School was fully reopened late yesterday. Township roads still closed are Hollow Road above Camp Meeting Road, and Grandview Road between Hollow Road and Pin Oak. Both are expected to open to local traffic soon.

“Our township and county road crews have done an incredible job, working long hours, to get us back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan. “I am particularly pleased we were able to fully reopen Route 601 and Burnt Hill Roads to help get our kids back to school.”

Township offices are fully open, but the administration request residents attempt to resolve any routine questions or concerns first by phone (908-359-8211) or email, before visiting in-person. Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established as special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991. Please leave a detailed message, including your name and address.


DONATIONS ACCEPTED FOR DISPLACED RESIDENTS

Montgomery Township is aware of at least 18 homes that were seriously damaged during Storm Ida, and these households currently are the focus of township attention. Five of them, so far, that have been condemned as uninhabitable.

Several families, some with school-aged children, have been displaced and are seeking temporary housing in Montgomery. If you are aware of suitable housing within the township, please contact Mayor Keenan at mayor@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

Residents wishing to donate recovery aid to residents in need are asked to donate online through the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129, who are coordinating with Montgomery Township. Alternatively, send a check to: Princeton Elks Charitable Trust 501c3, PO Box 217, Blawenburg NJ 08504, or drop off gift cards at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road or to the Princeton Elks on Route 518. Please do not bring any physical donation items.


IF YOU NEED HELP WITH STORM RECOVERY

Somerset County is now part of a declared Federal Disaster area, meaning that Federal relief monies may be available to residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.

The township believes we are in touch with every displaced family, but if you are displaced and have not yet communicated with the town or county, FEMA and Somerset County Office of Emergency Management asks every displaced household to contact Somerset County Social Services to register/notify for housing. The phone number is Somerset County Social Service Department 908-526-8800. Additional information is available at NJ 211 or dial 2-1-1.

Broader lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township, Somerset County, and New Jersey websites.

Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established a special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991.

In addition, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help with a range of extraordinary challenges via a form on the township website. Use this to report problems with housing, food insecurity, transportation issues, debris removal, etc. The township will use this information to guide disaster recovery priorities, and a township employee will follow up by telephone to assist with problem solving.

Additional resources include these hotlines: NJ Mental Health 866-202-HELP, SAMSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990.


UPDATE ON REMOVAL OF STORM DEBRIS

UPDATE:  EXTENDED HOURS NOW INCLUDE MON., SEPT. 13 to SAT., SEPT. 18, 8 AM to 2 PM

The Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road in Belle Mead will be open all week through Saturday 8am to 2pm.  Hours for next week will be posted soon. The usual fees/coupons will be waived for residents discarding storm-related debris.

If you use a borrowed or hired truck, you’ll need to accompany the driver with proof of residency or provide a signed letter attesting to Montgomery as the source of refuse. Residents are advised to remove wet material immediately and take special care to prevent mold build up.

The township is exploring the possibility of offering limited curbside pickups through a FEMA approved hauler. Meantime, the Container Facility is residents’ best option for storm debris. While Somerset County may do some pick-up along Millstone River Road, these requests will go through the Montgomery Township Office of Emergency Management and will be limited to damage due to Millstone River flooding.


VACCINE CLINICS FRIDAY & SATURDAY

The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering a vaccination clinic every Friday afternoon from 2-4 pm at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The program is especially designed to help residents facing new vaccination requirements from employers, such as hospitals and state, county, and municipal governments.  The one-shot Johnson & Johnson provides the quickest avenue to COVID-19 protection. The township will accept all walk-ins, but also provides appointments for your convenience on the health department website.

Montgomery is also offering the Moderna vaccine on Saturday September 11 from 8:30 to 10am at the Municipal Building at 2261 Rt 206 in Belle Mead.


MONTGOMERY TO HONOR 9-11 ANNIVERSARY SATURDAY

The 9-11 Memorial at MTVFD #2 in Skillman

Montgomery Township and community partners have announced three public events on Saturday, September 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States.

“The spirit of service is alive and well in Montgomery Township,” said Mayor Devra Keenan. “I hope many of our residents will join with me in thanking the first responders who protect us today, while remembering those who gave their lives on that horrible day twenty years ago.”

The three events are as follows:

  • 9-11 Remembrance Service. The day’s events will begin at 10 AM with a 9-11 Remembrance Service organized by the Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Department #2 in Skillman. The event will be at the 9-11 memorial at 529 Route 518 in Skillman. The commemoration will consist of a brief ceremony and speeches honoring our fallen New York City Firefighters, Police Officers, and First Responders, and all the lives lost and forever changed by the events that occurred 20 years ago.
  • 9-11 Serving the Community. The Montgomery Open Space Committee has organized a 9-11 Serving the Community event consisting of tree planting and environmental stewardship at Hobler Park in Skillman from 11am to 3pm. The Park is located across from the Cherry Valley Country Club at 1645 Great Road (Route 601). Residents are invited to sign up in advance and select a one-hour service time to spread out volunteers for COVID safety. To pre-register email Open Space Coordinator Lauren Wasilauski at LWasilauski@twp.montgomery.nj.us or via phone at (908) 533-9302.
  • 9-11 Wreath Laying. The last event of the day will be a solemn wreath-laying by Mayor Devra Keenan and her colleagues on the Montgomery Township Committee at the 9-11 Memorial at Montgomery Veteran’s Park on Harlingen Road. The event will be at 4:00 pm, and members of the public are welcomed to attend.

 

9-7: Six New COVID Cases; Storm Ida Update for Montgomery; If You Need Recovery Help; Removal of Storm Debris; Get Vaccinated for Work; 9-11 Anniversary Events in Montgomery; Sign Up for Fall Recreation Programs

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, 9-3-21. The Montgomery Township Health Department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated, particularly with the start of school upon us.


DISASTER DECLARATION TO BRING AID FOLLOWING STORM IDA

 

Route 601 is reopened near Montgomery High School.

Montgomery Township’s recovery from Hurricane Ida accelerated over the weekend, as our municipal and county Public Works Departments worked to reopen roads, and residents pitched in making donations and volunteering.

Most notably, Route 601 was fully reopened as the bridge over Rock Brook was sufficiently repaired to allow safe passage of vehicles. Township roads still closed are Hollow Road above Camp Meeting Road, Burnt Hill Road between Skillman Road and the Montgomery Lower Middle School, Dutchtown Zion Road, and Grandview Road between Hollow Road and Pin Oak.

Township officials are working to help find housing for individuals and families displaced by flood damage from about a dozen homes. Over 60 automobiles were towed after being abandoned on flooded roads.

Somerset County is now part of a declared Federal Disaster area, meaning that Federal relief monies will be available to towns and residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.  

“The historic flooding of Storm Ida was devastating for many members of our community, several of whom lost their homes at least temporarily,” said Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan. Over the Labor Day Weekend, our Department of Public Works did an amazing job restoring our roads, while Somerset County repaired our bridges. We owe them, and our first responders, a great deal of thanks, and to residents who have been helping neighbors recover.”

Township offices are fully open, but the administration request residents attempt to resolve any questions or concerns first by phone (908-359-8211) or email, before visiting in-person.


IF YOU NEED HELP WITH STORM RECOVERY

Lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township, Somerset County, and New Jersey websites.

For residents with problems bigger than they can address themselves, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help via a form on the township website. Use this to report extraordinary challenges related to housing, food insecurity, transportation issues, debris removal, etc. The township will use this information to guide disaster recovery priorities, and a township employee will follow up by telephone to assist with problem solving.

Residents wishing to donate recovery aid are asked to donate online through the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129 or by check to: Princeton Elks Charitable Trust 501c3, PO Box 217, Blawenburg NJ 08504.  The Elks are working with Montgomery Township to get aid to families in need. Alternatively, bring gift cards to the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road or to the Princeton Elks on Route 518. Please do not bring any physical items.


UPDATE ON REMOVAL OF STORM DEBRIS

The Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road in Belle Mead will be open all week, Tuesday through Saturday 8am to 2pm.  The usual fees/coupons will be waived for residents discarding storm-related debris.

If you use a borrowed or hired truck, you’ll need to accompany the driver with proof of residency or provide a signed letter attesting to Montgomery as the source of refuse. Residents are advised to remove wet material immediately and take special care to prevent mold build up.

Somerset County has announced they will be providing curbside storm debris pick-up on County Route 533 because of its proximity to the Millstone River. Details and timing will be forthcoming.  More in The Montgomery News at: https://www.themontynews.org/single-post/somerset-county-plans-for-flood-debris-pickup-biden-to-visit-manville-damages-still-being-assessed

 


GET VACCINATED TO MEET EMPLOYER MANDATES

The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering a vaccination clinic every Friday afternoon from 2-4pm at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The program is especially designed to help residents facing new vaccination requirements from employers, such as hospitals and state, county, and municipal governments.  The one-shot Johnson & Johnson provides the quickest avenue to COVID-19 protection. The township will accept all walk-ins, but also provides appointments for your convenience on the health department website.

Montgomery is also offering the Moderna vaccine on Saturday September 11 from 8:30 to 10am at the Municipal Building at 2261 Rt 206 in Belle Mead.


MONTGOMERY TO HONOR 9-11 ANNIVERSARY SATURDAY

The 9-11 Memorial at MTVFD #2 in Skillman

Montgomery Township and community partners have announced three public events on Saturday, September 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States.

“The spirit of service is alive and well in Montgomery Township,” said Mayor Devra Keenan. “I hope many of our residents will join with me in thanking the first responders who protect us today, while remembering those who gave their lives on that horrible day twenty years ago.”

The three events are as follows:

  • 9-11 Remembrance Service. The day’s events will begin at 10 AM with a 9-11 Remembrance Service organized by the Montgomery Township Volunteer Fire Department #2 in Skillman. The event will be at the 9-11 memorial at 529 Route 518 in Skillman. The commemoration will consist of a brief ceremony and speeches honoring our fallen New York City Firefighters, Police Officers, and First Responders, and all the lives lost and forever changed by the events that occurred 20 years ago.
  • 9-11 Serving the Community. The Montgomery Open Space Committee has organized a 9-11 Serving the Community event consisting of tree planting and environmental stewardship at Hobler Park in Skillman from 11am to 3pm. The Park is located across from the Cherry Valley Country Club at 1645 Great Road (Route 601). Residents are invited to sign up in advance and select a one-hour service time to spread out volunteers for COVID safety. To pre-register email Open Space Coordinator Lauren Wasilauski at LWasilauski@twp.montgomery.nj.us or via phone at (908) 533-9302.
  • 9-11 Wreath Laying. The last event of the day will be a solemn wreath-laying by Mayor Devra Keenan and her colleagues on the Montgomery Township Committee at the 9-11 Memorial at Montgomery Veteran’s Park on Harlingen Road. The event will be at 4:00 pm, and members of the public are welcomed to attend.

FALL RECREATION SIGN-UP STARTED TODAY

Registration for the Fall Montgomery Recreation programs started this morning. The program newsletter is available online , offering after school programs, virtual seminars, athletics, senior programs, and much more.

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

9-3: Seven New Cases; Comprehensive Ida Update; Get Vaccinated for Work; Quarterly Township Newsletter Is Out; Sign Up for Fall Recreation Programs

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 Tuesday, 8-31-21, and 17 cases in the last week.  The Montgomery Township Health Department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated, particularly with schools starting soon.


MONTGOMERY RECOVERING FROM STORM IDA

The remnants of Hurricane Ida produced the second worst flooding of the Millstone River in Montgomery Township history, with the river level reaching 23.3 feet versus 24.2 feet during Irene ten years ago. In addition, flash floods were particularly severe in the Sourland Mountain area, along the Rock Brook.

Two motorists died in Hillsborough, including a Montgomery resident who was traveling on Route 206 just north of the municipal line.

Mayor Devra Keenan declared a state of emergency Thursday morning which continues today.  Residents are asked to avoid unnecessary travel in support of first responders who are still hard at work with recovery efforts, including the removal of abandoned cars.

“This storm has been devastating for our community and so many others,” said Mayor Keenan. “It’s going to take some time for us to recover, physically and emotionally. We all owe a huge debt, once again, to our police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel who have saved lives through their heroic response this week. I was also heartened by stories of residents assisting their neighbors.”

The entire state of New Jersey has been declared a federal disaster area, making relief funds available to governments and individuals facing certain types of losses. Preliminary information on applying for relief funds of various kinds has been posted on the Montgomery Township website.

Municipal officials met Friday morning to assess the impact and report on recovery efforts, producing this summary:

  • The Montgomery Police Department succeeded in contacting all 35 households of residents preregistered as vulnerable, and rescued individuals from inundated homes and vehicles without any loss of life in the township.
  • Two roads, Route 533 River Road and Hollow Road, remain closed due to continued floodwaters or extensive road and/or bridge damage. Montgomery Police ask residents to respect all road and bridge barricades.
  • Eight bridges in Montgomery are closed pending assessments and repairs by Somerset County, including bridges on Burnt Hill Road near the Lower Middle School; Route 601 near the High School and Inverness Drive; the Mill Pond bridge on Dead Tree Run; and three bridges on Hollow Road. In addition, the nearby Griggstown Causeway bridge and the Route 518 bridge over the Millstone River remain closed.
  • Rock Brook along Hollow Road jumped its banks and changed course, prompting an assessment underway today by Police and the Montgomery Engineering Department. The Bessie Grover Park along Rock Brook has been destroyed, with an assessment still to come.
  • The Stage II water treatment plant on Route 605 River Road near Rocky Hill, soon to be rebuilt to withstand flooding, was severely damaged, releasing untreated water into the Millstone River. Assessments are ongoing, but residents are reminded to avoid contact with all floodwaters. New Jersey American Water company put out a statement indicating public water remains safe to drink.
  • Any residents with private wells should take caution if their wellhead became submerged by floodwaters. Potable water is available for free at the municipal building for any resident concerned about the safety of their water.
  • The Container Facility in Belle Mead will be open next week, Tuesday through Saturday 8am to 2pm, and fees/coupons waived for residents discarding storm-related refuse. If you use a borrowed or hired truck, you’ll need to accompany the driver with proof of residency or provide a signed letter attesting to Montgomery as the source of refuse. Residents are advised to remove wet material immediately and take special care to prevent mold build up.
  • An explosion heard overnight by many Montgomery residents was the Saffron Banquet Hall in Manville aka Rhythms of the Night.
  • Township offices are fully open, but the administration request residents attempt to resolve any questions or concerns first by phone (908-359-8211) or email, before visiting in-person.

The Montgomery Department of Public Works will be active throughout town over the coming days and will appreciate public patience and support as they handle storm-related clean-up and repairs.


GET VACCINATED QUICKLY TO MEET EMPLOYER MANDATES

This afternoon’s vaccination clinic is proceeding as planned at the Montgomery Township municipal building from 2-4pm.

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.

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.


TOWNSHIP SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED

 

Montgomery Township’s quarterly newsletter was published Wednesday as an insert to the September issue of The Montgomery News. It contains a thank-you to organizations that helped with the pandemic response and an update on the public health situation from Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.

In addition, you’ll find an article about the upgrade to Montgomery Township’s bond rating, a reminder about hunting season, and tips for reducing water pollution. The newsletter is also available on the Township website.


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.