10-15: Twelve new COVID Cases; Why We Still Quarantine; COVID and Flu Shots at Pike Run; Hazardous Waste Drop-Off; Reusable Bags at Farmers Market; Fire Safety Event Tomorrow; Buy “Return to Art” Tickets; Volunteers Plant Trees

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twelve (12) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 10-12-21, and eighteen (18) over the last week. More than half of the local cases being monitored are under age 20.


WHY WE STILL QUARANTINE

By Devangi Patel
Montgomery Township Acting Health Officer

Despite a 95% adult vaccination rate, about 5,000 Montgomery residents remain unvaccinated, in most cases because they are children under 12 who are not yet eligible.

That’s why many of our new COVID-19 cases are connected to Montgomery Township schools and youth athletic programs. In some cases, an entire youth sports team needs to be quarantined at home for a week or more, until we can determine through testing that each teammate has not been infected.

We know this is frustrating for our families, but we want to assure you that the protocols we have in place are working.  Our goal is to help stop any isolated cases from turning into outbreaks. This is how we keep schools open. By avoiding wider outbreaks of COVID-19 we can keep our schools fully open for in-person instruction.

This week, the White House told governors to start preparing their states for the expected approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 in a matter of weeks.  My department is working closely with Montgomery Township Schools to develop an efficient process for making the vaccine available to all our students as soon as possible following FDA approval.

Until we can vaccinate our children—both over and under age 12—contact tracing and quarantines will remain vital tools for keeping our community safe and our schools fully open.


PIKE RUN HOSTS COMBINED COVID AND FLU SHOT CLINIC

The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering both the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and annual flu shots at a combined clinic at the Pike Run Clubhouse today, Friday, from 5 to 7 pm. The clinic at 40 Pike Run Road is open to everyone, regardless of whether they reside in the Pike Run development.

Appointments are recommended but not required. The Township website provides additional information and registration for the COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu shots, or you can make an appointment by calling (609) 874-8007.

Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.

Additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.


HAZARDOUS WASTE DROP-OFF TOMORROW IN HILLSBOROUGH

Somerset County is holding a free Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off event, the last one in 2021. Residents can safely dispose of their harmful household items on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 am to 2 pm, at the South County Public Works Garage, located at 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.

Residents must stay in their vehicles and wear masks. Materials should be stored in residents’ trunks, cargo areas, or truck beds and items must be accessible to the staff, so they can easily remove items from vehicles.

Residents must be prepared to show a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill or any other bill with a Somerset County address. Pre-registration is not required. Businesses or commercial vehicles are NOT allowed.

Household Hazardous Waste Items that Will Be Accepted

You may bring: banned or outdated pesticides, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, wet-cell car batteries, motor oil (five-gallon maximum), fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs, ammonia-based cleaners, gasoline, kerosene, mercury switches, oil-based paints, pool chemicals, propane tanks and rechargeable and button-cell batteries.

Items Not Accepted

DO NOT drop off: tires, or electronics (computers and televisions), infectious waste, gas cylinders, smoke detectors, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or latex-based paint.

For more information about the types and quantities of materials that will be accepted at the event, contact the Somerset County Division of Solid Waste Management at 908-231-7109, send an email to solidwaste@co.somerset.nj.us, or visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/HHW.


VISIT FARMERS MARKET TOMORROW FOR REUSABLE BAGS

The Montgomery Township Environmental Commission (EC) will be offering reusable bags at a table at tomorrow’s Montgomery Farmers’ Market 9 am to noon at the Village Shoppes in Skillman.

The EC would like to help everyone get in the habit now of carrying reusable bags which will become required statewide on May 4, 2022. From that time forward, stores will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags, as well as food containers and cups made of polystyrene foam. In addition, larger grocery stores will also no longer be providing paper bags.

Clean Ocean Action reports that more than 80% of litter picked up by volunteers at annual beach cleanups from Cape May to Sandy Hook have been plastic in recent years.

The Montgomery Farmers Market is held every Saturday at Village Shoppes, 1378 Route 206, Skillman (near Mooyah).


FIRE PREVENTION OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW

Montgomery Township’s Annual Fire Prevention Open House will be held this year at Station 46 in Blawenburg on tomorrow, October 16 from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Come learn about fire safety, meet the volunteer responders, and see the apparatus that make up Montgomery emergency services. Ring the bell on an antique fire truck! Applications for new members will also be available. Participating first responder groups include Station 45 (Belle Mead), Station 46 (Blawenburg), Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) 47, Station 53 (Rocky Hill), and the Montgomery Township Police Department.

Family Friendly event! Activities include a car extrication demonstration, tours of a New Jersey Forest Fire Service brush truck and fire trucks,  and sprinkler system demonstrations.

The event will be held at the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Co. 2, 529 Rt. 518, Skillman, NJ.


BUY TICKETS TO MONTGOMERY “RETURN TO ART” EVENT

Montgomery Township’s new Arts Council is hosting A Return to Art, a 3-day visual arts exhibition and sale, Oct. 22-24, featuring local and regional New Jersey artists. The Arts Council was formed this year by Montgomery Township’s volunteer-driven Economic Development Commission to showcase local and regional artists while providing the community with in-person access to artists who might be their neighbors.

“This event is meant to be a celebration. Artists and their communities are craving meaningful connection after spending over 16 months in lockdown.” says Karen Tuveson, Chair of Montgomery’s Arts Council. “Slowly opportunities are returning, but there still aren’t enough venues for artists to exhibit, meet the public, and cultivate collectors. Art is something best experienced in person.”

Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, liaison to the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, pointed out that artists who create physical products are small business owners. “Making art is a business. We all want to support our small local businesses. Artists are struggling just as much as shop owners in brick-and-mortar buildings.”

To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Montgomery Arts Council website.


VOLUNTEER TREE PLANTING THIS MONTH AND NEXT

Volunteers this week planted hundreds of trees at Rock Mill Preserve in Skillman as part of a larger reforestation effort by the Sourland Conservancy with help from Montgomery Friends of Open Space and the Township. The effort is needed because we are losing one-fifth of the Sourlands forest due to an invasive insect that kills ash trees.

Another volunteer planting effort is scheduled for the Folusiak property November 11th to 13th. If you’d like to help, you can sign up online here. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, bring work/garden gloves and water.  We will provide the tools, plants, and how-to instruction.

The Folusiak property located at 150 Hollow Road (entrance just north of the railroad tracks) where volunteers will plant 1,000 shrubs and trees.  A multitude of bird species are utilizing this unique wet meadow habitat, so we are adding understory plants along a tributary stream to provide a habitat corridor for the birds, and other wildlife.  The Washington Crossing Audubon is assisting by providing a bird inventory before and after our planting.

10-12: Six new COVID Cases; COVID and Flu Shots at Pike Run Clubhouse; COVID Stress Counseling Offered; Buy “Return to Art” Tickets; Voter Registration Deadline Is Today

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been six (6) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 10-8-21.


NEW HEALTH OFFICER ASSUMES DUTIES

Devangi Patel (l) at a retirement event for Stephanie D. Carey (r).

Devangi Patel this week assumed the duties of Montgomery Township Health Officer following the retirement of longtime officer Stephanie D. Carey. Ms. Patel has been Ms. Carey’s deputy for three years and has served a total of seven years in the department, where she has served as Health Educator, Accreditation Coordinator, and Municipal Alliance/Youth Services Commission Coordinator.

Ms. Patel has been working in the public health field for 11 years and is the current president of the New Jersey Society for Public Health Education. Before joining the Montgomery Township Department of Health, she was Breast Health Outreach Coordinator for Somerset Medical Center.

Ms. Patel is a licensed Health Officer and a Masters Certified Health Education Specialist. She earned a Master’s of Public Health in Health Education and Behavioral Science from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a Bachelors in Psychology from Rutgers University.

Last week, she gave the health department’s official update on the pandemic to the Township Committee during a regularly scheduled meeting.


PIKE RUN HOSTS COMBINED COVID AND FLU SHOT CLINIC

The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering both the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and annual flu shots at a combined clinic at the Pike Run Clubhouse this Friday from 5 to 7 pm. The clinic at 40 Pike Run Road is open to everyone, regardless of whether they reside in the Pike Run development.

Appointments are recommended but not required. The Township website provides additional information and registration for the COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu shots. You can also schedule an appointment by calling (609) 874-8007.

Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.

Additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.


COUNSELING OFFERED FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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

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


BUY TICKETS TO MONTGOMERY “RETURN TO ART” EVENT

Montgomery Township’s new Arts Council is hosting A Return to Art, a 3-day visual arts exhibition and sale, Oct. 22-24, featuring local and regional New Jersey artists. The Arts Council was formed this year by Montgomery Township’s volunteer-driven Economic Development Commission to showcase local and regional artists while providing the community with in-person access to artists who might be their neighbors.

“This event is meant to be a celebration. Artists and their communities are craving meaningful connection after spending over 16 months in lockdown.” says Karen Tuveson, Chair of Montgomery’s Arts Council. “Slowly opportunities are returning, but there still aren’t enough venues for artists to exhibit, meet the public, and cultivate collectors. Art is something best experienced in person.”

Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, liaison to the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, pointed out that artists who create physical products are small business owners. “Making art is a business. We all want to support our small local businesses. Artists are struggling just as much as shop owners in brick-and-mortar buildings.”

To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Montgomery Arts Council website.


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE TODAY

Today is the last day to register to vote for New Jersey’s statewide November 2 election. If you are not yet registered to vote, or uncertain of your status, New Jersey offers a voter portal to assist you.

Many residents have received mail ballots for the 2021 New Jersey State which can be returned via the US Postal Service or deposited in a secure drop box beginning. The Somerset County list of drop boxes includes the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead. For the first time, New Jersey is offering early in-person voting, starting October 23.

Somerset County is still in need of paid poll workers for Election Day and for the first-ever “early in-person” voting that begins October 23. Last week, New Jersey raised the minimum pay for poll workers from $200 to $300. 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.


BRIDGEPOINT AREA ROADWORK UPDATE

Milling and road repairs on Dead Tree Run Road (Bridgepoint Road to Mill Pond Road) and Mill Pond Road are expected to start on or about Thursday, October 14, 2021. Paving is to follow during the week of October 18th.

Please follow posted detour and note that the work zone is in blue (see photo). Access for residents who live in the work zone will be limited, particularly during paving. Mill Pond Park will be accessible using Dead Tree Run Road from River Road. Accommodations will be made if River Road experiences a closure.

Please sign up for Montgomery Township Police Nixle alerts for periodic updates, or text your zip code to 888777.


FIRE PREVENTION OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY

Montgomery Township’s Annual Fire Prevention Open House will be held this year at Station 46 in Blawenburg on Saturday, October 16 from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Come learn about fire safety, meet the volunteer responders, and see the apparatus that make up Montgomery emergency services. Ring the bell on an antique fire truck! Applications for new members will also be available. Participating first responder groups include Station 45 (Belle Mead), Station 46 (Blawenburg), Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) 47, Station 53 (Rocky Hill), and the Montgomery Township Police Department.

Family Friendly event! Activities include a car extrication demonstration, tours of a New Jersey Forest Fire Service brush truck and fire trucks, and sprinkler system demonstrations.

The event will be held at the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Co. 2, 529 Rt. 518, Skillman, NJ.

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

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

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


MODERNA VACCINE CLINIC SATURDAY AT OKCC

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

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

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


COUNSELING OFFERED FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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

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


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SEEKS IDA RECOVERY VOLUNTEERS

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

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

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

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

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


APPLY FOR SMALL BUSINESS DISASTER LOANS BY NOVEMBER 4

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

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

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


COUNTY DIVERSITY FESTIVAL TOMORROW IN SOMERVILLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


NEW FIRE ENGINE CELEBRATED AT “WETDOWN” SATURDAY

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

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

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


JOURNEY THROUGH LOCAL HISTORY THIS WEEKEND

The Dirck Gulick House.

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

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

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


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE NEXT WEEK

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

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

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

10-5: Six new COVID Cases; Flu Clinics Start Tomorrow; Monty Offers 3 COVID Vaccines; Ida Recovery Event Tomorrow; New Fire Engine Celebrated at “Wetdown”; Explore Local History; Monty Arts Council Holds Return to Art; Election Info

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been six (6) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 10-1-21.


ANNUAL FLU CLINICS WILL BEGIN TOMORROW

The Montgomery Township Health Department will begin its annual flu vaccination clinics starting tomorrow, October 6, at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road.  Hours are from 9 to 11 am and 6 to 8 pm. Residents aged 4 and older are eligible. Masks are required and short-sleeve shirts encouraged.

“We’ve been so focused on COVID-19 for the last 18 months. We need to remember that the regular flu can be dangerous, too, and can knock you out of action for days and days,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey. “We are having more contact with other people, and other viruses,  make sure to get a flu shot.”

Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.

Advance appointments are required and available during daytime and evening hours. Walk-ins are accepted, but you’ll get quicker service if you sign up online or make an appointment by phone at 609-874-8007.


TOWNSHIP OFFERING CLINICS FOR ALL THREE COVID VACCINES

Montgomery Township is offering all three available COVID-19 vaccines in clinics it is hosting over the next two weeks. Visit the Health Department website to choose the day, time, and vaccine that meets your needs. Walk-ins are welcomed at every clinic, although appointments are available for your convenience.

Parents of unvaccinated teenagers can take advantage of Thursday’s Pfizer clinic from 4 -7 pm at the Otto Kaufman Center for anyone 12 and older. The clinic will provide third shots of the Pfizer vaccine to those who are 65 or older, a long-term care resident, an adult with underlying medical conditions, or an adult at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of your job. Those people eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, at least six months after your second Pfizer shot.

The one-shot Johnson & Johnson is offered every Friday from 1-3 pm at the Municipal Building.

The Moderna vaccine will be offered Saturday, October 9, at the Pike Run Clubhouse. Additional vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.


HURRICANE IDA RESOURCE EVENT IN SOMERVILLE TOMORROW

Somerset County and the American Red Cross are hosting a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) at the Lincoln Hose Co. tomorrow, Wednesday, from 3 to 7 pm.

The county is bringing together more than a dozen non-profits and agencies committed to helping Somerset County residents recover from this terrible storm. ALL Somerset County residents impacted by Ida are invited to attend.

The event will be held at the Lincoln Hose Company 4, 34 Warren Street, Somerville.  Participants will include the American Red Cross; ARC of Somerset; Atlantic Health System Respite Care Program; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen; Central Jersey Housing Resource Center; FEMA; Legal Services of Northwest Jersey Inc.; Rapid Relief Team of North America; Salvation Army; Somerset County Board of Social Services; Somerset County Department of Human Services; Somerset County Operation Helping Hand; Team Rubicon USA; Zarephath Christian Church.

For additional information, dial 2-1-1.


NEW FIRE ENGINE CELEBRATED AT “WETDOWN” SATURDAY

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

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

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


EXPLORE LOCAL HISTORY THIS WEEKEND

The Dirck Gulick House.

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

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

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


BUY TICKETS TO MONTGOMERY ARTS COUNCIL INAUGURAL EVENT

Montgomery Township’s new Arts Council is hosting A Return to Art, a 3-day visual arts exhibition and sale, Oct. 22-24, featuring local and regional New Jersey artists. The Arts Council was formed this year by Montgomery Township’s volunteer-driven Economic Development Committee to showcase local and regional artists while providing the community with in-person access to artists who might be their neighbors.

“This event is meant to be a celebration. Artists and their communities are craving meaningful connection after spending over 16 months in lockdown.” says Karen Tuveson, Chair of Montgomery’s Arts Council. “Slowly opportunities are returning, but there still aren’t enough venues for artists to exhibit, meet the public, and cultivate collectors. Art is something best experienced in person.”

Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, liaison to the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, pointed out that artists who create physical products are small business owners. “Making art is a business. We all want to support our small local businesses. Artists are struggling just as much as shop owners in brick-and-mortar buildings.”

To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Montgomery Arts Council website.


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE NEXT WEEK

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

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

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

10-1: Four new COVID Cases; Monty Offers All Three COVID Vaccines; Flu Clinics Begin October 6; Help Plant Trees in the Sourlands; Watch Anti-Bullying Film; Container Facility Hours Changing; Election Info

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been four (4) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 9-28-21, and eight (8) cases since last Friday. The Montgomery Health Department has concluded the mid-September spike in cases was mainly related to Labor Day travel.


TOWNSHIP OFFERING CLINICS FOR ALL THREE COVID VACCINES

Montgomery Township is offering all three available COVID-19 vaccines in clinics it is hosting over the next two weeks. Visit the Health Department website to choose the day, time, and vaccine that meets your needs. Walk-ins are welcomed at every clinic, although appointments are available for your convenience.

The one-shot Johnson & Johnson is offered today and every Friday from 1-3 pm at the Municipal Building.

The Pfizer vaccine will be available for next Thursday, October 7, from 4 -7 pm at the Otto Kaufman Center for anyone 12 and older, including residents who qualify for a third-shot booster. If you are 65 or older, a long-term care resident, an adult with underlying medical conditions, or an adult at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of your job, you are now eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, at least six months after your second Pfizer shot.

The Moderna vaccine will be offered Saturday, October 9, at the Pike Run Clubhouse. Additional vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.


ANNUAL FLU CLINICS WILL BEGIN OCTOBER 6

The Montgomery Township Health Department has announced that the first annual flu vaccination clinic will be held October 6 at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road.  Hours are from 9 to 11 am and 6 to 8 pm. Residents aged 4 and older are eligible. Masks are required and short-sleeve shirts encouraged.

Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.

Advance appointments are required and available during daytime and evening hours. Walk-ins are accepted, but you’ll get quicker service if you sign up online or make an appointment by phone at 609-874-8007.


OVER $15K RAISED AND DONATED TO FAMILIES DISPLACED BY IDA

Two local charities, the Princeton Elks Lodge 2129 and the Montgomery Charity Foundation, raised more than $15,000 in combined donations to benefit 23 families displaced by Hurricane Ida one month ago.

According to the Elks, who raised over $10,000, the funds helped with cleanup, lodging, and food. The Princeton Elks are keeping their Ida relief drive open because a few of the families need longer-term housing assistance.

“Montgomery Township is deeply grateful to these two civic groups, and to the many residents who donated,” said Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan. “We continue to work closely with community groups to match resources to families in need.”

Montgomery Charity Foundation’s next big fundraiser is the 4th annual Kidsgiving Event on December 5th which will again be held at Code Ninjas Hillsborough-Montgomery as a drive-by holiday event. They will be collecting non-perishable unexpired food for the local food pantries and unwrapped gifts and gift cards for Steps-Together, a local charity that assists Somerset County families facing medical crises. Last year over $20,000 in combined cash, food, and goods was raised and donated right in our community. To learn more or donate to the charity, please visit their website montgomerycharityfoundation.org.


HELP PLANT TREES IN THE SOURLANDS OF MONTGOMERY

An ash tree killed by Emerald Ash Borer.

Montgomery Township is partnering with the Sourland Conservancy and the Montgomery Friends of Open Space to host two volunteer tree-planting events in the Sourlands.

The recent flash flooding due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida have highlighted the importance of strengthening the resilience of our forests, particularly at a time when ash trees, which comprise about 20% of the forest, are being killed by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer insect.  By planting trees along stream banks and in flood plains, volunteers will aid in the prevention of soil erosion and increase the groundwater storage capacity of these areas.

See the details below and follow the links to pre-register.  Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, bring work/garden gloves and water.  We will provide the tools, plants, and how-to instruction.

Rock Mill Preserve – October 13 – 14

Join us at Rock Mill Preserve on 360 Grandview Road to help us plant 200 trees along the Rock Brook stream corridor.  To sign up, register here for a two-hour time slot here.

Folusiak Property – November 11-13

Join us at the Folusiak property located at 150 Hollow Road (entrance just north of the railroad tracks) to plant 1,000 shrubs and trees.  A multitude of bird species are utilizing this unique wet meadow habitat, so we are adding understory plants along a tributary stream to provide a habitat corridor for the birds, and other wildlife.  The Washington Crossing Audubon is assisting by providing a bird inventory before and after our planting and is recommending native plant species attractive to birds in the region. To sign up, register for a two-hour time slot here.

The Sourland Conservancy offers on YouTube a one-hour documentary with music that describes the importance of reforestation projects in the Sourlands.


ANTI-BULLYING FILM RECOMMENDED FOR MONTY TEENS

The Municipal Alliance of Montgomery – Rocky Hill encourages parents and children 13 and older, school staff, and community leaders to view an important documentary about bullying. The film, The Upstanders, is available for free on Tuesday, October 5, at 7pm. To register go to: REGISTRATION LINK

This documentary—about resilience and the power of connection to end bullying—addresses aspects of our everyday lives that is not often talked about.  Block out October 5 on your family calendars and watch together!


CONTAINER FACILITY RETURNS TO NORMAL HOURS NEXT WEEK

After today, Montgomery Township’s Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road will return to its regular hours on Tuesday and Thursday, 8 am to 2 pm. No appointments or coupons will be required for the disposal of storm debris. Normal operation of the Container Facility will resume October 12, with coupons required.


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHES; ELECTION POLL WORKERS NEEDED

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

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

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