HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Hunterdon County’s Freeholder Board this week approved a $50,000 municipal grant program making funds available to all of the county’s twenty six municipalities to assist with local government COVID19 emergency response costs.
“As I have stated previously our Mayors and local governing body members, and their workforces, have been on the frontlines in responding to the COVID-19 emergency. I wrote to the Governor in August recommending CARES Act funds also be distributed to municipalities, but have had no response. So, where the County can provide some financial relief, we should,” Freeholder Board Director Shaun Van Doren said.
Van Doren, who served 21 years on the Tewksbury Township Committee, including several stints as Mayor, noted that the County had set aside $100,000 for COVID-19 response costs in the county budget earlier in the year, “While the County has faced significant emergency response costs, I believe sharing half of those funds with our municipalities is the right thing to do.”
Under the approved plan grants would be distributed on a per capita basis for each town up to a $5000 maximum. All Hunterdon County municipalities would be eligible for at least a $1000 grant.
Freeholder Board Deputy Director Sue Soloway, a former Mayor of Franklin Township, said, “Our towns are dealing with many elements in protecting the public and their employees from COVID-19, and know from my time serving in local government on the Franklin Township Committee, any financial support is always most appreciated.”
“Face coverings, PPE’s, protective shields, extra cleaning of facilities and vehicles, these are all costly items and actions that are needed to protect against the spread of the virus. And none of these costs were envisioned when budgets were put together at the beginning of the year. They can use the help,” Soloway said.
Freeholder Zach Rich, a former Mayor of West Amwell, said, “I would like to thank everyone for considering our municipalities. I know I would’ve appreciated it if I was navigating rough waters and on a shoe string budget. Everything helps.”
Municipalities wishing to participate will need to approve a municipal resolution and submit an application to the County’s Office of Emergency Management by Nov. 30, 2020.