Arts in Education Week – NJ was the first state to permit arts in the educational community
Census 2020 – current NJ response rate is 68.1%, highest since 1990
US Postal Service sent out mailer that is not specific to NJ; it is a general mailer
In NJ – active, registered voters will automatically receive a ballot; voters will not need to pay for return postage; can return by mail or in secure drop boxes, or complete a provisional ballot at the polls
Governor expected to sign four bills today on Nursing Homes
To create an emergency operation center for Long Term Care facilities
Establish Taskforce to review existing operations (qty and quality) and make suggestions
Raise minimum wage rates $3 above state’s rate and increase direct care ratios of CNAs to residents
Raise rates paid to nursing homes
Also looking to establish a Division for LTC within NJDOH
NJDOH Transmission of Covid-19 among young people has increased due to large parties and house gatherings
Recent study of 120 deaths – 75% were Black or Hispanic; a majority of deaths were among 18-20 year olds and those with underlying health conditions/co-morbidities
Seaside Heights incident with approximately 1,000 young people trying to get notoriety by not wearing masks or social distancing; was featured on You Tube; 8 people cited
One staff person from NJ sent to assist with Hurricane Sally
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter has announced its next free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs and cats at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville.
A canine clinic is scheduled for Sunday, September 13 and a feline clinic is scheduled for Sunday, September 27. Both will be held 9 AM – 12 noon, by appointment, with a limit of three pets per appointment. Appointments may be made online at www.aclink.org/animalshelter. Clinics are animal-specific so cats cannot be brought to the dog clinic and vice versa.
Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Owners are encouraged to provide previous rabies vaccination records at time of appointment.
Owners are advised to arrive promptly at their scheduled appointment time. They will then be directed to a designated area with markers to ensure and maintain social distancing. All individuals must wear masks. Those who arrive late may be asked to reschedule.
Residents are encouraged to vaccinate their pets to not only protect the animals from the potentially fatal viral disease but to also protect family members from contracting the disease from an infected pet.
Low Cost Firewood Available at County Parks Beginning October 1
Beginning October 1, 2020, Atlantic County residents can take advantage of the Homeowners Firewood Program to obtain inexpensive firewood from designated county parks to supplement their own supplies.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to offer this popular program,” explained County Executive Dennis Levinson. “The inexpensive firewood can help residents save on heating costs, which may be especially beneficial this winter. The program also helps clear our parks of dead trees.”
A permit must be completed prior to cutting firewood. Applications are available at the Lake Lenape Boathouse, 6303 Old Harding Highway, Mays Landing, 7:30 AM to 5 PM daily.
The cost of a permit is $25 per vehicle load, with a 1-2 load maximum, depending on vehicle size. Permits are non-transferable and valid only for the specific date listed. No rain dates. Cutting areas will be assigned upon obtaining a permit. Only dead, fallen trees may be harvested.
A vehicle load includes any vehicle, trailer or combination of the two that is holding one ton of firewood. Trucks, vans and trailers up to 10-ft. are permitted two trips per permit while small dump trucks, stake bodies and trucks/vans with trailers are permitted one trip per permit.
If firewood supply exceeds initial demand, there may be additional opportunities to obtain a maximum of three loads per individual, per calendar year.
The Atlantic County Homeowners Firewood Program will continue through March 31, 2021.
For more information, visit www.aclink.org/parks or call the Lake Lenape Boathouse at (609) 625-8219.
The deadline to return census forms was initially extended from July 31st to October 31st due to delays caused by COVID-19. However, owing to pressure from the White House, that deadline has since been shortened to September 30th. This leaves local governments less than a month to ensure your citizens are accurately counted
Currently, just over 63% of households have responded online, by mail, or by phone to the 2020 census. That means approximately 40% of the United States population has yet to be counted.
The "digital divide" is a massive barrier for an accurate census count A recent study from the Pew Research Center demonstrates that 21-30% of people living in the United States do not have regular or reliable access to an internet connected computer. That percentage is highest in rural communities and in suburban communities of color.
Why is an accurate count important? 150 federal programs rely on census data to allocate resources to communities. Once the census is complete, that important data will be more or less fixed for the next ten years.
How can local governments help? Create your own event or collaborate with community partners to show up with volunteers and help your constituents take the census.
With trillions of dollars in federal spending on the line, now is the time to make sure those in your community are counted!
Please read the documents above regarding Municipal Court Payments, Contact Information and Cancellations
CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL OF US:
We must practice social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette if we are to mitigate the effects of this virus.
Simply put, please stay home, wash your hands thoroughly, and please cover your cough or sneeze. We will get through this. We are Jersey Strong.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19: The NJ Poison Control Center and 2-1-1 have partnered to provide information to the public on COVID-19. The hotline number is 1-800-962-1253. Or, you can call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns, or to access NJ’s statewide comprehensive information and referral service. Or text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. Additionally, NJ launched a COVID-19 Information Hub, covid19.nj.gov, where residents can get up-to-date information.
COVID-19 DASHBOARD AND HEALTH RELATED INFO: The New Jersey Department of Health website www.nj.gov/health has updated information daily related to the public health emergency. Or visit www.cdc.gov IF YOU’RE SICK: Call your doctor if you’re sick or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Your doctor can give you medical advice if you develop a fever or other symptoms.
TESTING SITES: A testing site opened on Friday at Bergen Community College for NJ residents only (proof of ID necessary) and those exhibiting symptoms. The site will have the capacity to test 2,500/ week. Monmouth County site is opening today at PNC Bank Arts Center. There are also plans for a testing site to open at Camden County College in Blackwood once tests become available, and the Burlington County Coronavirus Task Force is looking to set up a site within the county soon.
CLOSURES, CROWDS, AND CURFEWS: All social gatherings and assemblies, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled including conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. Please note that law enforcement may charge folks who disregard these rules.
The Governor ordered the following businesses to close: non-essential retail; casinos and racetracks; gyms and fitness centers; entertainment such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs; shopping malls; places of public amusement; and personal care businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, spas, nail and eyelash studios, tanning salons, and tattoo and massage parlors. Bars and restaurants must be closed for on-premise dining but may provide take-out and delivery service only.
WORKER PROTECTION PROGRAMS: Visit NJ Department of Labor’s website to determine if you are eligible for unemployment, family leave, earned sick time or worker’s compensation benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. The chart below is a useful tool. For more info: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT: Many residents have reached out to our office for help with unemployment benefits. The NJ Department of Labor is encouraging anyone seeking benefits to apply on their website: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/ UTILITIES The NJ Board of Public Utilities announced that utilities have suspended all shut-off orders for electric and gas. https://www.bpu.state.nj.us/bpu/newsroom/2020/approved/20200313.html HOUSING Governor Murphy recently enacted a moratorium on removals due to evictions and foreclosures. However, we know that the next few weeks, maybe months, may be financially challenging for some. NJ Department of Community Affairs has various rental assistance programs that can help during times like these and is accepting applications. Learn more: https://njdca-housing.dynamics365portals.us/en-US/ SOCIAL SERVICES/ CHILDCARE For information on childcare, cash shelter and food assistance, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid, individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse, and support for older residents please visit: https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/news/press/2020/approved/20200318b.html PRICE GOUGING Sadly, people will try to take advantage of others during times of crisis. Beware of scams and price gouging during this public health emergency. Report it at NJ Consumer Affairs: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ MOTOR VEHICLES: All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agencies will be closed. All driver licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months. Most renewals, replacements, changes of address, and other transactions can be processed online at www.NJMVC.gov. If your REAL ID Appointment was cancelled due to Agency closure from March 16, 2020 through March 29, 2020, keep your cancellation email. When MVC re-opens, you can bring the email to your appointment agency anytime within 30 days and get a REAL ID without an appointment.
MUNICIPAL COURTS Chief Justice Rabner announced that municipal court sessions in New Jersey will be suspended for two weeks to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. More information about the closures may be found online at njcourts.gov.
CENSUS 2020 We are in the midst of the 2020 Census. Our current public health emergency is a reminder of the importance of having an accurate Census count. Even if you received an invitation by mail, or even if you have not, you can still complete the Census online at my2020Census.gov. It’s simple and only takes 10 minutes to complete.
NJTRANSIT: NJ TRANSIT is running special weekday service beginning Monday, March 23rd, 2020. The River Line special weekday schedule maybe be found on NJ TRANSIT’s website by clicking here. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 response, customers are strongly encouraged to sign up for My Transit alerts and activate push notifications on the mobile app to receive the latest status of the system.
Click on the link above to check out the New Pinelands Interactive Map
Important Notice: Please be Advised:
Atlantic City Electric Reminds Residents to be Aware of “Customer Scams”
Atlantic City Electric reminds residents to guard against falling victim to imposter utility scams. When scams occur, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual, who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer often warns that the customer’s service will be terminated if they fail to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card or other direct payment method.
Some scammers also use caller ID “spoofing” to replicate a company’s phone number.
Signs of Potential Scam Activity:
The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to make a payment.
The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.
The scammers may disguise themselves as the utility by sending spam emails with logos, trademarks, website links, and wording to lure the customer into making a false payment or providing personal information.
How Customers Can Protect Themselves:
Atlantic City Electric representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail, or in person.
Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call Atlantic City Electric at 800-642-3780.
Atlantic City Electric Taking Steps to Support Customers During Coronavirus Pandemic
Company provides tips, resources and payment accommodations for those who may have challenges paying their monthly energy bill
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (March 13, 2020) – With officials in New Jersey and other locations declaring a state of emergency in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic City Electric understands customers may be affected by the ramifications and is taking steps to help. In addition to reminding customers of existing bill assistance resources, the company is taking steps to expand awareness of the programs in place to help customers through temporary or extended financial hardship. Atlantic City Electric is suspending service disconnections, already in place as part of the Winter Termination Program (WTP) and waiving new late payment fees through at least May 1, and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements, identify energy assistance options and waive late payment charges.
“We are committed to helping every customer through difficult times, and we know there will be many challenges associated with this pandemic,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “From programs that provide supplemental support, billing options that spread costs more evenly, to relief of late payment fees, we are taking important steps to support our customers and communities.”
Customers who may be challenged in paying their bill should contact Atlantic City Electric Customer Care at 800-642-3780. Atlantic City Electric will work with customers who may have difficulty paying their energy bill. The company offers payment options, like Budget Billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly energy bill, or flexible payment arrangements that offer individually tailored payment installment plans. Through Atlantic City Electric's Gift of Energy program, anyone can make a payment toward a friend or family member’s energy bill. The gift will appear on a future bill as a credit to the recipient's account.
Atlantic City Electric works closely with its community partners to connect customers with grants and programs like LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP provides grants in varying amounts based on a household’s income size, type of fuel, and type of dwelling, with no pay back required. South Jersey residents can apply for assistance online though the Department of Community Affairs website, by contacting their localLIHEAP Agency, or by calling 1-800-510-3102.
Other programs supporting Atlantic City Electric customers include:
The Universal Service Fund (USF) that helps make energy bills more affordable for low-income customers. USF provides benefits that can help customers reduce their natural gas and electricity bills. Customers can apply as part of the LIHEAP application process. Call
Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) can help low-to-moderate customers who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis assistance covering their natural gas and electric bills. For more information, call 732-982-8710 or visit njpoweron.org.
New Jersey SHARES is a nonprofit corporation that provides assistance to income eligible New Jersey households with energy, telephone and water bills. Visit njshares.org or call 1-866-657-4273 for details.
Senior citizens and disabled adults can take advantage of Lifeline, a utility assistance program that offers $225 to persons who meet certain income guidelines. This benefit includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Call 1-800-792-9745 for details.
If you have homeowners in your community who are facing foreclosure or first-time homebuyers looking to purchase a home, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) has programs that can help.
Foreclosures crush families and blight neighborhoods. NJHMFA's new state housing counseling initiative can help your residents who are in danger of losing their homes and also help protect property values in your town and your tax revenues. However, it is essential that homeowners reach out for this free program within 60 days of receiving a foreclosure notice.
Saving for a home can be difficult, especially for first-time home buyers. For residents looking to buy their first home, NJHMFA offers $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance, which can provide the resourses buyers need to complete the purchase and open the door to their new home in your community.
For any questions, more information, or to receive handouts about the programs that residents can take home, please contact Jesse Crawford, our Marketing and Communications Outreach Coordinator, at 609-278-7587 or email@example.com.
Need Help Paying Your Utility Bill? Atlantic City Electric Reminds Customers Assistance is Available
Atlantic City Electric customers have numerous options in which to apply for energy assistance. Atlantic City Electric wants its customers to know there is help available now if they are having difficulty paying their energy bills, and also offers energy conservation tips.
Energy assistance is still available in southern New Jersey to help Atlantic City Electric customers pay for winter energy bills. Through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Atlantic City Electric customers can receive up to $1,000 in grant support toward their energy bill that they do not have to pay back. Customers must apply during LIHEAP’s open period to ensure they can secure their grant while money is still available.
“We understand that our customers may face financial challenges in meeting their energy needs, so we help them secure the essential energy assistance they need to help pay their utility bills,” said Vince Maione, Atlantic City Electric region president. “It is essential that our customers submit their application now, before this important money runs out.”
Last week, Atlantic City Electric employees traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in LIHEAP Action Day hosted by the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition. The employees advocated for policies that protect funding for the LIHEAP program by sharing stories with elected officials and policymakers that demonstrate the program’s value to vulnerable households in southern New Jersey.
To be eligible for a grant, a customer’s annual household income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. Each state has determined eligibility guidelines based on household size and income. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. Customers do not have to be behind on their bills to receive a grant.
New Jersey’s eligibility requirements are as follows:
$24,120 - One-person household
$32,484 - Two-person household
$40,848 - Three-person household
$49,200 - Four-person household
In addition to LIHEAP, there are many other programs and tips available to help Atlantic City Electric customers save money and manage their energy costs. Customers can also Get more detailed information about your energy usage so you can make more informed choices about how you use energysign up for My Account, which contains tools and detailed energy usage information. By tracking their energy use, comparing usage trends, and discovering the results of energy-saving practices, customers can manage their energy more efficiently. Customers can visit atlanticcityelectric.comto learn more about My Account, available energy assistance programs, and other ways to save money and energy
Customers also can receive financial assistance through Helping Hands, a program, funded by Atlantic City Electric, providing $3 million to help struggling customers meet their energy needs during the next three years. These funds are annually dispersed to low-income residents through the Affordable Housing Alliance, New Jersey SHARES, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden and the People for People Foundation.
Atlantic City Electric will work with customers who may have difficulty paying their energy bill. The company offers payment options, like budget billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly electricity costs, or flexible payment arrangements that offer individually tailored payment installment plans. Customers who may be struggling to make a payment should contact Atlantic City Electric as soon as possible at 800-642-3780.