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Manalapan will use storm reserves to cover COVID-19 expenses

MANALAPAN – Municipal officials are planning to use storm recovery reserves to pay for expenses related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

During a meeting on April 15, Township Committee members in Manalapan authorized the use of storm recovery reserves (formerly called the snow trust fund) to help pay for the community’s coronavirus pandemic response.

There is $1 million in the fund and according to a resolution, municipal officials may authorize the use of storm recovery reserve funds for any purpose necessary to protect the safety, security, health and welfare of citizens from damage caused by an emergency that has been declared by the governor or the president.

Because Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in New Jersey in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Manalapan is authorized to use the storm recovery reserves to respond to the ongoing crisis.

Committee members said they believed it was in the best interest of the township to authorize the use of the fund for expenditures incurred in response to the state of emergency.

Township Administrator Tara Lovrich said the storm recovery reserves will be allocated toward extraordinary expenses such as overtime costs for the Manalapan Health Department; the purchase of personal protective equipment for employees (mostly Manalapan Police Department employees); the purchase of disinfecting supplies; and the purchase of backpack sanitizer machines for public buildings.

Lovrich said the storm recovery reserves could be used to pay police overtime if numerous officers are out as a result of the health crisis, but she noted that situation has not occurred.

In other business on April 15, committee members voted to authorize CME Associates to proceed with professional engineering services related to planned road improvements on Gordons Corner Road. The project will be completed between Conmack Lane and Pease Road.

The estimated cost for the engineering services to be provided by CME Associates is $64,500 for the following phases: survey and base map, design, and bid phase services, according to a resolution.

Lovrich said Manalapan received grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation in 2019 and 2020 totaling $495,000 toward the cost of the Gordons Corner Road improvements.

Finally, Committeewoman Mary Ann Musich said online registration will begin on April 25 for Manalapan’s summer camp for children in kindergarten through seventh grade.

Parents who register a child will pay a $25 non-refundable deposit that will be deducted from the camp fee. The fee will be determined by the number of weeks the camp is in session, Musich said.

“We hope to provide a full six-week camp, but we cannot guarantee that at this time,” she said.

Musich said the township will not accept registration for camp transportation or for before-camp and after-camp care at this time. Depending on circumstances that evolve prior to the start of camp, registration for those services could be accepted at a later date, she said.

The municipal website is mtnj.org

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