Boroughs in Hopewell Valley to resume in-person council meetings

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Hopewell Borough Hall on East Broad Street in Hopewell. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Pennington Borough Hall at 30 N Main St. in Pennington. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Hopewell Borough Hall on East Broad Street in Hopewell. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Pennington Borough Hall at 30 N Main St. in Pennington. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

After meeting for more than a year over Zoom, the Hopewell Borough Council and Pennington Borough Council will return to in-person council meetings starting in August and September, respectively.

Pennington is implementing a phased re-opening of Borough Hall for residents and staff.

Borough Hall began opening to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 12 or by appointment. The Borough Council will transition to having in person council meetings in August.

“All of our boards, commissions and communities that have little to no public interaction have been advised that they can begin meeting in Borough Hall this month of July,” Pennington mayor James Davy said at a council meeting on July 6. “That is in the works and Borough Council will be meeting in person at its meeting in August, as well as planning board will also be afforded that opportunity as well.”

According to Pennington, the drop off box will continue to be maintained and open for use. Borough officials are also requesting that all visitors wear a mask upon entering the building and provide masks for people who enter the building without one.

“Borough employees are going to be wearing their masks and especially at point of contact with people who come in to transact business at Borough Hall,” Davy added. “We are also asking the public to wear masks as well. For the time being there will be mask wearing.”

In Hopewell Borough, Borough Council and borough boards, committees and commissions will resume in person meetings in September.

Borough Hall has been opened to the public by appointment since late summer 2020.

“Face mask requirements and common protocols (six-foot distances, etc.) were implemented,” Borough Administrator Michele Hovan said. “In early 2021, we unlocked the doors during business hours and when Gov. Phil Murphy declared the health emergency over, continued to request that visitors wear face coverings.’

Even though wearing a mask is not a firm mandate, Borough officials prefer that people wear a mask when entering a public building, she said.

“That ‘request vs. requirement’ may be reversed at any time if there is a negative trend in virus transmissions,” Hovan said.