Local governments recently received some good news: They are eligible to receive some much-needed coronavirus crisis funding.
On October 9, Gov. Phil Murphy announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund, which will assist counties and municipalities across the state left out of the federal government’s initial financial allocation program. These relief funds will help to address necessary and unexpected expenditures necessitated by the pandemic.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) is also providing up to $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to support the state’s County Boards of Social Services with COVID-related expenses such as technology to adapt to remote work, expanding to meet growing demand and supplies and materials to meet COVID-19 health and safety standards.
Vineland, Bridgeton, and Millville, along with the other municipalities in Cumberland County, have been allocated funds. Vineland is eligible to receive $1,482,768; Bridgeton is eligible to receive $802,705; Millville is eligible to receive $656,342.
“The funding is intended to reimburse the city for budget overages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for items like personal protective equipment, employee-specific medical expenses, employee overtime, enhanced workplace safety protocols, telework capabilities, and more,” said City of Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci.
All three local governments must submit an application to the Local Government Emergency Fund by November 10 to be approved for the funding.
“There is an 18-page set of guidelines that accompany this funding,” said Mayor Albert Kelly, of Bridgeton. “Much of it is related to direct Covid-19 expenditures, so we will have to review carefully.”
Mayor Fanucci and Mayor Kelly both noted how helpful the funding could be to their respective cities.
“Taxpayers benefit because the city will not have to permanently cover these expenses out of the general operating fund,” said Fanucci, “which would necessitate cutting other important items and public services from the budget.”
“If these funds will help eliminate the impact of lost revenues, it may mean less of a tax increase that might otherwise be the case,” Kelly added.
“This CRF funding is going to make a world of difference for short- and long-term municipal recovery efforts,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “DCA will work to distribute this relief funding equitably and fairly to our communities as we rebuild the State’s economy. No one will be left behind.”
“The County Boards of Social Services have been on the front lines supporting New Jersey residents enrolling in vital assistance programs like Medicaid, NJ SNAP and Income Assistance Benefits,” said DHS Commissioner Carole Johnson. “The dollars will provide much needed support as they continue to respond to the needs of New Jerseyans during the ongoing pandemic.”
Qualifying expenditures for the Local Government Emergency Fund include public safety and health-related expenses, COVID-19-related overtime, increased residential and health-related garbage collection and services, remote working technology, signage and information technology related to the COVID-19 response and recovery and public health-related retrofit expenses for reopening.
Here is a full list of municipal allocations in Cumberland County:
Bridgeton City, $802,075
Commercial Township, $105,077
Deerfield Township, $49,649
Downe Township, $26,772
Fairfield Township, $120,341
Greenwich Township, $11,534
Hopewell Township, $69,492
Lawrence Township, $62,892
Maurice River Township, $109,156
Millville City, $656,342
Shiloh Borough, $4,175
Stow Creek Township, $19,479
Upper Deerfield Township, $125,116
Vineland City, $1,482,768
Total (Municipal), $3,644,864
County of Cumberland, $2,746,361