Thank you to our terrific DPW crew for their hard work at Saturday's Bulk Waste Day, held June 27, 2020. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the original April date for this free event was cancelled. Many residents came out and the assistance provided by DPW employees was invaluable!
New Municipal Drop Box
Posted: June 26, 2020
There is a new drop box for documents, payments and applications located by the entrance to the Vernon Police Department (VPD). It will allow people doing business with the township to drop-off important items when the building is closed. The box is under surveillance at all times by VPD.
Update from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Posted: June 26, 2020
Harmful Algal Bloom Interactive Mapping Tool
This week, Commissioner McCabe announced the launch of the enhanced Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) response strategy, which includes an interactive mapping tool. The goal of the tool is to help lake communities keep the public informed about blooms and to help protect public health. The information will help local officials, residents and visitors make choices about suitable recreational activities in water bodies impacted by HABs, and it complements the color-coded HAB alert index and signage system DEP recently announced. View comprehensive information on the harmful algal blooms, response strategy, alert index and mapping tool
“Dirty Dirt” Updates
Site Remediation Fees
In recognition of the ongoing state of emergency, DEP has adopted an emergency adoption of a temporary rule suspension of certain provisions of the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites at N.J.A.C. 7:26C-4, Fees and Oversight Costs. DEP is suspending the requirement to calculate Site Remediation Reform Act and Remedial Action Permitting fees for fiscal year 2021. Instead, DEP will apply the fees as published in the June 17, 2019, New Jersey Register for fiscal year 2021, and these fees shall remain in effect until fiscal year 2022. This applies for fees related to a Remedial Action Permit (RAP) annual remediation fees. View a copy of the emergency adoption.
Vernon Township is pleased to be able to re-open fields but keeping the health and well-being of our employees, residents and visitors remains a top priority.
The guidance permits practices and competitions for low-risk sports (golf, tennis) that do not involve contact, and modified no-contact practices for medium-risk (soccer, baseball, softball) and high-risk (football) sports. Traditional practices and competitions for medium-risk sports are expected to be allowed as of July 6, and on July 20 for high-risk sports. As of now, only outdoor activities will be permitted.
Under the guidance, outdoor athletic facilities are permitted to open and be available for organized youth and adult sports activities. Practices and games must follow outdoor gathering limits including athletes, staff and any visitors or spectators.
Staff and parents/guardians/visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings at practices and games. Athletes are encouraged to wear masks during downtime, but not during physical activity. Nonessential visitors, spectators, staff, volunteers, vendors, members of the media, and activities involving external groups or organizations should be limited as much as possible.
Helpful Information for Vernon Business Owners
Posted: June 6, 2020
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced that applications for the expanded Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available at 9:00 a.m. on June 9, 2020. The $45 million program will provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. View a sample application that business owners can use to prepare.
NJEDA staff will process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee.
The outbreak of novel coronavirus has created a major public health crisis in New Jersey. To slow the spread of the virus, Governor Phil Murphy implemented a variety of containment measures, including restrictions on public gatherings and mandated closure of non-essential businesses. To mitigate the economic impacts of these public health policies, the NJEDA created the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. During Phase 1, the NJEDA has provided more than $8 million in grants to date to nearly 2,500 businesses across all 21 counties.
The NJEDA received $50 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support small businesses. The NJEDA will provide an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1. The NJEDA will use $45 million to fund Phase 2, which will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible.
Eligibility changes for Phase 2 increase the employee cap for businesses from 10 full-time employees (FTEs) to 25 FTEs and remove the NAICS code restrictions that were in place for Phase 1 to allow almost all businesses as well as 501(c)(3), 501 (c)(4), and 501(c)(7) nonprofit organizations to qualify for funding. Phase 2 also makes grants available to home-based businesses and sole proprietorships, which were ineligible during Phase 1. To ensure funding goes to businesses and communities that need it most, $15 million of Phase 2 funding will be set aside to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. Business owners can check if their business is located in an eligible zone using the OZ Mapping Tool.
As part of the application, the business’s chief executive officer or equivalent officer must certify that the company was in operation on February 15, 2020, has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any employees. To comply with duplication of benefits provisions within the Stafford Act, all applicants will also be required to fill out an affidavit identifying all funding previously received related to COVID-19, including Small Business Administration loans and grants, forgivable portions of Payroll Protection loans, and Economic Injury Disaster grants.
Updated June 23, 2020: The election ballot box is now in place across the street from the municipal building and mail-in ballots should be put in that box only.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, voting in New Jersey’s primary elections will look different this year. Here’s what voters need to know:
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 144 on May 15, 2020 which encourages voting by mail in the July 7, 2020 primary election.
The order requires the Sussex County Clerk’s Office to send all Democratic and Republican registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot for the upcoming July 7, 2020 election. Ballots will be mailed on or around June 12th.
Unaffiliated registered voters will receive a special application to vote by mail from the county clerk; if unaffiliated voters want to participate in the primary election, they are encouraged to complete and return the application to the county clerk, instructing the clerk which party’s ballot they want mailed. These applications will be mailed out in mid-June.
As per Executive Order No. 144, the clerk’s office is providing a postage paid envelope for the return of vote-by-mail ballots. Voters who don’t want to mail their ballot can choose to:
Hand-deliver their ballot to the Sussex County Board of Elections; those ballots must be delivered to the board by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day; or
Deposit their ballot in one of five secure drop boxes located throughout the county beginning June 16. The drop boxes will have daily pickups. The deadline to deposit your ballot in a drop box is 8:00 p.m. Election Day. Drop boxes will be available at the municipal buildings in the following towns: Vernon, Hardyston, Sparta, Hopatcong and Newton.
Voters may not drop off their voted mail-in ballots at the polls on Election Day.
Voters who go the polls on Election Day will be issued a provisional paper ballot; only voters with disabilities will have access to ADA-accessible voting machines.
Since polling places have been reduced, many voters will be assigned a new polling place just for the July 7 election. Normally, voters receive a sample ballot 1-2 weeks prior to Election Day letting them know where their polling place is located. For this July 7 election, instead of a sample ballot, voters will receive a postcard/notice in the mail letting them know where their polling place is and where they can view a sample ballot.
The deadline of 3:00 p.m. July 6 to apply in person for a mail-in ballot is suspended. In-person applications will be accepted up to 8:00 p.m. July 7, 2020.
If you have questions about voting by mail, please call the Sussex County Clerk’s Office at 973.579.0900.