A quick Mantua Township Committee meeting on Monday saw the approval of three resolutions and a series of reminders from township officials for residents to continue following guidance from the state in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mantua Township Committee completed its meeting in less than 10 minutes, hosting the session via Zoom for the second time with social distancing orders still prohibiting in-person meetings. All five members of the committee were in attendance.
During committee reports, Deputy Mayor Bob Zimmerman reported on the cancellation of Mantua Township Schools’ Big Night Out event for 2020. The event, which began in 2017 and drew hundreds of local families to J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School each of the last three years, was scheduled for June 4.
Zimmerman noted it made sense to cancel the event with the uncertainty of whether schools would be back in session by that date and distancing measures still in effect. The Thursday prior to the committee meeting, Gov. Phil Murphy announced schools in New Jersey would remain closed through at least May 15. Zimmerman added the township looks forward to working with the school district to bring the event back in 2021.
A number of new measures had gone into effect since the committee’s last meeting, including the closure of all Mantua Township parks. Initially in March, township officials opted to close only playgrounds, courts and fields at the parks, while leaving the walking paths and trails open. But after Murphy ordered the closure of all county and state parks in New Jersey starting on April 8, Mantua followed suit, closing all parks in the municipality, including Chestnut Branch, Ceres and McCarson parks. Chief of Police Darren White reminded residents during Monday’s meeting to continue following executive orders from the state and to socially distance during the pandemic.
Mantua Township has continued to keep municipal services active since social distancing measures were put into effect more than a month ago. In a letter to residents on April 8, Mayor Pete Scirrotto reminded residents to use the township website for municipal services as much as possible given closure of the municipal building. Construction permits and applications can continue to be dropped off at the drop box outside the construction office and tax payments can be left at the drop box outside the drive-thru window for tax payments at the municipal building.
Township Administrator Jennica Bileci said municipal departments are still operating efficiently and invited residents to remotely reach out through phone or email with any concerns.
“We still are communicating with residents through drop boxes, emails, voice mails,” Bileci said. “Our employees are still checking emails, voice mails and responding.”
Bileci added the township plans to keep the community informed on any upcoming changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can find the latest information by visiting https://mantuatownship.com and clicking on coronavirus updates.
During the business portion of the meeting, Mantua Township unanimously approved three resolutions, including one to fill a vacancy on the township’s Municipal Utilities Authority board. Dan Hauss was approved to fill Charles Burkett’s unexpired term as a regular member of the board.
Prior to adjourning the meeting, Scirrotto reminded residents about the importance of social distancing and asked everyone to, “keep doing what we’re doing.”
“We’re almost there, but we can’t let our guards down,” the mayor commented.
“We just want everybody to be safe.”
The next Mantua Township Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 4.