The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that New Jersey will send close to $8.2 million in coronavirus relief funding to the County and its 40 municipalities to help with their response to the ongoing health and economic crisis.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined with Burlington County Deputy Director Tom Pullion, Congressmen Andy Kim and Donald Norcross and Evesham Mayor Jaclyn Veasy at the Evesham Sports Complex on Friday to announce the new aid package, which will send some $2.5 million in direct aid to Burlington County and another $5.62 million to the county’s 40 municipal governments.
“Just like our County government has made it our priority to help our residents through the pandemic, leaders like Gov. Murphy have made sure that Burlington County and our local governments aren’t battling coronavirus by ourselves or leaving it to our property taxpayers to foot the bill for the response,” Pullion said. “We are incredibly grateful for his leadership and the assistance his administration is providing. With all levels of government working together, I know we can defeat this virus.”
The funding comes from New Jersey’s share of federal CARES Act and is being distributed by the Murphy to 12 counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation because their populations were below 500,000.
“From COVID-19 testing to distributing protective equipment and fresh produce and other foods to families in need, our County has strived to do whatever we can to assist our residents through this challenging time,” said Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson. “The Murphy administration has already provided us help with these critical services and we’ll continue to look for how we can use these funds to help the most residents possible.”
A total of $60 million is being distributed to all 12 counties below the threshold and their respective municipalities.
“Local governments have stepped up to meet the needs of their communities throughout this pandemic, and we are strengthening their efforts today with $60 million dollars in direct relief,” said Murphy. “We know these funds will be a welcome lifeline of support for essential government services and New Jersey’s taxpayers.”
Funding for the counties and towns was based on a formula incorporating factors such as population, COVID-19 infection rates, fiscal stress, public safety and health and human services expenditures.
The money may be used for purposes such as 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 COVID-19 response and recovery and public health-related retrofit expenses.
The money may not be used as revenue replacement and must cover expenditures between March through Dec. 30.
The county’s funds are in addition to some $3.5 million the state already awarded the county from its CARES Act funds to support its COVID-19 testing program and reimburse it for other COVID-19 related expenditures.
The awards for Burlington County’s 40 towns include $526,331 going to Evesham Township.
New Jersey senators Troy Singleton and Dawn Marie Addiego both applauded the governor for stepping up and providing the additional aid.
“Over the past six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has become not only a public health emergency, but an economic one as well. The pandemic has left county and local governments across the state in financial desperation to cover the costs associated with this crisis,” said Singleton. “The $8.1 million dollars being allocated to Burlington County will undoubtedly relieve some of the budgetary pressure facing our local governments, and I am so appreciative to Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Andy Kim, Congressman Don Norcross and our entire Burlington County Freeholder Board for their leadership and advocacy.”
“We know our County and our towns are on the frontline in the fight against coronaviorus and the impact it has had on their finances,” Addiego said. “It’s why I’m so grateful for the Governor both for providing this financial support and for choosing Evesham to make this very important announcement for working families.”
Veasy also thanked the administration for extending the financial help.
“We are incredibly proud that our state took the time to ensure that federal money provided for coronavirus relief would make it all 21 counties in this state and we look forward to how this money will aid in our great towns recovery,” the mayor said.