Borough administration provides detailed COVID-19 update

Council sets compensation for borough employees in 2021-’22.

At council’s latest public session, Mayor Gina Ragomo Tait issued an update on the borough’s COVID-19 numbers, revealing that Palmyra’s totals increased, sharply, to 247 confirmed cases with five deaths, since the pandemic began nine months ago. 

Borough Administrator John Gural confirmed during the Dec. 7 online meeting, that the borough averages four to five new cases reported each day, stating, “More than half of them came in during the last month. That’s 120 or so cases since March up to October, and 132 cases now over the last 30 days.”

Gural provided incremental updates at each public meeting over the previous four months, regarding the number and kind of steps taken to safely reopen borough hall to both staff and members of the public.  

On meeting night, however, he revealed there would be no plans to open the building any time soon, in light of the recent spike in coronavirus cases statewide as well as Gov. Phil Murphy’s recent executive order reducing the number of people allowed indoors at any one time. 

Palmyra Borough council additionally passed an ordinance on second reading  that determined the salary structure for all municipal employees during the years 2021 and 2022.

As indicated on the meeting agenda, and again in council discussions, the ordinance will be in effect through Dec. 31, 2022, unless otherwise amended. A full description of the legislation will be available in the near future on the borough’s website at: https://www.ecode360.com/laws/PA0254

In happier news, Tait thanked the fire department for organizing Santa’s visit through town on Dec. 4 and for holiday decorations. 

“They look awesome. I’ve received five or six phone calls from residents. We’re getting high ratings on them,” she gushed. 

Councilwoman Bernadette Russell noted, “(The decorations around town) have looked the best it’s looked in years.”

In other news:

  • According to correspondence issued by Diane Gutierrez-Sacchetti from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and read by Borough Clerk Doretha Jackson, Palmyra is in line to receive $240,000 in state funds toward its Spring Garden Street project. 
  • Council was also united in striking down the possibility of another public meeting on Dec. 21, as Gural also told those in attendance that there would be no major business to address for the remainder of the calendar year. 
  • Tait and Council President Tim Howard issued a blanket thanks to all borough workers for keeping the town up and running during the pandemic, particularly in conducting the last nine months of public meetings online to maintain governmental transparency.