Shamong to receive more than $600k from American Rescue Plan

Township committee topics include cannabis and pickleball

Shamong Municipal Building

At Shamong’s April 6 Township Committee Meeting, Township Administrator Sue Onorato noted that Shamong would receive $622,000 from the federal American Rescue Plan. Half of the funding will be received in 2021, while the remaining balance will become available in 2022.

The township has until 2024 to use the funds, though Onorato said the federal government has given municipalities little guidance on what it can be used for. At this point, Onorato believes the funds could be spent on cybersecurity, COVID  protocols and possibly business and household grants.

“It’s a little frustrating, because we’re just not getting the facts or the guidance that we need yet, so we’ll continue to look at this as time goes by,” Onorato told the committee.

In other news, Onorato reported that she continues to research the potential cost of converting local tennis courts into pickleball courts, and that a Shamong Girl Scout troop has been approved to donate benches and a tree to the cemetery. Neil Wilkerson, founder of Shamong Cannabis Grower’s Association, was the first person to be appointed to the township’s subcommittee on cannabis.

Township Solicitor Doug Heinold is drafting an ordinance regarding the zoning of cannabis-related businesses; he expects them to be limited to the redevelopment site on Route 206 and other areas in Shamong. Heinold also noted the subcommittee will conduct research on micro-businesses that may be interested in cannabis agriculture and retail.

The next township committee meeting will be held on May 4 at 7:30 p.m., when the results of an annual audit of Shamong’s municipal operations may be presented.

UPDATE 4/16/21: A previously published version of this article included information about a potential merge of emergency services that is in early stages of discussion. That information has been removed upon request of Shamong Township.