The Hopewell Township Committee met on Monday, October 5 to discuss the vote by mail ballots for the upcoming election, Halloween plans, a new employee, flu clinics, and new COVID cases in the Township. The Committee unanimously passed 20 resolutions, which can be found on the meeting agenda.

The last day to register to vote for the November election is October 13, all ballot drop-off locations in Mercer County are now open, and the polling locations for Hopewell Township are the same as they were for the primary, explained Township Clerk Laurie Gompf. All districts’ polling locations are at the Municipal Building with the exception of Districts 2 and 3, which will be at the Union Fire Company. For more information about voting and about the candidates, click on the Election Day 2020 tab at the top of the MercerMe homepage.

If you do not receive your mail-in ballot by October 15, call the County clerk’s office at 609-090-6494 or 6495. 

Three upcoming flu shot clinics will be held in October. Two will be held at the Hopewell Valley Senior Center on October 13 and 20. There will be one drive-thru site on October 23. Pre-registration is required. Find more information here.

With regard to COVID rates, according to Dawn Marling, Hopewell Township’s Health Officer, as of September 30, there have been a total of 121 confirmed COVID-19 cases (see MercerMe’s graphs and coverage here). Marling said that there has been an increase in positive cases in people under 30 years old. Although this area has been in the “green zone” regarding COVID rates, which means there is low COVID activity as of now, Marling warns that positive cases are increasing.

“This isn’t the time to let your guard down at all,” said Marling.

Halloween trick-or-treating will be permitted this year in Hopewell Township, however activities must adapt to social distancing precautions, explained Marling. The Committee urges those who choose to trick-or-treat to meet in small groups, wash their hands often, wear proper face coverings, and maintain distance from other groups. (Recommendations are here)

The Committee appointed Reba Holley as the new Communication and Outreach Manager in the Township’s Administration Department. Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger and Committee Member Kevin Kuchinski took the reigns on the hiring process, which had been delayed by the upheaval of COVID-19.

“We had great candidates and I think the candidate that we have chosen to hire, Reba Holley, will be fantastic and a great addition to the Township,” said Committee Member Courtney Peters-Manning.

Starting October 6, Holley will be responsible for addressing communications needs of the Township, including updating calendars and the Facebook page, and sending out newsletters. 

The Committee also passed a resolution to authorize the award of a required disclosure contract with Mitel Cloud Services for the telephonic communications services in the Public Works building in Hopewell Township. William Mullen, longtime member of the Hopewell Township Police Department and the Public Safety Technician for the PD, sought services to replace the current telephonic service system, which expired October 1. 

Mullen is responsible for the technical division of the Police Department, which includes the phone system. The new Mitel Cloud Service would facilitate remote working for all of the various offices of Hopewell Township. With the new system, employees will be able to connect their work phone to wifi at their remote locations and they will receive phone calls via their extensions. 

This new system will cost $2,000 per month, with 101 extensions and 98 total phones covered, andthe new service will triple the services provided, allowing more people to use the phones simultaneously. 

According to Township Administrator Elaine Borges, this system will be more accessible and have less delays than the previous system. 

It will be good for working during the pandemic as well as any other reasons one would have to work from home, according to Borges.

The Committee passed a resolution directing the Hopewell Township Zoning Officer to issue a temporary activities permit to JHF Realty LLC to permit a food truck at Rosedale Mills. 

The food truck will be located on the grass by the road at Rosedale Mills. If it rains, the truck will be in the parking lot, according to Township Attorney, Steve Goodell.

The Committee will discuss, in another meeting, the possibility of expanding the permit to include a second food truck.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held virtually on Monday October 19 at 7pm. 

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