Freeholders present a plan for re-opening northwestern New Jersey safely

Newton /
02 Jun 2020 | 07:22

    The Boards of Chosen Freeholders in Hunterdon, Warren, and Sussex Counties have called on Gov. Phil Murphy to allow for a regional re-opening of businesses in New Jersey’s northwest corner and announced the creation of a “Gateway to Resources for Business Re-opening” website that provides the latest information on the best practices for commercial re-openings.

    Earlier in the month, the three freeholder boards joined together to encourage the development of information for business re-openings.The Gateway to Resources website includes, in an easy to use format, a compendium of the best practices for re-opening various commercial enterprises, a listing of financial resources available to businesses, and state and federal directives and resources. Advice on protecting the health of customers and employees provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), as well as industry specific recommendations and guidelines for safe re-openings, are included in the guidance resources.

    In a joint communication to the Governor, Freeholder Board Directors Shaun C. Van Doren of Hunterdon County, Richard D. Gardner of Warren County, and Sylvia Petillo of Sussex County, stated, “All of our Freeholder colleagues agree that the state should authorize a segmented approach that allows for the public health conditions within our region to permit a speedy re-opening of businesses in Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties.”

    The Freeholder Directors are letting state officials know that people want to go back to work and earn their paychecks, and our businesses in the northwest corner of New Jersey are ready to operate. This website,, will provide information that can help local businesses protect the health of customers and employees as they plan to re-open.

    To save the economy, business entities must re-open, however it must be done safely. We encourage businesses to look to this website as a one stop information hub. It will be continually updated. We also encourage businesses and residents to consider signing onto the Unlock NJ Petition,, sponsored by our Morris County colleagues. We need to send the message to the covernor that northwest New Jersey has had enough, it’s time to get back to work.

    As counties that have not received any direct Federal or State funds during this pandemic, it is essential that our businesses be permitted to reopen using the existing measures already authorized and implemented for essential retail and limited non-essential retail businesses. The Gateway to Resources website can lead the way.

    Sylvia Petillo, Director

    County of Sussex Board of Chosen Freeholders


    Shaun C. Van Doren, Director

    County of Hunterdon Board of Chosen Freeholders


    Richard D. Gardner, Director

    County of Warren Board of Chosen Freeholders

    White Township