West Milford is under a “State of Emergency” as of Monday, March 16, Mayor Michele Dale said in a statement Sunday night.
“The mayor and governing body are doing everything in our power to ensure we are prepared and ready to respond should our township or residents become affected by the pandemic,” Dale said Sunday night.
According to a statement released with Dale’s proclamation, the move “will ensure the continuous delivery of essential public services during the rapidly evolving outbreak of COVID-19 and allow for government operations to stay flexible to address staffing capabilities and essential operational needs.”
It gives the Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Stienes the authority to carry out acts to protect the health, safety and resources of the community.
The declaration is effective for the next 30 days.
Under the declaration:
· Residents shall use online payment options, U.S. Mail, or drop box services at Town Hall for taxes, utility payments, licenses, permits and other local government business.
· Residents shall utilize phone, email, and if necessary, social media to make routine inquires and/or report information to the municipality.
· Administrative offices may close to the public and only allow Township employees, employees of other local, county, state and federal offices and representatives of private entities having direct business with the Township needed to carry out essential government services.
· Please do not come to Township Hall unless you have urgent business to conduct.
· Town hall and all satellite buildings are closed to public access.
· Township inspectors will be using discretion when entering dwellings and interacting with the public. Non-emergent inspections may be re-scheduled.
· Telephone screening for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to all inspections will be occurring.
· All Boards and Commission meetings are cancelled for the next thirty (30) days.
· The Township Council meetings will be held as scheduled, however, may be held by other means of communication equipment, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(b), if necessary. More information on this, including how the public will be permitted to participate in the meeting, may be forthcoming as conditions change.
· Township employees may be enabled to work from home as needed.
· Work schedules may be altered and personnel re-assigned as needed.
· In-state conferences and seminars are prohibited for Township Officials for the next thirty (30) days.
· All rental activities and group programs at the Town Hall, PAL Building, Senior Center, and Library are canceled for the next thirty (30) days.
· No new activities or rentals will be scheduled until further notice.
· All Recreation events are canceled for the next thirty (30) days.
Municipal Court is also cancelled until further notice, Dale said Monday.
Dale said that any resident that needs assistance or guidance should contact the township for help and that the mayor and Township Council are also available.
Last Thursday, the school district cancelled classes through the end of the month ahead of Monday’s expected announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy to close all schools in the state.
Residents are asked to check in with the township website and social media accounts for further updates and actions that may be taken, according to the statement.