STATE RULES PROHIBIT PROPERTY TAX GRACE PERIOD EXTENSION

Earlier this month, the Township Council unanimously passed a resolution that would have extended the grace period for quarterly property taxes to May 31. This was done in an effort to provide some assistance to families impacted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The township has been informed by the state that this grace period extension is not permissible and Mayor John G. Ducey is voicing his frustration.

“I cannot overstate how disappointed and frustrated I am with the state’s decision. Extending the grace period has been done in the past by the state in the wake of Sandy and even for Federal employees during the recent furlough” said Mayor Ducey. “All we were doing was giving people – many of whom are not earning a paycheck right now – more time to pay their quarterly taxes without worrying about penalties. I cannot understand why the state won’t approve this small gesture during this unprecedented time.”

At their April 16, 2020 meeting, the Township Council unanimously passed a resolution that decreased the interest on late payments to 0% until May 31.

As per the state’s guidelines, penalties and interest rates will take effect at the statutory levels after the 10 day grace period. The Township will proceed with the quarterly payments due May 1 and a maximum grace period of 10 days as required by law.

Mayor Ducey urges the state to reconsider and approve the grace period extension. “We are going through a national emergency and no one knows when it will end. Providing some relief to people struggling in the way of a few more weeks to save for property tax payments is just plain common sense. I urge Governor Murphy and the State Legislature to address this issue and give towns the ability to help their taxpayers. They should be following past practices. Now is not the time to change course from what was previously allowed.”

 

TOWNSHIP ANNOUNCES FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR NON-PROFIT SERVICE AGENCIES

The Township of Brick has received funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as part of their CDBG Entitlement Program called CDBG-CV. The funding will be available to all non-profit social service agencies and should be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus. Mayor John G. Ducey is urging all such agencies that serve Brick Township residents to apply for funding.

 “The importance of non-profit service agencies during times of emergency cannot be understated and this current crisis is no different,” said Mayor Ducey. “This funding can assist these agencies as they help residents in need and it is our hope that we see many of these organizations apply for and receive funding.”

 Examples of priority projects include providing equipment, supplies and materials necessary to carry-out a public service and delivering meals or other basic necessities to quarantined individuals or those that need to maintain social distancing due to medical vulnerabilities.

 The deadline to submit a grant application is June 1, 2020.

 To obtain an application for the CDBG-CV Public Services Grant, please visit the Township website, www.bricktownship.net. You may also contact Tara B. Paxton at tpaxton@twp.brick.nj.us or Lauren Helmstetter at lhelmstetter@twp.brick.nj.us. For more information, please contact the Township of Brick Division of Land Use & Planning at 732-262-1030 ext. 5312 or 732-262-1039 ext. 1327.

 

TOWNSHIP EXTENDS GRACE PERIOD FOR PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS

While quarterly property taxes are due May 1, Mayor Ducey and the Township Council have extended the grace period to pay taxes without interest or penalty until May 31. The Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the extension on Tuesday evening to provide relief to taxpayers and businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone is experiencing some level of hardship due to the ongoing public health crisis,” said Mayor Ducey. “While we do not have the authority to delay the property tax due date, we do have say over the interest rate on late payments. Waiving that interest for 30 days is one way we can help people struggling during this time.”

The zero percent interest rate effectively provides a 30-day grace period to property owners.

While the Township is only responsible for roughly 30% of the total property tax bill, it is responsible for collecting 100% of property tax payments. The Township then forwards the funds collected to the Brick Township Public Schools, the County of Ocean and local fire districts.

“We are a pass through for most of the property taxes we collect,” said Mayor Ducey. “We send most of what is collected to the schools and county so they can meet their bills.”

The due date for property tax payments is May 1. For Brick Township taxpayers, payment must be received by May 31 to avoid interest on delinquent payments. On June 1, the interest reverts to statutory interest rates retroactive to the due date of May 1 as required by law.

During the pandemic, property taxes can be paid by mail or online by credit card. Tax payments may be made with check, cash, money order and by credit card through Paymentus Corporation (Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card). Be advised Paymentus charges a convenience fee of 2.5% for Credit and debit. Payments made through Paymentus are not received until the next business day and interest may be charged accordingly. Paymentus also allows Echeck payments and charges a $1 convenience fee. Taxes may also be paid via a dropbox at the municipal building.

Property owners may fill out a short form and provide a voided check at the tax office which will allow the Township to make a direct withdrawal (at no additional cost to the property owner or the township) from the taxpayer’s checking account or savings account. ACH payment may be cancelled by the property owner in writing at any time prior to the quarterly tax due date. ACH payments will come out of your account during the ten day grace period.

TOWNSHIP PARKS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE; SHORT TERM RENTALS PROHIBITED

In light of the continuing spread of Coronavirus in Brick Township and Ocean County and at the urging of Mayor John G. Ducey, Brick Township Police Chief James Riccio is amending his Proclamation of Local Disaster Emergency from March 20, 2020 to include the complete closure of all Brick Township parks and beaches and prohibiting all short-term rentals within the township until further notice.

All parks and beaches within the township are closed effective immediately. “We are currently in a major public health crisis. While we originally intended to leave parks open to give residents the opportunity to get fresh air, it became evident that people were not observing the necessary social distancing guidelines,” said Chief Riccio. “Effective immediately, all of our parks are closed and will be monitored. Any person seen entering our parks will be made to leave. This is being done to protect our citizens, our officers and our community.”

The first case of Coronavirus in Ocean County was reported on March 13. As of March 29, there were 835. The first case in Brick Township was reported on March 19; there were 81 positive cases as of March 29.

“The rapid growth of the virus in Ocean County is beyond concerning,” said Mayor Ducey. “It is only going to get worse if people do not take this seriously. The proof is in the numbers. If we want the spread of this disease, every one of us has to do our part and stay home as much as we can.”

The proclamation also prohibits all short-term rentals within the township until further notice. A short-term rental is any home/residential dwelling that is available to rent for 30 days or less. No rental periods will be permitted to begin until these restrictions are lifted.

Mayor Ducey says the measures that he and Chief Riccio have put in place are necessary. “One of the most important things right now is making sure people do not gather in public places and spread the virus. Closing our parks and beaches is a necessary step as people have been gathering at them.”

Mayor Ducey urges residents to continue social distancing and staying at home unless absolutely necessary to leave the house. He also reminds residents to follow these guidelines:

  • No social gatherings
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Do not touch your face
  • If you have to sneeze, use a tissue or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces often
  • If you have to go out, go alone if possible
  • Stay 6 feet away from others when out

Mayor Ducey also reminds people that in his Executive Order, Governor Murphy requests that all residents stay in their primary homes and not visit their secondary/vacation homes. Doing so could endanger residents by placing extra demands on our emergency responders and health care facilities.

“This is a difficult time for everyone and by all indications, we still have several weeks ahead of us at a minimum,” said Mayor Ducey. “The more people follow these guidelines and stay home, the better chance we have at reducing the time frame for this crisis.”

 

MARCH 24 COUNCIL MEETING ON AS SCHEDULED; CITIZENS CAN PARTICIPATE REMOTELY

The Township Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm will be held at its normal time. Town Hall remains closed to the public, however, the Township will be using WebEx to allow citizens to participate in the meeting via telephone.

Any person wishing to participate in the meeting remotely can call 214-459-3653 to listen and participate in the meeting. The passcode for the Council meeting is 712853416#.

CHIEF OF POLICE ISSUES PROCLAMATION OF LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY

Brick Township Chief of Police and Emergency Management Coordinator James Riccio has issued the following Proclamation of Local Disaster Emergency

BRICK TOWNSHIP COTVID-19 LOCAL DECLARATION

ALL MUNICIPAL OFFICES CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Attention residents:

Effective immediately, all Brick Township Municipal Offices and Buildings are closed to the public until further notice. Offices will remain open and staff members are available by phone and email. Township staff will accommodate any need that requires direct interaction and is time sensitive. Public Works services, i.e., sanitation and recycling collection, will continue as normal.

If you need Police non-emergency assistance, please call 732-262-1151.

  • If you need to reach an office in the Municipal Building, please call 732-262-1000. 
  • The Public Works Department can be reached at 732-451-4060. 
  • The Clerk’s Office can be reached at 732-262-1001.
  • The Building Department can be reached at 732-262-1030.
  • The Recreation Department can be reached at 732-262-1044. 
  • Senior Outreach Services can be reached at 732-920-8686.

Many services can be done online. Please visit the Brick Township Website at www.bricktownship.net for those services.

This precaution is being done to protect the citizens of Brick Township and the municipal staff. 

In the meantime, Mayor Ducey is urging all citizens to shelter at home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. Practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of this virus. The CDC recommends a six-foot buffer in all social settings.

We all have an obligation to our neighbors and loved ones to take responsible steps towards fighting and slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

The safety precautions we use in the coming weeks will be immeasurable in maintaining good health and protecting those most vulnerable in our families and community.

SENIOR SERVICES ACTIVITIES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Mayor John G. Ducey is taking the precautionary action of cancelling all scheduled activities at the Brick Township Senior Outreach Services Center until further notice. The cancellations take effect at the end of regular business on Friday, March 13.

The Brick Office of Senior Outreach Services will remain open for regular hours and will provide services by appointment only. Regular services such as telephone outreach and welfare checks will continue as normal.

The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will continue to operate and provide transportation for seniors to grocery stores and pharmacies. Senior Shuttle transportation to recreational destinations is cancelled until further notice. Transportation to medical visits will continue to be offered by Senior Services.

In addition, the nutrition site at the Senior Center operated by Community Services, Inc. will be closed from March 16 through March 27. CSI will continue to deliver meals through their Meals on Wheels program.

The Township will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 crisis and will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, please call the Brick Township Office of Senior Services at 732-920-8686.

 

SENIOR SERVICES ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION POSTPONED

As a precautionary measure, Mayor John G. Ducey is announcing that the annual Brick Senior Outreach Services Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 is being postponed until a later date.

 “As older Americans are among the most at-risk during the current coronavirus outbreak, we have decided the best course of action would be to postpone the annual St. Patrick’s Celebration until the risk has passed,” said Mayor Ducey.

 The new date and time for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be announced in the future. Any resident who has registered for the event will be notified of the cancellation and the new date when it is established.

 “The safety of the public is our number one priority and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this time,” said Mayor Ducey. “We urge everyone to continue to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and the public as this crisis continues.”

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM THE TOWNSHIP OF BRICK

Mayor John Ducey and the Township Office of Emergency Management are closely monitoring the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and are in regular communication with the State of New Jersey and the Ocean County Health Department.

During this time, all residents are urged to follow the practices cited by the CDC to help protect you, your family and the public during this time. These include:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve – not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands often with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds – especially before eating or after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home when sick and keep your children home when they are sick. Do not return to work or send your children to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

Residents who are at higher risk such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease should take additional steps such as avoiding crowds, travel and should stay home as much as possible.

Should you have more questions or concerns, the New Jersey Coronavirus Hotline is available 24//7 and can be reached at 800-222-1222 or visit www.nj.gov/health. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov.For information about Brick Township Public Schools and their plans, visit http://www.brickschools.org/COVID-19#0309.

In the meantime, Mayor Ducey, the Township Council and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to work to take necessary precautions to keep township staff and visitors to town hall safe.