EMERGENCY DISASTER DECLARATION

Borough of Bernardsville, Somerset County
March 22, 2020   

To all the citizens and persons within the Borough of Bernardsville,  Somerset County, New Jersey, and to all departments, divisions and bureaus of the municipal government of the Borough of Bernardsville , New Jersey; 

WHEREAS, pursuant to the powers vested in me by Chapter 251 of the Laws of 1942 as amended and supplemented, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-30 et. Seq., and N.J.S.A. 40-48-1(6), and ordinances enacted pursuant thereto; N.J.S.A. 2C:33-1 et. Seq.; New Jersey Office of Emergency Management Directive No. 61, and whichever law or laws apply, NJ State Executive Order 103, and by Resolutions adopted by the County of Somerset, and by ordinances or resolutions adopted by the Borough of Bernardsville, I am declaring a LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY within the boundaries of the Borough of Bernardsville; and

WHEREAS, the aforesaid laws authorize the promulgation of such orders, rules and regulations, as are necessary to meet the various problems which have or may be presented by such a disaster/emergency; and 

WHEREAS, Somerset County has declared a State of Emergency exists for Somerset County, New Jersey effective on March 21, 2020 

WHEREAS, it has been determined that certain measures must be taken in order to help contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, by reason of the rapidly evolving outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID19, the need for government operations to address staffing capabilities and to ensure essential operational needs are met in order to mitigate factors which may further adversely affect the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the Borough of Bernardsville; and exacerbate and worsen existing conditions; and

WHEREAS, the Borough Emergency Management Coordinator has conferred with the Mayor; and

WHEREAS, it has been determined that a public health emergency exists in the County of Somerset and Borough of Bernardsville and further that certain measures must be taken in order to ensure that authorities will be unhampered in their efforts to maintain law and order in order to protect the persons and property of the residents affected by the conditions, to ensure the orderly flow of traffic  in the Borough, and finally that governmental operations including, but not limited to the conduct of public meetings may be substantially altered: and 

WHEREAS, all lands within the boundaries of the Borough of Bernardsville are hereby designated as disaster areas;  

NOW, THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH the aforesaid laws, I hereby declare a LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY within the boundaries of the Borough of Bernardsville, which enables the Borough of Bernardsville Emergency Management Coordinator after consultation with the Mayor and the Bernards Twp. Contractual Health Department Health Officer providing services to Bernardsville Borough, to take any such emergency measures as determined necessary, including directing the implementation of the Borough Emergency Operations Plan in order to fully and adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Bernardsville, from any actual or potential threat or danger that may exist from possible exposure to COVID-19.

NOW, THEREFORE:

In recognition of the aforesaid conditions and in accordance with the aforementioned laws, we do hereby promulgate and declare the following regulations shall be in effect, in addition to all other laws of the State of New Jersey and of the Borough of Bernardsville; 

  1. All residents and business owners are encouraged to comply with State Executive Orders that are issued during this emergency. 
  2. All businesses are encouraged to establish policies that limit contact with and between the public to the greatest extent possible. Restaurants and all other businesses are encouraged to follow policies and directives established by the CDC, federal, and state authorities, that limit contact with and between the public to the greatest extent possible, and to take action pursuant to State Executive Order No. 104 and subsequent related orders and directives. 
  3. The Municipal offices of the Borough of Bernardsville will be closed to the public for the duration of this emergency. Essential employees shall report to work as needed and directed by the Borough Administrator, or will work remotely as directed. Other employees will work remotely as directed by the Borough Administrator.
  4. All Borough Department Heads and employees shall coordinate and communicate with the Bernardsville Office of Emergency Management to coordinate and support the Borough response to the COVID-19 emergency.
  5. The public will utilize a drop box at the entrance to Borough Hall and residents can contact Borough employees via telephone or email during regular business hours. All non-essential Borough services are suspended at this time. Alternative procedures may be authorized by the Borough Administrator.
  6. In the interest of government continuity, only essential meetings shall be held until further notice. Social distancing and personal contact limitations and recommended hygiene procedures shall be in effect for all meetings.
  7. The Police Chief is authorized to take action to secure the health and safety of Police Department employees and the public by taking actions such as limiting personal contact, limiting public access to police headquarters and putting other operational procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the continuity of Police operations as deemed necessary. 
  8. The Emergency Management Coordinator and/or the Borough Administrator shall authorize the closure of Borough properties, buildings, parks and recreational facilities as deemed necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Borough residents.
  9. All residents, citizens and people in Bernardsville are prohibited from removing barricades, cones, signs and other warning devices placed on roadways and at closed facilities such as parks, playgrounds and other municipal properties.
  10. The Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, Fire Department, and emergency responders are authorized to utilize off-road vehicles, and four-wheel drive vehicles as needed to carry out emergency response tasks as needed.
  11. The Police Department is authorized to close roads and establish detours to effectuate the safe flow of vehicular traffic. 
  12. The Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, Fire Department, and emergency responders are authorized to utilize publicly owned buildings, properties, staff and resources to provide emergency shelter and carry out emergency response tasks as needed.
  13. The Borough Administrator is temporarily authorized and empowered to hire any employees and to enter into service agreements with any independent contractors as may be necessary to address the needs of the Borough during this period of emergency. 

This Declaration, dated this 22nd day of March, 2020, shall take effect immediately and is subject to amendment or supplementation as needed to properly safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. It shall remain in effect until such time as it is determined this emergency no longer exists and is rescinded by declaration. 

(signed) Kevin J. Valentine, Chief of Police 3/23/2020

Emergency Management Coordinator