BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Bernards Township announced on Friday that non-essential meetings and upcoming recreation programs for all ages will be canceled in the coming weeks. The municipal clerk officially canceled a Golf Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, March 16, and the Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting on March 19.

The Bernards Township Planning Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, also will not be held. All residents who have planning-related questions or want to submit a Planning/Zoning Board application should call or email staff for answers to their questions or guidance for submitting their application. Call 908-204-3004 or email, according to a township website announcement.

Bernards Township Committee still on as of March 13

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However, at this point, the Township Committee meeting is still scheduled to be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, and had not been canceled as of last Friday, according to Bernards Township municipal clerk Rhonda Pisano.

However, the meeting can also be observed remotely on cable television on channel 15 on Cablevision; on channel 35 for Verizon FiOS TV, or livestreaming via computer on the Bernards Township website.

Police ask that non-emergency police reports be made via telephone

Effective immediately, Bernards Township police are also asking all citizens contacting the police department to make police reports that are deemed to be non-emergency in nature will be encouraged to make the report via telephone. Examples of reports that may be taken over the phone include, but are not limited to: ID theft, fraud, police information, lost property, and similar.

Citizens who call police dispatch to make non-emergency reports will be asked for their contact information and a police officer will contact them immediately. Police supervisors will be making their best judgments in determining if a physical response is necessary and will facilitate a response if necessary, according to the township. The Bernards Township police phone number is 908-766-1122.

Residents are encouraged to refrain from entering the police building. However, if citizens come to police headquarters, police said they would be able to accommodate requests.

Recreational events called off

Other recreational activities also were called off, including the planned Mayor's Community Arts show reception, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge. The scheduled exhibit is also canceled, according to the township.

Other cancellations of recreational programs, activities and trips, according to the township, include:

Youth Programs

All remaining games for Youth Recreation Basketball are canceled. 

The Tournament of Champions for children with special needs scheduled for March 29 is canceled. 

Adult Programs

The remainder of the winter session for open gym volleyball, badminton, 30+ basketball, yoga, 40+ fitness is canceled, including all classes through March 29.

The March 18t Rutgers SAFETY Clinic is canceled, but may be rescheduled.

Not only is the March 21 Community Art Show opening reception called off, but artists are no longer able to drop off artwork on March 20.

Active Adults 55+/Senior Programs

The remainder of the winter session for Senior Art Class is canceled for all classes through March 29.

All trips scheduled for the Out and About 55+ Shopping Bus through March 29 is canceled.

The Westchester Broadway Theater trip for Adults 55+ on March 26 is canceled.

The Wind Creek Casino Trip for Adults 55+ on April 21 is canceled.

Anyone registered for any of the above activities, will be contacted by the Parks & Recreation department office via phone or email, according to the township.

Registration for spring session programs, pool and golf photo IDs suspended

Registration for spring session youth and adult programs will be suspended until further notice. Residents may continue to register online for summer program offerings.

The taking of photos for pool and golf membership IDs is suspended until further notice. The evening photo hours for March 16th are canceled. Pool and golf membership payments will continue to be accepted online.

All facility reservations for indoor rooms (Community Center, Dunham Park Indoor Room, Pleasant Valley Park Warming Hut) are currently canceled March 16 through March 29.