FREEHOLD, NJ — Monmouth County has extended all public access restrictions to county buildings and programs through May 15.
The restrictions, which includes all Monmouth County Park System buildings and Monmouth County Library branches, have been in effect since March 30 due to the coronavirus crisis. (See below for what's open and what's not.)
During a press conference on April 27 announcing the extension, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone also emphasized the importance of reopening county parks and golf courses — with limitations and restrictions — which have been closed under an emergency order by Gov. Phil Murphy since April 7.
“I want to reiterate that I do not support the indefinite closure of all county parks in New Jersey,” Arnone said. “The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders understands how important these parks and open spaces are for our residents’ mental health and wellness, and we are going to be increasing our efforts to open the parks and golf courses.”
In addition, Arnone is talking with the mayors of the county’s beach communities, as Memorial Day weekend — the official start of the tourism season — is less than a month away.
“This is going to be a vital time in Monmouth County and in our municipalities,” he said. “Our tourism season is a vital part of economic development.”
The county will be working with the beach towns to ensure they have a consistent message in this current climate of social distancing, Arnone said, adding, “then we can move forward to the next level.”
Arnone also talked about the $108 million that Monmouth County received in federal stimulus money through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. The funding is to be used to offset the unexpected expenditures related to COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 through Dec. 30, 2020.
“We are in the process of working with the eight other counties, which were given federal stimulus money, to come up with guidelines and protocols for the stimulus money. We will be developing timelines and guidance for the municipalities to submit for reimbursement,” he said adding that he and County Administrator Teri O’Connor will be contacting administrators and mayors of all 53 municipalities in Monmouth to put a process in place following these guidelines.
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