EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The following is the complete text of a Reverse 911 Nixle made to residents by Mayor Brad Cohen at 5:00 on April 30 in which he updates East Brunswick residents on the status of the COVID-19 shutdown; the dates for the payment of taxes; and the reopening of the Recycling Center:

Good afternoon, this is Mayor Cohen and I want to give folks a COVID19 pandemic update.

First, I would like to thank everyone for their compliance, patience, and understanding during this pandemic and stay at home order.

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It is encouraging to see that new hospitalizations in New Jersey are showing a downward trend. Earlier this week, Governor Murphy laid out the principles that will guide the re-opening of the New Jersey economy. This process will proceed in phases, but can only occur after 14 days of decreased new COVID19 cases, number of daily deaths and new daily hospitalizations. We are getting there.

To date, East Brunswick stands at 485 total COVID19 positive cases and 27 deaths. We only learned yesterday of 13 of those deaths as they were left out of previous reports. These are NOT new or recent deaths, but are listed now due to a delay in reporting.

On Tuesday, the Governor announced that he would allow an extension of the grace period for the May 1, 2020 property tax payment. This would allow property tax payers to extend the last day of the grace period from May 11, 2020 to June 1, 2020. This was a complete reversal from all the reports we previously received from the Treasury Department and the Department of Community Affairs specifically warning municipalities against such actions. But now that we have the green light, I have had to work with our Chief Financial Officer, the Tax Collection Department and our creditors to ensure that the township cash flow operations will be able to handle such a delay in payments. I have also asked the Township Council to meet on Monday, May 4, 2020 in order to pass such a measure. Meeting earlier is a violation of the requirement for public noticing for any public meeting. Please keep in mind that this measure is specifically designed to help those in our community who are suffering financially and may not have the funds to meet the property tax payment deadlines.

The Administration also recognizes that the stay at home order has allowed many families to clean up and reorganize their homes. As a result, there is a larger amount of garbage and recycling. With that in mind, I have asked the Department of Public Works to re-open the Recycling Center. We are working on a schedule and a process that adheres to social distancing requirements. Please look forward to an announcement with the new rules, days, and hours of operation. We are looking to have the center open by next week.

The Governor also opened all State and County parks. As you know, East Brunswick parks have always been open. It looks like we are going to be in for a beautiful weekend. Please get out and enjoy our beautiful parks.

Please stay well, stay safe and continue to look out for those who are older, disabled, or are having a particularly hard time during this pandemic. I have truly been amazed and proud at the examples of charity, hope and selflessness in so many corners of our community. I believe that this is what hope really look like.

Thank you