SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Borough Mayor Ed Seely delivered a new update to residents in the wake of last week's power outage at the hands of Tropical Storm Isaias that left about 2,000 Spotswood residents in the dark. Power came on quickly for some, but took days for others. The mayor said that by Saturday only two residents, a school and the Polish American Club remained without power. Seely also updated the number of positive coronavirus cases, which grew from 103 to 109 since his last letter to residents. The borough has lost four residents to COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the Garden State in mid-March. The mayor discussed the issues with the upcoming school year as well as things happening around Spotswood this month. Mayor Seely's August 11 letter to residents reads as follows:
Residents of Spotswood,
Good afternoon! I hope all is well with you.
Last week’s storm left more than two thousand residents without power in less than eight hours. While the response was not fast enough for some, only two residents, one school, and the Polish American Club were still in the dark by Saturday. When you consider that as of 1:00 p.m. yesterday there were still 5,000 people without power throughout the State, I would say we fared better than most. This kind of event will most likely happen again; our climate is changing, and NOAA is predicting 19-25 named storms for this hurricane season. While I have been hesitant about doing so in the past, I am seeking a portable generator so as to limit the amount of inconvenience. You may want to think about doing the same.
Now to the numbers. Currently, we are at 109 positives and, sadly, 4 deaths; may their souls rest in peace. On a larger scale, the United States has reported 5 million positive cases, which is 25% of the world total of 20 million. It’s hard to believe that, according to the information we have from the experts, this entire pandemic began with one individual. If that is indeed the case, I fail to see how this virus will go away anytime soon unless we remain vigilant. Actually, many more of us need to become vigilant.
Our school system is working feverishly on a re-opening plan that will appease the State. This is no easy task, for there are a number of variables to consider. Will our children be safe in the classroom? How will continued virtual learning affect them, socially and academically? Where will the families get the funds to cover additional costs of childcare? And, while some think that costs should be less since schools aren’t operating normally, the complete opposite is true; costs are skyrocketing. The governor yesterday said he is seeking $20 billion in federal assistance. Where is this coming from, and what will it cost to put it back? I apologize for the doom and gloom, but this is reality and, regardless of which party you belong to, I haven’t heard a word about how we would recover.
Let’s talk about some of the positive things going on in town. You will notice they have begun the long-awaited re-paving of several streets in town, and the Cottage Streets area should be completed soon. We have received the final approval necessary to begin the lake dredging, and will be going out to bid shortly. And, to help us cool off, Spotswood REC is sponsoring a drive-by Italian Ice Night in front of the High School. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., it will continue while supplies last.
In closing, I want to recognize all of our departments; Police, DPW, Fire, EMS, the Director of OEM, and my entire Municipal staff. As a group effort, the response, not only to the tropical storm, but to the ongoing pandemic, has been stellar. And a Mayor is only as good as the personnel that surrounds him. So, thank you all for a job well done!
As always, Be Safe, Be Smart, and Stay Healthy…and stay vigilant!