NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council passed a resolution to extend the ten-day grace period for property taxes until June 1 at its Monday, May 11 telephonic meeting.

Councilwoman Nadine Geoffroy explained that Governor Murphy issued Executive Order #130 on April 28 allowing municipalities to extend the grace period until June 1. Normally, New Providence property taxes are due on May 1 with a 10-day grace period.

Mayor Al Morgan noted that despite the extended grace period the municipality still has to pay its dues to both the county and the Board of Education (BOE) within the regular schedule. He noted that many residents had already paid their property taxes, and therefore the borough will be able to meet its obligation to the county and the BOE. He explained that approving the grace period extension now will help those residents who truly need the additional time to pay their taxes.

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With regard to other news the borough is extending municipal parking permits until June 30. The new permit cycle will begin on July 1 and end June 30 the following year. Councilman Matthew Cumiskey explained that the permit cycle normally begins in April; however, due to the stay-at-home order residents are not commuting.

Councilman Peter DeSarno expressed his gratitude to the many volunteer organizations that have stepped up to help those in need, especially the elderly. The senior-buddy grocery shopping is going well with more than 30 volunteers. Mailing of hard copies of useful information to seniors who are not able to use the internet is also ongoing, he said.

DeSarno noted that a new program “300 stories” has begun to collect 300 stories about life in New Providence. The program is sponsored by several organizations, including the Tricentennial Committee, Historical Society and others. Another communitywide program “Out of Many” is a public art project. The idea of the project is to collect small pieces (12”x12”) of cotton fabric and combine it into a large display at the Centennial Park. Furthermore, DeSarno explained that Patricia Swan is partnering with other communities to conduct a phone survey among the elderly on their experiences during the isolation.

Councilwoman Michele Matsikoudis explained that the Frontline Appreciation Group (FLAG) is still feeding frontline workers while supporting local restaurants. The New Providence FLAG has already received $12,000 in donations. She told the council that two more fundraising events are coming up. One of them, Fittness Crawl, started on May 11 which includes five classes for $50 with three different gyms. The proceeds will benefit both FLAG as well as participating gyms. Residents may also purchase red, white and blue ribbons to decorate their houses for $10. Hall’s Garden Center is donating the ribbons and all proceeds will go to FLAG, she said.

Councilwoman Nadine Geoffroy explained that the Relay for Life scheduled for June 13 cannot take place as planned. However, participants may purchase luminaria kits and light them at 9 pm on their driveways. The kits are $20/each and all proceeds go the American Cancer Society.