Plymouth Township
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Archive for the ‘Featured News’ Category

Montgomery County Announces 11 Secure Ballot Drop-Off Box Locations & Satellite Offices

Posted on: April 20th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

New Utility Assistance Program Available for Pennsylvania Renters

Posted on: April 16th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

New Utility Assistance Program Available for Pennsylvania Renters

PECO customers can apply for grant funding to assist with paying utility bills

 

PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Many PECO customers facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have a new resource to help pay their utility bills.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which was signed into law February 5, helps to support Pennsylvania renters and families at risk of homelessness due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. The grant funding can be applied to a customer’s electric and natural gas bill, and customers can apply to receive grant funding to cover all outstanding balances incurred during the pandemic.

Tenants—and landlords on behalf of tenants—can apply for funding. For more information and to apply, visit the Department of Human Services Website.

“We understand that many of our customers continue to face financial hardships, particularly renters, due to the pandemic,” said Funmi Williamson, PECO senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer. “We commend Governor Wolf and the legislature for enacting the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and are hopeful that that this new resource, combined with PECO’s many flexible payment options and financial assistance programs, will provide necessary support as our region’s residents continue to transition through this difficult time.”

While ERAP provides grants to customers living in rental units, PECO offers a variety of bill relief options and assistance programs to help customers make ends meet. PECO has made new payment plans available, which can spread outstanding balance payments up to 24 months, with no money down and no interest charged. Residential customers should act now and can find out more about options online at www.peco.com/help.

Additional customer assistance programs include:

  • Customer Assistance Program (CAP): An annual credit based on household income and energy use.
  • Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): A federal grant program to help low-income customers manage their energy costs and ensure service during the heating season.
  • Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF): A program funded by voluntary contributions of customers and matched dollar for dollar by PECO for up to $1,000 in total assistance for those who qualify.
  • Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES): A referral and information service designed to assist customers who have special needs or extenuating circumstances that prevent the payment of their utility bill.

PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 532,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company’s 2,900 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship, and community assistance. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation’s only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are a member of the media and would like to receive PECO news releases via email, please send your email address to PECO.Communication@exeloncorp.com.

Contact: Greg Smore
2301 Market Street, S14-1
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-841-5555
Greg.Smore@exeloncorp.com

 

Vaccine eligibility expands; E-waste and shred event postponed; Important deadlines approaching

Posted on: April 15th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

Vaccine eligibility extended to all adults in PA

As of April 13, all adults in Pennsylvania are now eligible to schedule appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Montgomery County has opened vaccine registration to everyone 16 or older. The county registration link is available here.

For additional information regarding vaccine eligibility and availability, please consult the following resources or contact my office:

Montgomery County vaccine information page.

EVENT UPDATE: E-waste and shredding event POSTPONED

The e-waste and shredding event state Sen. Amanda Cappelletti and I planned to host this weekend will be rescheduled to accommodate the overwhelming demand for this service. Please stay tuned for a new date with expanded hours and services. Those who have already registered to recycle electronic waste and shred sensitive personal documents will have their registration and time slot moved to the new date. Please look for additional information on the rescheduled date!

Voting deadlines coming up

As a reminder, the upcoming primary election in Pennsylvania will be held on May 18. Here are some important deadlines to keep in mind:

May 3: Last day to register to vote.
May 11: Last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot.

For more information, please visit the Montgomery County Voter Services page or www.votespa.com.

Pennie enrollment extended to August 15
Pennsylvanians can now enroll in health insurance coverage through Pennie, Pennsylvania’s health insurance exchange, until August 15. To find a plan that works for you, you can visit www.pennie.com, call 1-844-844-8040 or contact my office for assistance.

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Montgomery County Pauses Use of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted on: April 13th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 13, 2021

 

NORRISTOWN, PA – Per federal and state directives the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) announced today it will pause the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine at its vaccination clinics for the next two days.

 

This temporary pause in J&J vaccine distribution is being done out of an abundance of caution after six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot was found in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. This pause will ensure the health care provider community is aware of the potential of adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. To read the FDA’s full statement, click here.

 

Montgomery County’s J&J vaccination clinics scheduled for today, April 13 and tomorrow, April 14 are suspended. Clinics distributing Pfizer will run on a normal schedule. The updated clinic schedule is as follows:

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

  • OPEN: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell (2nd dose – Pfizer)
  • OPEN: Norristown Area High School, Norristown (1st doses – Pfizer)
  • CLOSED: Parkside Shopping Center, Willow Grove (between Planet Fitness and Rally House) (One dose – J&J)
  • CLOSED: Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale (One dose – J&J)
  • CLOSED: Bethel Community Church of Pottstown, Pottstown (One dose – J&J)

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

  • OPEN: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell (1st and 2nd doses – Pfizer)
  • OPEN: Norristown Area High School, Norristown (1st dose – Pfizer)
  • CLOSED: Parkside Shopping Center, Willow Grove (between Planet Fitness and Rally House) (One dose – J&J)
  • CLOSED: Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale (One dose – J&J)
  • CLOSED: Bethel Community Church of Pottstown, Pottstown (One dose – J&J)

 

Anyone with a scheduled appointment to receive the J&J vaccine for April 13 or 14 will be contacted via email to reschedule their appointment for a later date.

 

The Montgomery County COVID-19 vaccine webpage will be updated with any further operational updates at https://www.montcopa.org/COVID-19Vaccine.

 

Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, kcofrancisco@montcopa.org

 

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Montgomery County Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Open for Everyone Age 16 and Over

Posted on: April 12th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 12, 2021

Montgomery County Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Open for Everyone Age 16 and Over
Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is available online or by phone 

NORRISTOWN, PA – The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) announced today that registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is now available for everyone age 16 and over.

Registration is available online at http://vaccine.montcopa.org or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967.

Montgomery County continues to register and vaccinate people in Phases 1A and 1B. Eligibility for Phase 1C opens today. Every individual 16 and over that lives or works in Montgomery County becomes eligible Monday, April 19. To ensure equitable access for all, vaccine appointments within phases will be released randomly, not by date registered.

When registering, if people experience longer than normal wait times on the COVID-19 hotline or experience a website timeout, they are encouraged to come back to register at a different date or time.

Montgomery County OPH vaccination clinics are currently offering the Pfizer (two doses) and Johnson & Johnson (one dose) vaccines. When booking an appointment, people will be able to pick the date, time, location, and which vaccine they will receive.

Appointments are required to receive the vaccine at the following Montgomery County vaccine clinics. No walk-up registration is accepted.

·     Bethel Community Church, 575 North Keim Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

·     Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Main Street, Lansdale, PA 19446

·     Montgomery County Community College, Health Sciences Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422

·     Norristown Area High School, 1900 Eagle Drive, Norristown, PA 19403

·     Parkside Shopping Center (between Planet Fitness and Rally House), 2522 West Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090

·     Bethlehem Baptist Church, 712 Penllyn Pike, Spring House, PA 19477 (Saturdays only)

Transportation to vaccine appointments at Montgomery County vaccination clinics listed above is available at no cost to the rider, calling ahead is encouraged.

·     Transnet: (215) 542-7433

·     SEPTA/CCT: (215) 580-7145

·     GoGo Grandparent: (855) 464-6872 or visit https://gogograndparent.com/montco.

Demand for the vaccine remains high, therefore residents are asked for their patience as the vaccine rollout continues. Eligibility does not equal availability. Appointments will be released in accordance with supply.

For general COVID-19 questions check the FAQs page or email covid19@montcopa.org. To pre-register for the vaccine by phone or for general questions, call the Montgomery County COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967. The hotline is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please note the hotline cannot provide updates or timelines on vaccine pre-registration, please refer to the instructions received in your confirmation email.

Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, kcofrancisco@montcopa.org

###

Now Accepting Pre-registrations for Phase 1B

Posted on: April 5th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

Starting today, pre-registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is now available for people who qualify for Phase 1B.

Pre-registration can be accessed by visiting www.montcopa.org/COVID-19vaccine and clicking on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Registration” button or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967.

 

People in the following Phase 1B categories will be prioritized for appointments per the Pennsylvania Department of Health order:

·     Law enforcement, which includes police, sheriffs and deputies, constables, corrections officers and staff, as well as probation and parole staff.

·     Firefighters, including career and volunteer firefighters.

·     Grocery Store workers, including all workers in supermarkets and grocery stores.

·     Food and Agriculture workers, including all food processing company employees, including meat, poultry, and dairy processing, fresh fruit and vegetable packing operations, food manufacturing, farmworkers, farm operators, and farm managers, including at agriculture operations.

 

Remaining Phase 1B categories include:

·     People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as long-term care facilities, and persons receiving home and community-based services

·     First responders

·     Other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A

·     U.S. Postal Service workers

·     Manufacturing workers

·     Education workers

·     Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship

·     Public transit workers

·     Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs

Montgomery County continues to pre-register and vaccinate people in Phase 1A and estimates it will be a few weeks before vaccine appointments will be available for people in Phase 1B.

The list of underlying health conditions that qualify for Phase 1A has been expanded and is linked here. If you have one of these conditions, please check “Yes” to the question of underlying health conditions on your registration.

 

If you have already pre-registered with Montgomery County Office of Public Health on the individual list, there is no need to register again.

To ensure equitable access for all, vaccine appointments for Phase 1B outside of the prioritized groups listed above will be released randomly, not by date registered.

If you experience longer than normal wait times on the COVID-19 hotline or experience a website timeout, please come back to register at a later date.

Montgomery County will open pre-registration for the COVID-19 vaccine for all phases according to the following Pennsylvania Department of Health eligibility schedule:

 

·     April 5 (Today) – Phase 1B

·     Monday, April 12 – Phase 1C

·     Monday, April 19 – Everyone

 

Demand for the vaccine remains high, therefore residents are asked for their patience as the vaccine rollout continues. Eligibility does not equal availability. Appointments will be released in accordance with supply.

For general COVID-19 questions or to pre-register for the vaccine by phone, call the Montgomery County COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967. The hotline is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please note the hotline cannot provide updates or timelines on vaccine pre-registration, please refer to the instructions received in your confirmation email. General questions can be emailed to covid19@montcopa.org.

 

COVID-19 Resources:

·     The County operates six COVID-19 testing sites that are open each weekday

·     COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls Playlist on YouTube

·     Weekly COVID press briefings: Briefings are held at 1:30 p.m. each week on Wednesdays, they are carried live on the Montgomery County Facebook page and archived on the Department of Public Safety YouTube channel.

·     Montgomery County Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

·     Montgomery County COVID-19 information hub: www.montcopa.org/COVID-19

Hospitality industry businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.

Montgomery County has received approximately $9.4 million in state funding to provide grants to eligible businesses. The eligibility, application requirements, and program design were all developed from Senate Bill 109 known as Act 1 of 2021.

Grant awards will be in increments from $5,000 to $50,000. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of expenses incurred and paid during the eligible expense period.

Eligible businesses must have their primary business activity in NAICS subsector 721 (Accommodations) or subsector 722 (Food Services and Drinking Places). A description of these NAICS subsectors is in Appendix B of the Program Guidelines.

Celebrate Earth Week By E-Waste Recycling & Shredding

Posted on: March 30th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

Rent & Utility Relief Available for Households Impacted by COVID-19 & More

Posted on: March 29th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

During their regularly scheduled meeting this week, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced the return of a funding program to help renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19. The program comes as the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on March 31 and Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission’s utility shutoff moratorium ends on April 1.

 

The Rent and Utility Relief Program, administered by Your Way Home, allows eligible households to receive up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. Assistance can be for past due rent and/or utility payments or future rent payments. Funding for security deposits, first and/or last month of rent is also eligible as part of the program. There is no financial limit on the amount of assistance a household can receive.

 

Hospitality industry businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.

 

Montgomery County has received approximately $9.4 million in state funding to provide grants to eligible businesses. The eligibility, application requirements, and program design were all developed from Senate Bill 109 known as Act 1 of 2021.

 

Grant awards will be in increments from $5,000 to $50,000. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of expenses incurred and paid during the eligible expense period.

 

Eligible businesses must have their primary business activity in NAICS subsector 721 (Accommodations) or subsector 722 (Food Services and Drinking Places). A description of these NAICS subsectors is in Appendix B of the Program Guidelines.

 

 

We’re excited to announce the re-launch of our LGBTQ+ Health and Support website in time for #LGBTHealthAwarenessWeek which is next week! The website provides local resources for several public health issues of significant importance to LGBTQ+ people, including housing, drug & alcohol, and mental health support, as well as transgender healthcare, HIV care and prevention, and more.

 

We also expanded the crisis resource page, so LGBTQ+ people in crisis can get connected to affirming and understanding supportive services. There’s stuff for caregivers, parents, families, and providers, too!

 

At Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, we envision an LGBTQ+ community free from discrimination and bias in health and social interactions, where LGBTQ+ individuals:

·     Know their health status, including potential health risks,

·     Know what programs and services are available to support their health, safety, and well-being,

·     Interface with LGBTQ+ competent public service professionals, and,

·     Experience optimal quality of life within inclusive and accepting families and communities.

 

Check out the new website today at www.montcopa.org/lgbtq.

During their virtual COVID-19 briefing this week, the Montgomery County Commissioners announced a new mass vaccination site in Willow Grove, which will open on Friday, and provided an update on COVID-19 vaccine operations.

 

Montgomery County’s two existing mass vaccination clinics remain on track with first and second dose clinics. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) received all necessary second doses for this week, and its first dose clinics are running smoothly administering the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccine supply coming to Montgomery County OPH increased slightly this week. Over the next four weeks, OPH will receive at least 5,850 doses of Pfizer for first dose clinics. This is an increase of about 1,000 doses per week.

 

“With this increase in vaccine, we are able to open our third mass vaccination site in Willow Grove. The site will be operational starting this Friday,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “This is welcome news because now anyone who gets an appointment with us will be able to choose the location where they go to receive their vaccine. This will make it easier for people to find a location that is closest to them.”

 

This week the Governor announced a lifting of certain targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits effective April 4. Montgomery County will comply with these new guidelines, however, residents should continue to wear masks and social distance. Similarly, business adherence to all safety orders are still imperative during this time. The importance of this is underscored by the fact that Montgomery County now has confirmation of 24 cases of the B.117 variant. Residents and businesses are encouraged to check the COVID-19 Guidance page for the latest updates at https://www.montcopa.org/COVID-19Guidance.

 

For full details, read this week’s COVID-19 update.

 

COVID-19 Resources:

·     The County operates six COVID-19 testing sites that are open each weekday

·     COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls Playlist on YouTube

·     Weekly COVID press briefings: Briefings are held at 1:30 p.m. each week on Wednesdays, they are carried live on the Montgomery County Facebook page and archived on the Department of Public Safety YouTube channel.

·     Montgomery County Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

·     Montgomery County COVID-19 information hub: www.montcopa.org/COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources, 2021 MontcoStrong Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, and More

Posted on: March 10th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Though supply remains an issue, vaccine distribution continues to roll out across Pennsylvania and here in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County has set up a hotline to answer general questions about COVID-19, as well as the vaccine. In addition, the county recently announced that vaccine pre-registration is now available through the hotline, as well.

The Montgomery County COVID-19 Hotline phone number and hours of operation are below:

 

For additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine, check out the following resources:

Applications open March 12 for MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program

Restaurants and other hospitality businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could be eligible for relief through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.

A total of $9.4 million in funding is available and applications open March 12. Businesses can begin reviewing the eligibility criteria now. Details are available here and please contact my office with any questions

Health insurance special enrollment period through May 15

Pennie, Pennsylvania’s health insurance marketplace, has opened a special enrollment period through May 15. If you need to purchase health insurance, you can visit www.pennie.com to shop for a plan that works for you and your family.

You can also call Pennie at 1-844-844-8040 or contact my office for assistance.

Help is available for heating bills

Winter is still with us, and assistance is available for individuals who need help heating their homes.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, helps eligible families with heating bills through a cash grant sent directly to the utility company or fuel provider. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants.

The current season is open through April 9. More information is available here

 

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Why Isn’t My Neighborhood Plowed Yet?

Posted on: February 26th, 2021 by Brandon Strong No Comments

 

I have highlighted in yellow the Arterial State Roads and other Township owned Collector Streets (the main streets) that are actively being plowed while it is snowing.   Commuters rely on our passable/plowed and salted main streets to get to their jobs safely.  More importantly, the main streets need to be passable to allow emergency vehicles to safely respond to calls.  Plymouth Township Public Works has approximately 26 vehicles equipped with plows and about 12 vehicles capable of spreading salt.  Plymouth Township is contracted by PennDOT to plow the State roads in our Township.   90% of the highlighted roads on the map are State roads.  Some residents ask why isn’t my neighborhood plowed yet?  The simple answer is we are keeping the main streets open while it is still snowing.  If we pulled off the State roads to plow neighborhoods while it was actively snowing the main roads would become snow covered and dangerous, usually causing gridlock.  Plymouth Township, plows 44 lane miles for PennDOT and plows an additional 96 lane miles of Township owned roads.  This number is deceiving.  To clear the snow on an average street width of 30 feet by 1 mile long from curb to curb, in reality takes about 6 passes of our snow plow to clear. It also takes much time to push the corners back so cars can safely turn onto roads.  The average snow storm of 4-6 inches usually lasts 10-12-hours.  During the active snowfall we are out salting our roads and plowing the mains. When it stops snowing we plow another 10-12 hours in the neighborhoods. The deeper the snow, the longer it takes.  During the early February storm our Public Works crew worked  from Sunday until Tuesday, with few breaks.

Many of us, after working all of these long hours, go home and have to dig out our driveway apron’s too.  Just part of the process.  Our men always appreciate your wave and understanding when they get to your street to plow.

Stay safe!

Thank you,

 

Chris Loschiavo

Director of Public Works

Plymouth Township