Mayor Ted Brennan is pleased to announce that the Borough of Merchantville is coordinating with Camden County to host a COVID-19 Educational Series on Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. in the Verizon lot next to the Merchantville Fire Department, 22 East Park Avenue. Members of the Camden County Public Health Education Team and Merchantville community leaders will be there to answer questions and provide information related to COVID-19. If you have questions about quarantine/isolation, contact with a Covid positive person, where to get tested or mental health/addition issues exacerbated by this pandemic, please stop by with your questions. Residents from Merchantville and neighboring communities are welcome. Thank you to Camden County for this opportunity!
Bob Wetherspoon, President of MLL, wants to remind everyone that baseball and softball registrations are now open for what will hopefully be our Late Summer and Fall Season. If you want to sign up- click on the "sign up" button on this page or go to www.merchantvillelittleleague.org and click on the available programs to sign your son or daughter up today. Also keep an eye on our Facebook Page over the next couple of days as we send out a special tribute to our graduating Seniors. These girls have played in some of the biggest softball games at MLL in the last 10 years and we want to send them off to college the right way!
Between April 26th and May 4th there have been nine (9) new cases in Merchantville bringing the Borough total to 25 residents. Most recent Covid-19 cases include resident males in their 50's, 60's and 70's and females in their 60s. The Camden County Department of Health has announced 3,542 cases in Camden County today and 186 total fatalities. Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. stated, “We have reached a difficult stage in this pandemic, one where the mixture of positive and negative developments can make it difficult to tell just how much progress we are making. Rest assured, we are better off today than we were two months ago when this pandemic began. Testing is more accessible than it has been at any other point, our hospitals are not overwhelmed with patients, and we have been able to reopen our parks that sat closed for nearly a month. Our means for fighting this virus have not changed, and the importance of exercising them has only been heightened. Stay home unless you must go out, do not attend or organize social gatherings of any kind, and wear a mask or face cover when you cannot maintain proper social distancing. Together, we will get through this and we will be stronger for having done so.”
Community Sports Shop, a fixture in town since 1959, provides competitively priced team uniforms, sports apparel, tee shirts and sports equipment to youth and adult athletic programs, schools and corporations and has been part of the Ladik family since 1981. The shop moved from 2 East Maple Avenue - after The Clip Joint fire in August 2013 - to their current location at 21 North Center Street. Although temporarily closed due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, they continue to show support for us on their storefront. Many of the Borough's other small businesses are still able to offer reduced services to residents of Merchantville and neighboring communities. Links to hours and available services in town.
St. Louis Motorcars has been acquired by by Holman Automotive which opened in 1924 as a Ford dealer in Merchantville, NJ. A press release from Brian Bates, President and CEO of Holman Consumer Services, said: “As our Holman Automotive family of dealerships continues to evolve, we remain focused on further diversifying our brand portfolio, strategically expanding our geographic footprint and fostering an exceptional customer experience representative of our long-standing Holman values; and St. Louis Motorcars certainly checks all those boxes.” Today Holman Automotive controls 36 dealerships and many other automotive-related companies in the U.S., Canada, and around the globe.
The Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently awarded Merchantville and Pennsauken $100,000 in grant funds for two trail projects. Pennsauken has been awarded $65,000 to extend the multi-use trail along Chestnut Avenue, from Euclid Avenue to the former 130 Railroad bridge, while Merchantville has been awarded $35,000 to realign the existing multi-use trail near Centre Street. Currently, users of the multi-use path are directed to ride their bicycle into the street. The trail realignment project will keep the trail off-road. The project is scheduled to coincide with County led Centre Street reconstruction work slated for this summer.
The community shared lots of "thank-yous" on social media for the efforts of the Merchantville Police Department and Merchantville Fire Department - Niagara Fire Company in bringing the Easter Bunny around town on Saturday, April 11th to compensate for the Covid-19 cancellation of our annual Egg Hunt. As promised, on a beautiful afternoon, the EB tour visited every street in Merchantville bringing kids and parents outside - while maintaining a safe social distance - to enjoy seeing and waving to this folklore symbol of Easter as he passed their home.
In addition to the Food Bank of SJ we are very fortunate to have several local food pantries that serve community needs. The Dolores Clark Food Pantry, located at Grace Episcopal Church, operates from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and clients in need can drive up the church driveway, receive a pre-filled bag of groceries, and drive out of the parking lot all while keeping a safe distance. The Linda Knaus Food Pantry, located at Temple Lutheran Church - who recently received a $5,000 grant from the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund - will be distributing food bags on Tuesday, 4/14, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. NJ residency and ID are required. For more details or interested in helping please contact the church office. If you are willing and able, bags are prepared around 6:30 pm the Monday before distribution and any help is appreciated. Special thanks to the for their grant of $5,000 to our food pantry! St. Vincent dePaul Society Pantry Day, located at St. Peter R.C. Church, takes place on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m - 12:00 p.m. Trinity UMC hosts a food pantry on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. A very special thank you to all who keep this vital human service going!
This year's Borough Egg Hunt at the community center has been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Governor's call to limit large social gatherings so, The Niagara Fire Company will be touring the town with their good friend - The Easter Bunny - on Saturday, April 11th between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. The Fire company promises to visit every street in Merchantville and urges everyone to be patient! The Easter Bunny wants to remind everyone to maintain social distancing during his tour by remaining in your front yard and not approaching the fire truck. Happy Easter!