Mercer marks County Government Month
National County Government Month (NCGM), held annually in April, is a celebration of county government, and the assorted services provided to the community at the county level. As promoted by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the NCGM theme for 2019 is “Connecting the Unconnected.”
This theme focuses on the importance of county programs and initiatives that inform and illustrate how counties help all citizens forge pathways to live well and thrive.
In recognition of this month, Mercer County government has taken this opportunity to plan several efforts, which include the following:
Passport Service Days. Mercer County Clerk Paul Sollami Covello will host special passport service days for residents of Mercer County, visiting two municipalities in April to accept U.S. Passport applications on site. Passport processing provided by the County Clerk and her staff will take place on the following dates at the following locations:
• Wednesday, April 10, 3 to 7 p.m. at the East Windsor Municipal Building, 16 Lanning Blvd., East Windsor.
• Thursday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lawrence Senior Center, 30 East Darrah Lane, Lawrence.
Although walk-in applications are welcome, residents are encouraged to call (609) 989-6473 to reserve a time to have their applications processed and photos taken, if needed.
To apply for a passport, residents will need proof of U.S. citizenship in the form of a state-certified birth certificate; U.S. naturalization certificate or a previous U.S. Passport; proof of identity in the form of a current driver’s license or state-issued identification card.
A U.S. Passport is valid for 10 years for adults and five for minors (under 16). The cost for a passport is $110 for adults and $80 for minors, plus a processing fee of $35. Photos will be taken on site for $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and minors. The County Clerk’s Office will accept checks or money orders as payment; no cash or cards can be accepted. Federal government law requires a separate check for each application.
For more information on U.S. Passport requirements, click here or call 609-989-6473.
Mercer County Board of Social Services. Often, senior citizens face obstacles in getting to the board’s main site. In recognition of County Government Month, the board plans visits to several senior sites in order to promote programs and answer questions, and to offer a gift tote bag. The board will be on site on the following:
• Wednesday, April 10, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hopewell Borough/Township Pennington
• Monday, April 15, 10 to 11 a.m., Princeton Senior Center
• Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hamilton Township Senior Center
• Thursday, April 25, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., City of Trenton Reading Center
• Thursday, April 25, 1 to 3 p.m., Robbinsville
Administrators’ Day. Offered in the spring and the fall, Administrators’ Day gives representatives of schools, non-profits and government agencies an opportunity to take a “field trip” to several Mercer County Park Commission facilities. Upon arrival, they get a tour and an overview of the programming from each director. Guests visit the Tulpehaking Nature Center in Hamilton, and the Mercer County Stables, Wildlife Center and Howell Living History Farm, a working historical farm, all of which are in Hopewell Township.
For educators, these facilities could allow students to see, touch and experience the science they are learning in school. For non-profits and government agencies, these facilities offer kids a fun day that also happens to be educational. The next Administrators’ Day, which is filled to capacity, is April 18. The fall date is to be determined.
Swimming to Rowing Program. This program, which is in the pilot phase, began as a partnership between the Park Commission, several Mercer County YMCAs and the Princeton National Rowing Association to teach kids how to swim, then how to row. The purpose is to expose young people between the ages of 12 and 15 to the sport of rowing, which could help them with college scholarship opportunities.
Swimming to Rowing is composed of three levels, during which time the students continually improve their swimming and rowing skills. Pilot program students have just completed Level 1 and begin Level 2 in early April.
AARP Safe Driver Course. Learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. Tuesday, April 23, and Tuesday, April 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mercer County Connection, 957 Route 33 at Paxson Avenue, Hamilton. Participants must attend both nights. Call 609-890-9800 to reserve a spot.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler announces the opportunity to dispose of unneeded and expired prescription drugs during the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 27. The goal is to help local residents to rid their medicine cabinets of unused and easily abused opioid painkillers, in addition to any other unneeded prescription medications, with no questions asked.
Mercer County residents can safely dispose of unused and expired prescription pills by bringing them to the parking lot across from the Mercer County Administration Building at 640 South Broad St. in Trenton, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (hypodermic needles and liquid solutions not accepted).