COVID-19: NJ Announces Additional COVID-19 related Restrictions – Restricting Indoor Food service after 10 PM and Indoor Sports

As of this morning, November 9, 2020, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy is set to follow through on his weekend commentary to impose new COVID-19 related restrictions given NJ’s continued increasing COVID-19 numerics.

Per NJBIZ, the Murphy administration has indicated that bars and restaurants will soon need to close all indoor service by 10 p.m. Interstate indoor organized sports will also be prohibited indefinitely, according to sources in the Murphy administration.

The Governor will announce the restrictions, and provide additional details, during his 1 p.m. news conference.

Specifically, restaurants, casinos and bars will be prohibited from serving food and alcohol between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and these new rules will take effect on November 12, 2020. Restrictions will also be placed on seating.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Paul Josephson, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

 

 

COVID-19: PA issues Executive Order extending Residential Evictions and Foreclosures Moratorium until August 31, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf signed a new executive order earlier today, July 15, 2020, extending the moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures until Aug. 31.

This Order follows a previous moratorium extension, but now only applies if the renters or homeowners have not already received assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) or are not already receiving relief through one of several federal foreclosure moratorium programs or judicial orders.

Lenders and property owners that receive funds through the PHFA program must agree not pursue foreclosure or eviction actions as a condition of participation in the program. The governor signed legislation in May providing $150 million for rental assistance and $25 million for mortgage assistance through PHFA with CARES Act funds. PHFA began accepting applications July 6.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Finance Agency, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have each extended eviction and foreclosure protections for housing under their authority to Aug. 31.

In terms of the applying of the Order, it states:

The provisions of this Order and the suspension of the Acts under this Order apply only to matters involving the nonpayment of monies as well as to those proceedings related to removal of any tenant solely because the tenant has held over or exceeded the term of a lease. The Order does not apply to suspend notice requirements relating to evictions for breaches of any other covenants.

This Order does not treat nonpayment of monies during this period as forgiven and individuals are still responsible for any rent or monies owed under the terms of the mortgage or lease agreement.

Therefore, in almost all circumstances, renters and homeowners are still required to make monthly payments if they can. Also, importantly, the governor’s Order does not apply to proceedings regarding property damage or illegal activity.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, David Augustin, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

University of Maryland – Energy Public Private Partnership (P-3) RFQ – due July 29th

The University of Maryland (UMD) is proposing a public private partnership (P3) to implement the NextGen Energy Program (NextGen) in order to renew and modernize the University of Maryland, College Park’s aging energy system. Under the proposed P3, UMD will contract with a private sector entity to design, engineer, finance and install energy system improvements. After improvements are completed, the entity will also manage, operate and maintain UMD’s energy systems moving forward.

The University of Maryland has more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 377,000 alumni. The main campus is located in College Park, MD.

On April 27, 2020, UMD issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking qualifications for entities to improve, manage, operate and maintain the UMD’s central heating, cooling and electrical generation and distribution systems to ensure the UMD receives long-term reliable, efficient, sustainable and affordable energy services.

According to a Pre-Solicitation Report (PSR) dated January 31, 2020, UMD recommended two primary commercial structures for implementing the NextGen Program, either (i) a 501(c)(3) type Structure, or (ii) a Concession (Availability Payment) Structure. Under the 501(c)(3) type Structure, UMD would finance energy system capital improvements through a tax exempt entity and contract with a private sector entity to design, engineer and install those improvements and manage, operate and maintain the energy systems.

In the past, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) has been involved in such projects. Under the Concession Structure, a private sector concessionaire would finance capital improvements using a mixture of equity and taxable debt, design and build those improvements and manage, operate and maintain the energy systems.

In the PSR, UMD indicated that it would consider other commercial structures and that it would consider a variety of payment models such as an availability payment for the central energy generation facility and a “base rate” model for the distribution system.

Further, UMD indicated it would also consider an incentive-based compensation model for a continuing program of energy reviews reductions in campus buildings and facilities.

The statement of qualifications are due on July 29, 2020. The PSR identifies the following additional milestone dates – deadline for receipt of proposals in March, 2021, selection of the preferred proposal in June, 2021, the approval by the Maryland Board of Public works in April – May, 2022 and a financial closing in June, 2022.

The NextGen Energy Program would commence in July, 2022, with UMD preliminarily assuming a construction period of 3 years and an operational period of 30 years, although such time frames are subject to the receipt of final proposals.

Duane Morris has a dedicated P-3 Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address RFQs/RFPs and to structure and execute your P-3 transactions. If you have any questions about this post or have interest in responding to the RFQ and would like some assistance, please contact Tom Totten, Brad A. Molotsky, Joel Ephross or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Construction Guidance – May 1, 2020 Return to Work – Philadelphia Follows Form

As the construction industry prepares to resume work, the Wolf Administration today issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

All businesses in the construction industry in Pennsylvania are permitted to resume in-person operations starting on Friday, May 1 – one week earlier than previously announced.

Previously, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine ordered most construction projects to cease unless they were supporting life-sustaining businesses or activities or were granted an exemption to perform or support life-sustaining activities.

The guidance, developed from guidance created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, provides universal protocols for all construction activity, as well as specific additional guidance for residential, commercial and public construction projects.

All business and employees in the construction industry are required to adhere to the Secretary of Health’s order providing for business safety measures, which requires that every person present at a work site wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable for medical or safety reasons and requires that businesses establish protocols upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas. Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or work site, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.

Residential construction projects may not permit more than 4 individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity.

For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site. Commercial construction firms have been encouraged to strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer.

Contractors performing work at the direction of the Commonwealth, municipalities or school districts should defer to those public entities to determine what projects may continue.

Local governments may elect to impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance and in such instances, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements.

Local officials have been tasked with ensuring that construction businesses are aware that this guidance exists and notifying businesses that a complaint of noncompliance was received.

Businesses that have questions about whether guidance applies to them, may email the Department of Labor and Industry at RA-LIBOIS-BUILDINGS@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said on 4-28 that with some limited exceptions, construction projects that were subject to the State Shutdown Order on March 20 will be allowed to resume in Philadelphia this Friday, May 1. This decision comes in light of the earlier announcement by Governor Wolf that construction business in Pennsylvania can resume on Friday.

“We are currently reviewing that order with respect to construction work in Philadelphia, and we will have more details tomorrow on the extent to which work can return in the city,” said the Mayor. “Construction managers and workers will have to consistently follow practices that keep their workers and the community safe. I’m confident that this will prove to be a much-needed boost to economic activity in the city. And I’m equally confident that everyone involved will be vigilant about adhering to these safe procedures and protocols as this work resumes.”

https://www.phila.gov/2020-04-28-city-provides-update-on-covid-19-for-tuesday-april-28-2020/

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!