Mayor: Virus crisis has seasonal residents arriving early in Sea Girt

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SEA GIRT — A borough of about 1,700 during the offseason is seeing dramatic changes in numbers, as owners and renters of seasonal homes are showing up in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Ken Farrell said Monday.

“We have some renters coming in and people coming down to their homes,” the mayor said. “I think they think Sea Girt is better than New York City.

“We’re maintaining social distance. I just hope and pray that this doesn’t get overwhelming. Our primary focus is safety of all of the residents. I don’t think of Sea Girt as 1,700 people, it’s really 4,000 people because they all pay taxes. You have to count every house.”

While some in Sea Girt may be viewing the early arrival of seasonal residents with concern, the mayor’s view is that people have a right to use their own homes regardless of the season.

“We have an influx of people, but we’re managing,”  he said.

The boardwalk is a little more crowded than is usual in March, but those strolling it appear to be “respecting social distancing,” Mayor Farrell said.

The municipal office and police station remain closed to the public, but the mayor said everything else is functioning as normal in regards to public safety measures and policing.

Referring to the impact of crisis on restaurants, Mr. Farrell said he has ordered takeout meals from local establishments including Harrigan’s and hopes residents will do the same, to help such businesses stay afloat.

But he fears the worst of the COVID-19 crisis yet to come.

“Unfortunately, I’m not thinking it’s peaked yet,” the mayor said. “Hopefully it does calm down.”

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