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January 25, 2011

Re:  Two Issues
I.  Contracting Unit Power Supply Procurement Guidance
II. Public Health Update: New Jersey Animal Rabies Cases, January 1 through December 31, 2010

Dear Mayor:

I.  Contracting Unit Power Supply Procurement Guidance

To assist local government and public school procurement officials understand how to purchase electric power supply, the Division of Local Government Services has developed several guidance documents that are now posted on the web.

This is in response to recent changes in the power supply market, where vendors soliciting government agencies to provide power supply at rates less than the current BPU Basic Generation Supply rates.  The material affects agencies subject to the Local Public Contracts Law and the Public School Contracts Law.

Several reference items that originated with an article in the January 2011 issues of our magazine, New Jersey Municipalities, have been posted.  The article, an overview of contracting unit power supply bidding practices, a list of the approved Energy Agents, and Cooperative Pricing Energy Supply Systems can be found on the web at:

As always, send questions about contracting laws to

II.  Public Health Update: New Jersey Animal Rabies Cases, January 1 through December 31, 2010

Please share this information with your health officers, local veterinarians, animal control officers, and staff that provide rabies consultations in your jurisdiction.

The Summary of New Jersey Animal Rabies Cases by County and Species for January 1 through December 31, 2011 has been posted on the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) website at (

During 2010, 242 terrestrial animals and 40 bats were confirmed to be infected with rabies, for a total of 282 animal cases.  The number of total animal rabies cases has remained consistent over the last 5 years.  Morris (37), Burlington (24), Ocean (19) and Somerset (17) Counties had the largest number of rabid animals in the State.  There were 19 rabid cats in 2010 compared with 12 in 2009. 

Since the raccoon rabies variant entered the State in 1989, cats have accounted for about 90% of the domestic animal cases and are considered the terrestrial species of highest risk to transmit the disease to humans.  The DHSS recommends that all cats, including free-roaming cats, be kept currently vaccinated against rabies, and focus pet vaccination efforts on cats.

Although the wildlife species most commonly infected with rabies in New Jersey are (in order) raccoon, bat, skunk, fox and groundhog, 3 rabies cases were identified in low-risk animal species during 2010 (opossum, otter, and coyote).  It should be noted that rabies can infect any mammal species, but other animals (e.g., birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) cannot be infected.

For more information on rabies visit the NJDHSS website ( or contact the DHSS Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program at 609-826-4872.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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