Princeton looks to formally establish Department of Health

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Princeton Council members will formally establish the Department of Health, if the council adopts an ordinance updating Chapter 2 of the municipal code.

The Princeton council introduced the ordinance on Nov. 16, which is part of an effort to update portions of the code from the former borough and township of Princeton consolidation. The public hearing on adopting the ordinance is scheduled for Dec. 7.

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The Princeton Health Department would be designated as the Department of Health. Essentially, the council is going to recognize a Department of Health rather than a Princeton Health Department. The formal designation would be added to Chapter 2 under the commissions and agency provisions.

A new portion is to create a director for the Department of Health, who will be the health officer. The department’s administration would remain the same with Health Officer Jeff Grosser continuing to lead Princeton’s public health department.

Under this department will be two divisions, one being animal control and the other the division of housing. The division of animal control was already under the Princeton Health Department. The Bureau of Rental Housing Inspections would be transferred from the Princeton Department of Emergency and Safety Services to the Department of Health.

“The housing bureau is a division that deals with housing maintenance. That is currently within the department of emergency services. Property maintenance inspections will move over to the Department of Health,” Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield said during the council meeting on Nov. 16. “One of the rationales for this, those inspections for property maintenance coincide all the time with nuisance inspections done through the health department.”

According to the ordinance, the Princeton housing official would serve as supervisor of the housing division and report to the director outside of the specific authority granted to the housing official.

Municipal officials added that Princeton seeks to provide better service during the current pandemic health crisis with the formal establishment of the Department of Health and additional division under the department.

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