HomeAtl HubAtl Hub NewsTinton Falls joins with Freehold Township in health services agreement

Tinton Falls joins with Freehold Township in health services agreement

TINTON FALLS – Borough officials in Tinton Falls will begin a new shared services agreement with Freehold Township for public health services in 2023.

During a meeting on June 14, members of the Borough Council authorized the execution of a shared services agreement with Freehold Township for the provision of public health services. Under the terms of the agreement, Freehold Township will provide health services to Tinton Falls.

According to a resolution, the cost of the health services will be $163,775 per year. The agreement with Freehold Township will be effective from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023. Tinton Falls’ council members may renew the agreement after the initial term.

Under the terms of the agreement, Freehold Township will provide a licensed health officer, registered environmental health specialists and specialized regional public health expertise to Tinton Falls.

Freehold Township will also provide administrative services, environmental health services, septic system regulation and management, emergency response services, communicable disease control, immunization services, public health nursing services, health education and health promotion, and clerical services, according to the agreement.

In return for Freehold Township’s services, Tinton Falls is required to establish a local Board of Health; provide 24-hour emergency contact information to Freehold Township’s health officer for the Tinton Falls borough administrator, borough clerk, mayor (if desired), Office of Emergency Management coordinator and a police liaison for routine questions, and ensure the animal control officer effectively communicates with the Freehold Area Health Department; and use the Jungle Lasers (GEO 3.0) system used by Freehold Township to track sanitary inspections and certifications.

The agreement states that the health department in Freehold Township has more than 30 years of experience in providing shared services to other municipalities. The health officer and the principal environmental health specialist have more than 60 combined years of public health service skills and experience.

In addition to authorizing the new public health services agreement with Freehold Township, Borough Council members authorized the termination of Tinton Falls’ agreement with the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission No. 1 for public health services.

As noted in a resolution, public health services in Tinton Falls are currently provided by the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission and the current agreement between the two entities was authorized in 2012. The agreement between Tinton Falls and the regional health commission will be terminated on Dec. 31.

Paul Roman, the vice president of the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, addressed the governing body prior to the vote. He asked the council members to consider meeting with the regional health commission before terminating the 10-year-old agreement.

According to Roman, Tinton Falls joined the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission in 1971 when the borough was still known as New Shrewsbury.

New Shrewsbury was renamed Tinton Falls in 1975.

“During the time you have been with us, we went through all the trials and tribulations of changing from one form of government to another, from changing the name of the town, from all the trials and tribulations with the (Monmouth County) landfill,” Roman said.

“We stood behind you and tried desperately to get the county to do what was right here. You gave us part of your host community money to do that work and we did it willingly and our inspectors did it proudly. We did the right things for your community and your residents,” he said.

In response to Roman’s comments, Borough Council President Tracy Buckley said the resolution terminating the agreement with the regional health commission was on the agenda because borough officials were required to give notice of the change in health services by the end of June.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Fallon said Tinton Falls was seeking stability with the agreement with Freehold Township. He noted that in recent years the regional health commission lost several of its larger member municipalities.

Citing the loss of the larger member municipalities and the impact that would have on Tinton Falls, Fallon acknowledged that the decision to leave the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission for Freehold Township was motivated by financial considerations.

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