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Freehold Township providing health services to neighboring towns

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — Officials in Freehold Township will continue to provide public health services to Manalapan and begin to provide public health services to Tinton Falls.

During a meeting on Sept. 20, the members of the Township Committee passed separate resolutions authorizing the execution of shared services agreements with Manalapan and Tinton Falls for public health services.

Each resolution states that the agreement will be beneficial to taxpayers in the respective municipalities.

According to the resolutions, Freehold Township will continue to provide technical and professional public health services to Manalapan. The agreement with Tinton Falls is a new arrangement between the two communities.

Freehold Township has been providing public health services to Manalapan since 2019, after Manalapan’s health officer retired. Since that time, Freehold Township health officer Margaret Jahn has served as the temporary health officer in Manalapan.

In June, the members of the Tinton Falls Borough Council authorized the execution of the shared services agreement for public health services with Freehold Township.

The agreement will be effective from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023. The governing bodies of the two towns may renew the agreement after the initial term.

Public health services in Tinton Falls are currently provided by the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission. The borough’s agreement with the regional health commission will end on Dec. 31 and its partnership with Freehold Township will become effective the next day.

According to a resolution that was passed by the Tinton Falls Borough Council, the cost of the health services will be $163,775 per year. 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 services to other municipalities. Freehold Township’s health officer and its principal environmental health specialist have more than 60 combined years of public health service skills and experience.

Freehold Township has an estimated population of 35,596 residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021); Manalapan has an estimated population of 40,877 residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021); and Tinton Falls has an estimated population of 19,343 residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021).

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