Freehold Township providing health services to neighboring towns

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Freehold Township officials will continue to provide public health services in Manalapan and will begin providing public health services in Tinton Falls.

At a September 20 meeting, township committee members passed separate resolutions authorizing the execution of shared service agreements with Manalapan and Tinton Falls for public health services.

Each resolution states that the agreement will benefit the ratepayers of the respective municipalities.

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

Freehold Township has been providing public health services in Manalapan since 2019, after the retirement of Manalapan’s health officer. Since then, Freehold Township Health Officer Margaret Jahn has been Manalapan’s temporary health officer.

In June, members of the Tinton Falls Borough Council authorized the signing of the Shared Services Agreement for Public Health Services with Freehold Township.

The agreement will be effective from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. The governing bodies of both cities 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 December 31 and its partnership with Freehold Township will come into effect the following day.

According to a resolution passed by the Tinton Falls Borough Council, the cost of health services will be $163,775 per year. Freehold Township will provide a licensed health worker, licensed environmental health specialists and specialized regional public health expertise in Tinton Falls.

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

In exchange for Freehold Township’s services, Tinton Falls is required to establish a local board of health; provide 24-hour emergency contact information to the Township of Freehold Health Officer for the Borough of Tinton Falls Administrator, Borough Clerk, Mayor (if desired), Office Coordinator emergency management and a police liaison officer for routine matters, and ensuring that the Animal Control Officer communicates effectively with the Free Zone Health Department; and use the Jungle Lasers (GEO 3.0) system used by Freehold Township to track health inspections and certifications.

The agreement states that the Freehold Township Health Department has more than 30 years of experience providing services to other municipalities. Freehold Township’s health officer and senior environmental health specialist have over 60 years of combined skills and experience in public health services.

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

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