RED BANK – On Sept. 1, Red Bank became a member of the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD), giving residents of the borough full access to the public health services provided by the county’s health department.
The Monmouth County Health Department now provides public health services for residents of 29 towns: Aberdeen Township, Allentown, Asbury Park, Atlantic Highlands, Avon, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Eatontown, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Howell, Keansburg, Keyport, Lake Como, Manasquan, Marlboro, Matawan, Millstone Township, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Oceanport, Red Bank, Roosevelt, Shrewsbury Township, Union Beach and Upper Freehold Township, according to a press release from the county.
Other Monmouth County towns receive public health services from their town or from other regional health commissions, according to the press release. There are 53 municipalities in the county.
Asked for a comment on the matter by the Atlantic Hub, Mayor Pasquale Menna said, “Red Bank is pleased to partner with the Monmouth County Board of Health to provide public health services to our residents and businesses.
“The agreement is in line with my long-held belief that public health should be a function of county government. This accomplishes that goal. More municipal services should be standardized and undertaken by the county since all municipalities contribute to county tax levies.
“In addition, the agreement with the Monmouth County Board of Health will realize substantial and much-needed savings to the borough without any diminution in public health.
“I thank the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission for the many years they serviced Red Bank, but the over-riding need for cost savings and county coordination dictated that we move in this direction,” Menna said.
Red Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the Atlantic Hub that “this transition from the current provider, the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, will represent a nearly 45% savings annually to Red Bank taxpayers. There will be no reduction in services and some additional benefits may be provided to residents and businesses throughout the year.”
“By joining the Monmouth County Health Department, Red Bank’s residents now have access to the county’s public health team and the services they offer,” Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, who is the liaison to the county health department, was quoted as saying in the press release.
“The county will also provide many services in Red Bank that residents may not be aware of or see on a regular basis, such as food inspections as part of its program to help protect food and drinking water supplies and ensure compliance with environmental health regulations, related to air, water, and noise and nuisance control,” Kiley said.
“We welcome Red Bank to the Monmouth County Board of Health,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone was quoted as saying in the press release. “This expansion of the county health department is another example of how shared services offered by county government can help a municipality while helping Monmouth County continue its leadership role in public health.”
The health department is overseen by the Monmouth County Board of Health. Established in 1978, the board is composed of five members who are appointed by the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders.
The freeholder board’s function is to establish policy and govern the services provided by the Monmouth County Health Department. The board’s mission is to empower residents of Monmouth County to achieve optimum health through the provision of essential public health services, according to the press release.
The MCHD serves as a field office of the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and enforces the provisions of the state sanitary code and regulations, as well as local codes and ordinances that protect public health.
The department also delivers public health services as required by state law and provides leadership in response to public health issues and threats, according to the press release.
For more information about the services provided by the Monmouth County Health Department, visit www.visitmonmouth.com or call 732-431-7456.
Atlantic Hub Managing Editor Mark Rosman contributed to this article.