The Following is a statement from Mayor Ryan Tuno regarding the concerns raised by residents at the February 6, 2020 Township Meeting regarding EMS Services:
“Since the New Year, Deputy Mayor Hatfield, Committeewoman Ryan and myself have committed ourselves to reviewing all aspects of Lumberton Township Government to ensure flexibility and efficiency.
One item that was troublesome to us is that at the end of December last year, there was a last second Resolution authorizing an extension to the EMS Contract which was put forward under our former Mayor, that Ms. Hatfield and I thought was a one-year extension which had been the normal practice for several years. However, that Resolution actually authorized a five-year contract to our Lumberton Emergency Squad. While we agree whole heartedly that the Lumberton Emergency Squad is doing an excellent job for our residents, we feel that the Township should keep to its normal practice of extending a one-year contract for these services because of the ever-changing environment surrounding Emergency Medical Services. This is why we have been looking into options with our professionals and talking with the leadership of the squad to find the best solution for Lumberton Township. To be clear, at no point have we contemplated shutting down the Lumberton Emergency Squad and taking over their services. This fact can be confirmed by our Township Administrator, as he is working with us to introduce our 2020 Township Budget and nowhere within that budget do, we allocate funds for such a takeover.
While we are on the subject of the Township Budget, another statement that has been made is that any change the Township enacts will cause taxes to rise drastically. That is simply not the case and we intend to introduce the 2020 Budget in short order and that Budget will be a flat Budget with zero increase to the Township Taxpayers. In fact, this Budget will expand emergency services by hiring an additional police officer, bringing our force up to four officers a shift, a level we have not seen since the Township was forced to do layoffs due to a failed Referendum, while also investing in more equipment for our emergency services personnel.
In closing, I want the residents to know that we have heard their concerns and we will make the best decision for all of Lumberton.”