The Lumberton Township Committee Reorganizes on January 5, 2021, Committeewoman Gina LaPlaca was appointed Mayor and Committeewoman Rue Ryan was appointed Deputy Mayor
The Lumberton Township Committee Reorganized and welcomed Committeewoman Gina LaPlaca and Committeeman Terrance Benson to the Board last evening. In addition, Committeewoman Gina LaPlaca and Committeewoman Rue Ryan were unanimously selected as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the year 2021. On hand to swear in the new Lumberton Officials was New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and State Senator Troy Singleton.
“I’m truly humbled by the overwhelming support that Committeeman Benson and I received from Lumberton voters and by the faith and confidence my fellow Committee members have placed in me to serve as Mayor. It is particularly significant to me that I have the honor of presiding over the first majority-female Township Committee in Lumberton history. I am committed to ensuring that all residents have a voice, and that our local government is finally a true reflection of who we are as a community” said LaPlaca.
Rue Ryan added, “It’s a true privilege to serve this great community and I’m honored to be selected by my peers to serve as Deputy Mayor in this historic year. What an amazing lesson to teach our daughters that we as women can persevere, we can rise above, and we can become leaders. Let’s continue to show the young women in our community that they too can continue to break those glass ceilings and fight for what they believe in. I believe in this town, I believe in the people of this town, and I believe in the causes this committee will fight for to make us an even better and stronger community.”
Newly elected Committeeman Benson added “I am proud to join these amazing women in leading Lumberton into the future. I would like to thank the residents of our community for giving us the mandate for greatly needed change. We will focus on serving the interests of the entire community and making Lumberton a better place to live and work.”
Lumberton Township Committee is seeking Township resident volunteers to serve on the 2021 Boards and Committees
The Lumberton Township School District has launched a website with helpful links if someone you know is struggling my substance abuse.
Please click on the below link to access this website:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
In accordance with 44 CFR §9.8 for Executive Orders 11988 & 11990
Proposed Building Elevation
Township of Lumberton, Burlington County, NJ
Notification is hereby given to the public of the intent of the Department of Homeland Security- Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA) to provide federal funding to the Township of Lumberton, as subrecipients for the proposed elevation of residential structures through the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program. The purpose of the FMA Grant Program is to reduce or eliminate claims under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This notification is given in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive Order (EO) 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and 44 CFR Part 9, regulations for implementing EO 11988-11990.
The proposed mitigation project would elevate eight (8) residential structures along the Rancocas Creek in Lumberton. These structures occupy low-lying areas susceptible to repetitive flooding. All proposed impacted properties in Lumberton would be raised approximately 2 feet above the base flood elevation (BFE) for a 100 year flood, in accordance with local flood ordinances and the
FEMA-approved mitigation plan.
This action would take place within the 100-year floodplain. Alternatives considered include: 1) taking no action, 2) the proposed alternative, elevating the structures; or, 3) acquisition and demolition. FEMA has determined that elevating the structures is the most practicable alternative to ensure the residences and their occupants are out of harm’s way. FEMA has also determined that investment of funds to reduce flood risk is in the public interest. Potential impacts to water quality or aquatic habitat are anticipated to be temporary during construction and minimized through best management practices and conservation measures incorporated from resource agency recommendations and required regulatory permits.
Comments about this project, potential alternatives, and floodplain impacts may be submitted in writing within 15 days of the date of this publication to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region II – Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation, Mitigation Division, One World Trade Center, Suite 53, New York, NY 10007 or via
email to FEMAR2COMMENT@fema.dhs.gov. If substantive comments are received, FEMA will evaluate and address the comments as part of the environmental documentation for this project.
What is the Home Improvement Loan Program?
Paid Leave Entitlements related to Covid-19 Provided Through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Please see the below link to a Flyer provided by the US Department of Labor:
The Following is a Statement from the Lumberton Township Administration and Office of Emergency Management Regarding the Six Positive Cases of COVID-19 in Lumberton Township
As of March 29, 2020, the Burlington County Health Department informed Lumberton Township officials that they have confirmed six positive cases of COVID-19 within Lumberton Township. The Burlington County Health Department has now changed the way they are reporting the County’s number of confirmed positives cases to the chart you can find in the above attachment.
Contact tracing to determine if these individuals might have traveled to any public place before being diagnosed or been in contact with individuals is still ongoing by Health Department officials. They have informed the Township that they are focusing on close contact, which is defined as closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes, household contacts and those that work in high risk settings such as healthcare workers and long-term care facilities. Lumberton Township will provide any such information to the public when it is made available to us by the Burlington County Health Department. Due to federal HIPPA laws and regulations, the names and addresses of these individuals will not be released to the public, however the County Emergency Communications Center has flagged this residence and if first responders are called to that location they will be warned to take further precautions, above the new guidelines they are operating under for this pandemic for normal calls for service.
Though contact tracing is being investigated, Lumberton Township Officials would like to remind our residents that the best way to fight this pandemic and flatten the curve is to, (1) frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use of alcohol (60% or more) based sanitizing hand wash provides your best defense, (2) practicing “social distancing” by avoiding large gatherings and crowds, when in public keep 6 feet or more of separation from others and avoid handshakes, hugs and other close contact with individuals, (3) if you sneeze or cough, you should do so into your elbow and wash your hands immediately after. Lastly if you are sick or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, call your primary care provider (doctor) and he/she will give you advice if you develop a fever or other symptoms. But most importantly if you feel sick please stay home and isolate yourself from others in your household.
Residents are also reminded to heed Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 107, which orders all residents to “Stay at Home” until further notice. This order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work only if you are essential personnel, or engaging in outdoor activities. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
• Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
• Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
• Medical supply stores;
• Gas stations;
• Convenience stores;
• Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
• Hardware and home improvement stores;
• Banks and other financial institutions;
• Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
• Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
• Pet stores;
• Liquor stores;
• Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics; As of March 30, 2020 Online Sales and Remote Sales that can be completed by phone, text, or email can be conducted.
• Printing and office supply shops;
• Mail and delivery stores.
• Effective March 31, 2020 at 8am Federal Firearms Licensees are added to the list of essential retail businesses.
• As of March 30, 2020, individual appointments to view real estate with realtors by individuals or families shall be considered essential retail businesses.
Nothing in the Order shall limit 1) the provision of health care or medical services; 2) access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; 3) the operations of the media; 4) law enforcement agencies, or 5) the operations of the federal government.
Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements. To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.
Lumberton Township residents can call 2-1-1 or 1-800-962-1253 with non-emergent questions. The call center is open 24/7 and has multi-language capabilities. You can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. To receive live text assistance, text your zip code to 898-211. Please note that the call center is not able to diagnose or give medical advice. Healthcare providers should be contacted if medical advice is needed. If you or someone you know has special needs requiring assistance in case of an emergency, please register today at www.registerready.nj.gov. If you are needing special assistance today, call 2-1-1 or log on to www.nj211.org.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19:
The NJ Poison Control Center and 2-1-1 have partnered to provide information to the public on COVID-19. The hotline number is 1-800-962-1253. Or, you can call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns, or to access NJ’s statewide comprehensive information and referral service. Or text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. Additionally, NJ launched a COVID-19 Information Hub, covid19.nj.gov, where residents can get up-to-date information.
IF YOU’RE SICK:
Call your doctor if you’re sick or if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Your doctor can give you medical advice if you develop a fever or other symptoms.
A testing site opened on Friday at Bergen Community College for NJ residents only (proof of ID necessary) and those exhibiting symptoms. The site will have the capacity to test 2,500/ week. Monmouth County site is opening today at PNC Bank Arts Center. There are also plans for a testing site to open at Camden County College in Blackwood once tests become available, and the Burlington County Coronavirus Task Force is looking to set up a site within the county soon.
CLOSURES, CROWDS, AND CURFEWS:
All social gatherings and assemblies, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled including conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. Please note that law enforcement may charge folks who disregard these rules.
The Governor ordered the following businesses to close: non-essential retail; casinos and racetracks; gyms and fitness centers; entertainment such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs; shopping malls; places of public amusement; and personal care businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, spas, nail and eyelash studios, tanning salons, and tattoo and massage parlors. Bars and restaurants must be closed for on-premise dining but may provide take-out and delivery service only.
Certain essential businesses and facilities are considered exempt from these closures includes grocery and pet stores, food banks, medical industries, pharmacies and medical supply stores, gas stations, banks, and restaurants for take-out/ delivery. A complete list can be found here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/businesses-and-organizations/how-do-executive-orders-no.-107-and-108-on-closures-and-social-distancing-affect-my-business
INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES:
The State has created a new webpage for businesses with questions related to COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus. There is a portal to submit a question or use the chat tool. http://cv.business.nj.gov/
RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:
The US Small Business Administration approved NJ for disaster relief.
WORKER PROTECTION PROGRAMS:
Visit NJ Department of Labor’s website to determine if you are eligible for unemployment, family leave, earned sick time or worker’s compensation benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. The chart below is a useful tool. For more info:
FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT:
Many residents have reached out to our office for help with unemployment benefits. The NJ Department of Labor is encouraging anyone seeking benefits to apply on their website: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/
The NJ Board of Public Utilities announced that utilities have suspended all shut-off orders for electric and gas. https://www.bpu.state.nj.us/bpu/newsroom/2020/approved/20200313.html
Governor Murphy recently enacted a moratorium on removals due to evictions and foreclosures. However, we know that the next few weeks, maybe months, may be financially challenging for some. NJ Department of Community Affairs has various rental assistance programs that can help during times like these and is accepting applications. Learn more: https://njdca-housing.dynamics365portals.us/en-US/
SOCIAL SERVICES/ CHILDCARE
For information on childcare, cash shelter and food assistance, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid, individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse, and support for older residents please visit:
Sadly, people will try to take advantage of others during times of crisis. Beware of scams and price gouging during this public health emergency. Report it at NJ Consumer Affairs: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/
All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agencies will be closed. All driver licenses, non-driver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months. Most renewals, replacements, changes of address, and other transactions can be processed online at www.NJMVC.gov. If your REAL ID Appointment was cancelled due to Agency closure from March 16, 2020 through March 29, 2020, keep your cancellation email. When MVC re-opens, you can bring the email to your appointment agency anytime within 30 days and get a REAL ID without an appointment.
Chief Justice Rabner announced that municipal court sessions in New Jersey will be suspended for two weeks to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. More information about the closures may be found online at njcourts.gov.
The NJ Department of Agriculture has a list of Food Banks that serve each New Jersey County: https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/pdf/EFO%20%20Listing.pdf
IRS has extended tax deadlines from April 15 to July 15.
We are in the midst of the 2020 Census. Our current public health emergency is a reminder of the importance of having an accurate Census count. Even if you received an invitation by mail, or even if you have not, you can still complete the Census online at my2020Census.gov. It’s simple and only takes 10 minutes to complete.
NJ TRANSIT is running special weekday service beginning Monday, March 23rd, 2020. The River Line special weekday schedule maybe be found on NJ TRANSIT’s website by clicking here. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 response, customers are strongly encouraged to sign up for My Transit alerts and activate push notifications on the mobile app to receive the latest status of the system.
For loan deferment due to unemployment: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/Relief%20Options/Unemployment.pdf.
For loan deferment due to temporary total disability: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/NJCLASSTempDisabilityForm.pdf.
For loan deferment due to financial hardship: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/Relief%20Options/Financial%20hardship.pdf.
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.”