PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, Pursuant to NJSA 10:4-6 et seq., the Open Public Meetings Act, that the Lumberton Township Committee has scheduled a Special Meeting for Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at 6:30pm in the Lumberton Township Municipal Complex Court Room, 35 Municipal Drive, Lumberton, NJ 08048. The purpose of this meeting to the extent known at the time of publication is to have the 2nd reading and public hearing of Ordinance 2017-007, “An Ordinance of the Township of Lumberton, in the County of Burlington, New Jersey, Appropriating Certain Monies From the Capital Improvement Fund Account and Providing For Various Capital Improvements and Related Expenses In and For the Township,” and any other business to come before the Township Committee. Formal action is expected to take place during this meeting on any of the items on the agenda.
ORDINANCE NO. 2017-007
AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF LUMBERTON, IN THE COUNTY OF BURLINGTON, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING CERTAIN MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND ACCOUNT AND PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND RELATED EXPENSES IN AND FOR THE TOWNSHIP
Notice is hereby given that the aforesaid ordinance was introduced and passed upon first reading at a meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton, County of Burlington, State of New Jersey, held May 23, 2017.
It will be further considered for final passage after public hearing thereon, at a meeting of said Township Committee to be held in the Lumberton Township Municipal Building, 35 Municipal Drive, Lumberton, New Jersey, on June 8, 2017, beginning at 6:30PM. During the week prior to, up to and including the date of such meeting, copies of said ordinance will be made available at the Clerk’s Office in said Municipal Building to members of the general public who shall request the same.
Click here to view the document: O-2017-007 Capital Ordinance
The Following Is An Update Letter From Mayor Earlen & The Township Committee Regarding The Mt. Holly MUA
Friends and Neighbors,
Earlier this year, I wrote to you on behalf of the Township Committee in response to the many complaints we received from Lumberton residents regarding the 40% increases in the Mount Holly Municipal Utilities Authority’s (MUA) sewer bills over the past three years. At that time, we pledged to work to address the unfair billing rates charged by the MUA and the absence of any Lumberton representation on the MUA board. We appreciate the overwhelming support you have expressed for our efforts to fight for what is fair for Lumberton residents. I am writing to give an update on these efforts.
As you may recall, the Township Committee has raised three issues with the MUA, beginning with the decision to increase Lumberton’s residential and commercial sewer rates by more than 40% since 2013. Second, Lumberton residents do not share the same “host town” benefits that Mount Holly residents enjoy, even though the MUA’s sewer processing facility is physically constructed in Lumberton Township. Mount Holly residents enjoy sewer rate and connection fee discounts of 25% below the rates paid by Lumberton residents. Third, although Lumberton is the largest town that the MUA serves, our township has never been represented on the MUA Board and therefore, we believe that our concerns are not being appropriately or adequately represented. The MUA Board is currently comprised of individuals appointed by the Mount Holly Township Council only, including several Mount Holly Council members. As such, it is little surprise that Mount Holly residents enjoy such generous discounts at the expense of Lumberton taxpayers. Lumberton Township has been fighting to receive the same “host town” sewer rate reduction as Mount Holly residents, along with two seats on the MUA Board so that Lumberton’s rights are properly represented.
Sadly, we have had to resort to hiring a special counsel and filing numerous Open Public Records Act requests in order to gain answers to the concerns raised by our residents. The documents reveal that Mount Holly Township consistently uses the Mount Holly MUA to fund the municipal budget. That means the exorbitant fees paid by Lumberton residents are being used to fund Mount Holly Township. Over the last several months, we have also learned the following about the MUA.
- In addition to charging Mount Holly residents and businesses lower rates, the Mount Holly MUA Board makes a yearly payment of $365,150 to the Township of Mount Holly as a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT). In fact, in 2013, two months after the MUA voted to raise Lumberton’s rates, the Board passed Resolution 2013-67, which amended its budget to increase that PILOT amount from $240,150 to the current $365,150.00. When asked how the MUA will fund this increase, the Deputy Director of Finance stated (as recorded in the minutes of August 8, 2013), “the recent rate increase will cover the additional appropriations.” To put this in perspective, the Mount Holly Town Council appoints its own members to the Mount Holly MUA, who in turn send hundreds of thousands of Lumberton ratepayers’ dollars back to the Mount Holly Council for their budget. This is just wrong and unjust to the hard working residents of Lumberton.
- In what we believe to be a hollow attempt to satisfy one of our complaints, the Mount Holly Township Council, without any consultation with the Lumberton Township Committee, appointed one Lumberton resident to the MUA Board. It is our opinion that this is a callous act to give the appearance of openness and cooperation when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. This new Board member has not contacted any member of our Township Committee, nor Township administration to discuss your complaints or what is right and just for Lumberton’s ratepayers.
- Now, to our amazement and disgust, this week the Mount Holly MUA notified Lumberton Township that it is increasing sewer connection fees AGAIN. Already amongst the highest in the Burlington County, this additional increase in connection fees presents an even greater barrier to growth for Lumberton businesses and developers, putting Lumberton at a disadvantage compared to its Mount Holly neighbors.
We began this effort to ensure that Lumberton’s residents and businesses receive fair treatment and relief in their billing and connection fees, and open and honest representation on the MUA Board. Now, we also believe that the MUA owes Lumberton ratepayers an explanation as to why it cannot be afforded the same benefits that Mount Holly residents enjoy and why the Mount Holly MUA is balancing the Mount Holly Township budget on the backs of Lumberton residents.
Why is it that the Mount Holly MUA’s rates are so much higher than others in the region? What makes it so much more expensive to process sewage in Mount Holly than elsewhere in Burlington County? Please be assured that the Lumberton Township Committee intends to find out why and will continue to fight for Lumberton’s residents and businesses. We ask for your continued support in this cause as we work to keep pressure on the members of the MUA Board to do what’s right. To voice your concerns, contact the Mount Holly MUA at email@example.com or by calling 609-267-0015.
Sean W. Earlen
Lumberton Township Offices will be closed on May 29, 2017 in Observance of Memorial Day. Offices will reopen at 8am on May 30, 2017.
2017 RV Youth Field Hockey League Registration is Now Open!
Please see the below Registration Form
For Information Contact:
Todd J. Mitzelman
Director, Westampton Recreation
710 Rancocas Road.
Westampton, NJ 08060
Office – 609-267-1891 Ext. 8
Lumberton Township will be holding it’s Annual Memorial Day Parade and Services on May 29, 2017. The Parade will begin at 1pm at the intersection of Bella Road and Main Street and continue down Main Street to the Village Green Park. Following the Parade a Memorial Service will be held at the Veterans Memorial at Village Green, which will feature an Honor Guard, Wreath-laying and musical performances by the Rancocas Valley Regional High School Marching band and the Liberty Band.
Lumberton Township Opens
New Bryan Freeman Park Tennis Courts
Lumberton, NJ – May 19, 2017 – The Lumberton Township Committee opened its newly refurbished Tennis Court located at Bryan Freeman Park in the Bobby’s Run section of the Township, this Friday completing its yearlong project to renovate recreational areas in this part of town. This project consisted of replacing both playgrounds and tennis courts located at Bryan Freeman Park, as well as the playground at Turnbridge Drive.
This overall project is a continuation of the Township Committee’s commitment to refurbishing the Public Parks and Playgrounds throughout the Town, with this past year focusing on the Bobby’s Run section of town. All of these projects were funded in part by grants from the Burlington County Municipal Park Development Program. Even though this grant program excludes tennis courts, the Township was able to refurbish them by using our municipal funds, which were set aside to refurbish the second playground at Bryan Freeman Park. The second playground was covered by grant savings due to the installation of the township’s canoe launch coming in well under budget.
Mayor Sean Earlen stated, “the grand reopening of our tennis courts located at Bryan Freeman Park rounds out the recreational projects we initiated during the 2016 capital budget; my colleagues and I are proud to have these playgrounds as well as the tennis courts now open for our residents to enjoy.” “Since taking office as a Member of the Township Committee back in 2012, I have been committed to improving Lumberton’s recreational activities and I am proud to say that during that time we have spent well over a million dollars to accomplish that goal, with over $875,000 of those funds coming from grants provided by the Burlington County’s Municipal Park Development Program,” added Mayor Earlen. “It is no wonder why Lumberton Township has been ranked 17th in the top 25 Townships in South Jersey by South Jersey Magazine; it is because we take pride in our town.”
To date, Lumberton Township with the support of the Burlington County Freeholders have constructed a brand new playground, Community Garden and Dog Park at the Village Green, created a Canoe Launch on the Rancocas Creek, added sports fields at our Municipal Building Complex and refurbished the Turnbridge Park and Bryan Freeman Park’s Playgrounds and tennis court.
Bryan Freeman Park will be open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week to be enjoyed by Township Residents.
Please take notice that the Burlington County Board of Elections has approved the relocation of Districts 1, 6 and 9 Election Polling Places beginning on the June 6th Primary Election. The sample ballots will have the polling places listed as follows:
District 1 previously at EMS Building is moved to
Municipal Building Court Room
35 Municipal Drive
District 6 previously at Ashbrook School is moved to
Municipal Building Community Room
35 Municipal Drive
District 9 previously at Ashbrook School is moved to
Municipal Building Community Room
35 Municipal Drive
Lumberton Township Introduces 2017 Budget with a 3% Tax Cut
Once Adopted this Budget will Equate to Roughly a $30 Saving
to the Average Assessed Home of $292,917.00
March 15, 2017 – Lumberton Township – Tuesday evening, the Lumberton Township Committee introduced its 2017 Municipal Budget, which lowers the Local Tax Levy by 3% or roughly 1 penny for every $100 of assessed value. This represents a local tax rate decrease from last year’s 0.421 to this year’s 0.411. The amount to be raised in taxes through this budget equates to an overall reduction of $169,950, taking the total tax levy from $5,860,229.02 in 2016 to $5,690,279.02 for 2017. In all, the entire budget appropriations for the 2017 Budget is $8,787,936, which is $128,561 less than the $8,917,497 appropriated in the last year’s 2016 Adopted Budget.
“We are extremely proud to introduce this year’s budget, which reduces the burden on our local taxpayers while maintaining all of our core Township Services, including staffing our Police Department at its increased level of 20 Sworn Officers,” stated Mayor Sean Earlen. “I would like to thank Committeeman Mansdoerfer, our Liaison to the Finance Department, our Township Administrator Brandon Umba and the rest of the Township Staff, who worked tirelessly to implement this responsible municipal budget”, added Mayor Earlen.
One main element impacting the 2017 Budget and future budgets is the total annual debt payment, which decreased from $1,197,575 to $702,117, allowing the Township to close on a capital bond for the cost of its new Public Safety Building, without impacting local taxes. Using this sizeable gap in debt payments, the Township was able to structure its new capital bond so that annual payments remained within that gap, eliminating any tax impact to the Township’s taxpayers. Additionally, due to the Township’s recent credit rating increase from Standard and Poors, Lumberton taxpayers realized an additional savings of $479,569 in interest payments over the life of the 25 year bond that was acquired to cover the cost of the new Public Safety Building. This savings would not have been achieved without the credit rating increase from AA- to AA.
“Since the economic downturn, our Township has made strides to stabilize our Municipal Budget to ensure minimal impact on our residents, while maintaining all core municipal services at levels expected by our taxpayers, all while our ratable base decreased,” stated Committeeman Mike Mansdoerfer, liaison to the Township’s Finance Department. “In the past 10 years, Lumberton’s ratable base has dropped by over $56 million, the lion share or roughly $47 million of that loss has come in the last 5 years, causing significant impact to our municipal budgets during that time. However, even with that ratable loss, the Township has been able to consistently decrease our total annual budget to the tune of $1,197,204 in the last 10 years and this year’s budget culminates all of our past efforts by providing tax relief to our residents,” explained Committeeman Mansdoerfer.
“The fact that we have been able to provide our residents with a tax cut and fund the construction of a new Public Safety Building is a true testament to hard work of our Township Committee and staff. Though it is always hard to predict future budgets, we are hopeful with our ratables stabilizing or even increasing as we suspect, that our future budgets will remain flat over the next several years,” concluded Mayor Earlen.
Lumberton Township has set its Budget Adoption hearing for 7:30pm on Tuesday evening April 25, 2017 at the Lumberton Municipal Building, 35 Municipal Drive, Lumberton, NJ 08048. Residents are encouraged to attend.
Committeewoman Januseski, joined Kristi Howell, President/CEO of the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce in welcoming Mt. Holly Pharmacy to Lumberton Township.
Lumberton Township Committee & Township Schools Partner To Host Students For “Be A Municipal Official For A Day” Program
March 30, 2017 – Lumberton Township – At the March 28, 2017 Lumberton Township Committee Meeting, students from the Young Republic, the student government for the Lumberton Middle School, took the helm of Township Government as part of the “Be a Municipal Official for a Day” program. Last year, students from the Lumberton Middle School formed the Young Republic, a democratically elected student government, with elected officials from two parties, the Blue Party and the Gold Party. These elected officials have adopted a constitution and Bill of Rights for their fellow students, in addition to having the responsibility of representing their classmates before School District’s Administration and the Board of Education. During Tuesday Night’s Township Meeting each student elected official was paired with one of the Township’s Elected or Appointed Officials, to conduct an actual Township Committee Meeting.
“Since being appointed Mayor back in the beginning of 2016, Township and School Officials have conducted quarterly meetings to discuss various matters between our two organizations and one idea was to engage our local students on the role of the local government in their community,” stated Mayor Sean Earlen. “Tonight we welcomed these students to the Township Municipal Building, took them on a tour of our departments and had them shadow our local officials through our regular township meeting, allowing them to truly take part in conducting the business of Township Government with our Township Committee Members affirming each of their actions,” added Mayor Earlen.
Prior to the start of the Township Meeting at 7:30pm, each student was given the opportunity to sit down with the Elected or Appointed Township Official they would be shadowing, to discuss their role in the meeting and how each would contribute to enacting the items on that evening’s agenda. Students that evening took part in adopting a capital ordinance to assist both the Police and Public Work’s Department with purchasing equipment, they approved resolutions to cancel unused capital fund balances, to correct an employee’s salary, to issue a tax refund to a disabled Veteran, to clean up Township paperwork issues and paid the Township’s bills.
“We hope that tonight was a great learning experience for our local students and that most importantly they had fun running their Town’s government for a day,” concluded Mayor Earlen.
Here are the Students’ Names and the Positions they held:
|Mayor||Jacen Januseski||Sean Earlen|
|Deputy Mayor||Kimberly Kraska||Jim Conway|
|Committee Member 1||Rohan Patel||Lewis Jackson|
|Committee Member 2||Griffin Gaughan||Kristin Januseski|
|Committee Member 3||Hailey Timmons||Mike Mansdoerfer|
|Twp. Administrator||Vivian Bui||Brandon Umba|
|Chief Financial Officer||Devin Fox||Robin Sarlo|
|Twp. Clerk||Prattasha Masheat||Debra Shaw-
|Twp. Solicitor||Carolina DeJoseph||George Morris of
|Police Chief||Joshua Pechin||Chief Anthony DiLoreto|
|Police Lt. Office
|Ian Phillips||Lt. Ed Begolly|
|Police Lt. Patrol||James Humphreys||Lt. Nicholas Peditto|
|EMS Chief||Mason Conger||Chief Jamie Wood|