UPDATE on Township Operations during COVID-19 Pandemic; Effective May 18, 2020
To Our Residents: As we continue to work together to Flatten the Curve and navigate this crisis, we appreciate everyone’s diligence in following state guidelines and maintaining social distancing. Understanding how difficult times have become, we can nonetheless persevere and beat this together and restore our town as quickly as possible.
Lumberton Township Officials and Public Safety Leaders continue to evaluate and plan for a “road to recovery” and, in correlation with the Governor’s Office and Burlington County officials, are taking the following steps to modify our Emergency Action Plan:
All Lumberton Township Emergency Services, which includes Police, Fire and EMS Services, remain fully operational and ready to serve our community. Please help keep our responders safe by staying home unless absolutely necessary and following all CDC and NJDOH safety and health guidelines.
For non-emergency Police matters, the public is encouraged to contact the Police Department by their non-emergency numbers at 609-267-8300. Residents needing non-emergency assistance may also use the Police Department Call Box located outside the Police Department Lobby.
TOWNSHIP MUNICIPAL BUILDING SERVICES
Effective Monday, May 18th, the Lumberton Municipal Building will re-open to the public. The Administrative Lobby and Police Department/Court Lobby will be open for service; the Tax Collection window will remain closed at this time. Hours of Operations will be Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. As a service to our Senior Residents and those with higher risk to COVID-19 due to existing medical conditions, the lobbies will open from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Monday – Friday, for these persons only.
Safety guidelines are place to minimize risk during the ongoing pandemic; all visitors must be wearing face masks and practice strict social distancing measures to gain entry. Signage will be posted with this guidance, and floor spots will mark waiting points for all persons entering. The Administrative Lobby will be restricted to 4 persons at a time; the Police/Court lobby will allow 10 persons maximum at a time. All others must remain outside until spots open up. Visitor areas and high-touch surfaces will be cleaned daily following CDC guidelines so as to minimize risk to visitors.
Payments and documents for the township may still be dropped in the locked box located outside the Administrative Wing of the Municipal Building. Tax Payments may be dropped off at the Tax Drive-up Window drop box. Payments can also be made by using our online system https://wipp.edmundsassoc.com/Wipp/?wippid=0317 or by mail to the Tax Collector’s Office, 35 Municipal Drive Lumberton NJ 08048. Our drive-up Tax Window remains closed to the public. The Fire Bureau will continue to conduct inspections; however, these will be done by appointment only.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
The Department of Public Works continues to collect trash as normally scheduled. Bulk Trash is still the first full week of the month and brush pickup is the third full week of the month. The Public Works Yard remains closed to residents Sunday through Friday.
Our DPW Staff will begin to hold normal Saturday hours for the DPW Yard on Saturday, May 16, 2020 and May 30, 2020 from 7:30am to 1:30pm. Saturday drop offs will resume on its normal schedule starting in June (1st and 3rd Saturdays of the Month, with the exception being July which is the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of the month). Staff will be limiting access to the yard and requiring that residents maintain social distancing and are wearing face coverings while in the yard. Proof of residency is also required.
Residents needing bulk pickup outside the first full week and due to the yard being closed may call the Township Building at 609-267-3217 (only during normal business hours, 8am to 4pm on Monday to Friday) and we will make every effort to schedule a pick up depending on working circumstances at that time. We apologize for the inconvenience.
CLOSURE OF PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
All Lumberton Township playgrounds, and basketball courts remain closed to public use in keeping with Executive Orders #104 & #118 until further notice. The Township’s walking trails and paths however remain open to individuals to utilize at their pleasure. All persons are strongly encouraged to keep with social distancing practices. However, in an effort to discourage access to our playgrounds and ball courts and prevent the congregation of individuals, parking is prohibited along with any use of these facilities at these locations.
Effective May 2, 2020 at sunrise, the Canoe Launch on Chestnut Avenue will reopen to the public for public boating. Social distancing rules are in effect while utilizing the canoe launch. Effective May 9, 2020 at sunrise, the Public tennis courts at Bryan Freeman Park will be open for normal use by Lumberton residents. Courts are restricted to 4 players maximum at a time per court, and all social distancing rules must be followed. The parking lot will also be reopened for use but will be monitored as group activities are still not allowed. Additionally, effective May 9, 2020, the Dog Park at the Village Green will also be open for unrestricted use.
As previously stated, Lumberton Township playgrounds and basketball courts remain closed to public use in keeping with Executive Orders #104 & #118 until further notice. A summary of public recreational areas and their status follows:
|Public Park walking paths, biking paths and trails||OPEN|
|Village Green Dog Park||OPEN|
|Tennis Courts, Bryan Freeman Park||OPEN|
|Municipal Canoe Launch, Chestnut St||OPEN|
|Basketball Courts (Village Green, Bryan Freeman, Stonebrook Dr., Private Communities)||CLOSED|
|Park Playgrounds (Public/Private)||CLOSED|
TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE MEETING
The regularly Township Committee meetings continue as scheduled, the next being this Thursday, May 21st at 7:30 PM. In keeping with state social distancing directives, local attendance will be limited to 10 persons including five Township officials (Mayor, Administrator, Township Clerk, Township Solicitor and Deputy Township Clerk). The remaining five people that wish to attend, with priority given to Township residents, will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Members of the public wishing to make a public comment in lieu of attendance may do so electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your comments by 4:00 p.m. on May 21, 2020. The meeting will also be streamcast live using Zoom Conferencing. Members of the public may connect to this stream for video and audio coverage by going to https://zoom.us/j/8159797571 with their web browser (instructions and how to your this app click this link). They may also dial in for audio off your mobile phone by calling 1-929-205-6099 and pressing 8159797571# to join.
TOWNSHIP CONSTRUCTION OFFICE
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has sent out guidelines to all municipal construction code officials in regards to inspections during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The guidelines from DCA remain the procedure for inspections in Lumberton Twp. These guidelines supersede and make void any previous guidelines released by the Township, and are as follows:
- All required inspections for new construction and any work on the exterior or outside of any occupied building should be performed as usual.
- Rough inspections for new additions should be performed, provided no entry to the occupied home or building is required or that appropriate social distancing is in effect.
- Contractors may report construction activity, such as rough inspections, in existing occupied buildings with photos or other documentation for the time being.
- Items listed as Minor Work at NJAC 5:23-2.17A require only a final inspection. This includes inspections of replacement items, such as a residential heater, air conditioner and/or water heaters. These inspections may be deferred to a later date. The contractor should report construction activity as indicated in item 3 above.
The State’s official notification is available by clicking the following link: DCA Memo on Construction Department Operations
The Lumberton Township Construction Office maintains limited hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.
Municipal Court Sessions are still suspended due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Individuals scheduled to appear before our Municipal Court to contest a traffic or parking ticket, or minor local ordinance violation will receive notice of a new court date. Our Municipal court employees will continue to handle certain matters, such as applications for temporary restraining orders, hearings where a defendant has been detained, and matters that implicate public safety. Filings and payments will continue to be accepted by dropping them off in the drop box located outside the Administrative Wing of the Municipal Building. Defendants, Attorneys and Residents may contact the Municipal Court Office by phone, 609-267-3389. Defendants also may continue to make payments through the Municipal Court online payment system at NJMCDirect.com. As a reminder of the notice above, the Lumberton Township Municipal Building will be closed on Mondays and Fridays until further notice, which includes the Municipal Court Offices. All persons needing to speak with Lumberton Township Municipal Court employees should contact the office on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between the hours of 8am and 4pm.
All Lumberton Schools as well as RVRHS, BCIT and BCSSD remain closed through the remainder of the 2019-2020 School Year in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order and the Burlington County Health Department directives. For up to date information regarding the school district, parents and guardians are highly encouraged to maintain open lines communications by using the LTSD Hub located online at https://www.lumberton.k12.nj.us/covid-19/, using the REMIND smartphone app (https://www.lumberton.k12.nj.us/2019-2020-communications-via-remind/), and checking for emails distributed via the District’s listserv.