Lakewood Briefs

Freeholders Launch Census Initiative

As the 2020 census draws near, Ocean County is taking steps to see that the area is fully represented in the nation’s tally of its citizens.

“Getting the word out is imperative to a successful Census count in 2020,” Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who is leading the County’s 2020 Census Count efforts. said. “The more outreach we can do, the more groups we can inform, the better our outcome will be.”

The Board of Chosen Freeholders formed a Complete Count Committee in March and this week unveiled public efforts to maximize response and participation. Held at the Ocean County Library’s central branch in Toms River, the event featured presentations from the US Census Bureau and the State Complete Count Commission.

The Complete Count Committee is made up of representatives from Ocean County Government Departments, municipalities, non-profits and service organizations, community leaders, faith-based groups, schools, businesses, media outlets and others.

This is the first census that will be conducted mostly by on-line filings.

Census 2020 will be taking place April 1, 2020 which is considered National Census Day. The Census has taken place every 10 years since 1790, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

In addition to its importance as a basis for data of the country’s residents, it is the chief basis on upon which congressional representation and federal aid are based.

Census results determine how more than $22.7 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to New Jersey and its municipalities. In each of the past two censuses the state has lost one seat in the House of Representatives.

In the 2010 census 78 percent of the county was counted.

“Ocean County was recognized by the Census Bureau in a thank you ceremony as going above and beyond,” Freeholder Vicari said. “In 2020, I predict we will do even better.”

County Petitions for Extension of Water Systems

Ocean County has petitioned state authorities to permit expansion of Lakewood and Jackson’s water and sewer systems to keep up with increasing development.

According to report by the Shore News Network the County Board of Chosen Freeholders sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection saying that Lakewood Township would submit a plan for any future expansion.

It also details several steps that both Lakewood and Jackson would take in order to allow for water services to progress together with higher need levels. The letter also gives details about several areas where sewage systems must be expanded to facilitate changes in residential and commercial development.

Assemblyman Dancer Introduces Bills to Aid Youth with Disabilities

Assemblyman Ron Dancer had introduced two bills to increase support for youth with developmental disabilities by establishing new clinical training and expanding a state agency.

“More can be done to help families and youth with developmental disabilities,” said Assemblyman Dancer (R-Ocean). “From their healthcare to community-based services, we need to meet their needs and evolve with best practices.”

One bill establishes special needs training protocols for health care professionals who encounter youth experiencing psychiatric or behavioral health crises. The training would help staff in children’s crisis intervention centers treat, identify, evaluate and communicate with youth who have developmental disabilities.

The second piece of legislation, expands the membership and responsibilities of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The bill would add the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families and the state ombudsman for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families to the council. It also directs them to study statewide community-based systems, service gaps, the shortage of treatment beds for children and youth with developmental disabilities, and the implementation of the New Jersey Autism State Plan Amendment, which expands Medicaid coverage for autism treatments. An annual report would be submitted to the departments of children and families, health, and human services.

Fire Department Buys New Truck

The Lakewood Fire Department has purchased a new ladder truck.

According to a report by Jersey Shore Online, it is the first time the district has bought a new such truck in ten years. Mike D”Elia, the town’s fire chief who is also a long time member of the town’s governing committee, said that the new vehicle is the most up to date model available.

The truck was only released this year and its ladder reaches higher than any other the department has.