Township officials have decided to hire a chiropractor to provide wellness benefits for employees and cut down on workmen's compensation claims.
Township Council members voted unanimously at the March 13 council meeting to begin the process of finding a suitable chiropractor. Township Clerk Beverly M. Carle said the contract could be completed by May.
“This is a way to better train our employees and to cut down on workers comp claims,” Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
Township Attorney Lauren Stalger said she did not expect the costs to exceed the bid threshold. That means the township will be able to hire without going through the public bidding process.
But Stagler told the council to discuss and vote on the issue in public in case the costs are more than expected. Public discussion would also let local chiropractors know, in case they want to submit a proposal.
Stalger said the purpose of the chiropractic contract would be two-fold. First, she said the chiropractor could visit with township employees once per year and give a demonstration on the proper way to lift heavy boxes.
Having a contracted chiropractor would give the township a regular professional to deal with worker’s compensation injuries that fall under chiropractic treatment, she said.
Council President James J. Byrnes said that his employer initiated this same type of plan two years ago as a wellness benefit and saw a subsequent drop in workers compensation claims.
Byrnes - who is the facilities director for the Freehold Regional school district - said having a chiropractor under contract allows the employees to have “unlimited chiropractic” visits covered by their insurance company.
Township Chief Financial Officer Fred Ebenau said the township employee insurance policy would work the same way.
Committeeman Thomas Grosse asked if the chiropractor benefit would cost the township money.
“This would come in under wellness," Byrnes said. "It is covered by their insurance at no cost to us.”
In other business, several township vehicles will soon go on sale via an online auction.
“We have a lot of surplus buildings and grounds equipment, a lot of equipment that has not been used in years," Byrnes said "It does not do the municipality any good to have it sit around.”
Among items up for sale are three street sweepers, a dump truck, two buses from the recreation department, a Chevy Impala police car and five golf carts.
The vehicles will be listed on the Web site www.propertyroom.com when it is a time to put them up for sale, a process that is expected to take a “couple of weeks” according to Deputy Clerk Karen Stallings.
The council also introduced an ordinance that will charge residents who appear before the zoning or planning board an additional $25 fee.
Amato explained that when a new member is appointed to one of these boards they must receive state-mandated training that the township pays for. The proposed fee would be put in a dedicated fund to pay for these classes.
Amato said this is a way to shift the cost of classes away from taxpayers to those who use zoning and planning services.
The ordinance will be back before the council for a public hearing and final vote at the March 27 council meeting.