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Salem health commissioner requests per capita increase

SALEM — Salem Health Commissioner Alanna Stainbrook has officially requested an increase to the department’s per capita amount from $5 to $7 for each city resident.

“I know you’re working on a shoestring budget, and with the services the department provides, it’s not an unreasonable request,” said Mayor Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey.

Stainbrook said such an increase would provide the department with an additional $22,000 to $23,000 per year and is necessary for several reasons, noting that capital equipment expense over $1,000 would nearly completely exhaust the department’s annual capital equipment fund. She also noted that the department’s training expenses had gone up significantly as part of receiving national accreditation, as staff are required to attend more trainings and events and the additional travel costs this incurs.

Stainbrook also said that due to the department’s limited funds herself and other staff had been forced to use personal funds for necessary supplies for the department and its events.

Dickey asked Stainbrook to collect all pending expenses and those expenses paid with personal funds by department staff, determine which of these expenses are one-time expenses and which will be recurring expenses for the department, which will be presented to city council.

The board also held a first reading of the proposed 2023 food service fees at its meeting, which are figured using a cost methodology based on time spent by the department on the licensing, inspection and administration of the program. Two more readings and a public hearing will be required for approval of the annual update to the fees.

The proposed fees are (with this year’s fees in parentheses): risk classification less than 25,000 square feet, level one $108.15 ($103.36), level two $121.90 ($118), level three $233.53 ($236.88) and level four $296.22 ($303.64); more than 25,000 square feet, level one $156.54 ($154.89), level two $164.79 ($163.68), level three $585.46 ($611.66) and level four $620.66 ($649.14); vending operation, $14.63 ($13.87);

mobile facility, $112.99 ($103.40); and temporary facility (per event), $37.66 ($60).

The fees don’t include the required state fees, which must be added in. The cost for plan reviews for both new establishments or remodeling remains $275 each.

Other business included: the approval of a Network Attached Storage server for the department’s data backup system, with a total one-time cost of $1499.99 for the installation and setup of the server; the tabling of the proposed update for the department’s performance management plan for 2023 through 2026 until next month’s meeting for further examination and discussion; the tabling of the department’s quality improvement plan for 2023 through 2026 until next meeting to ensure it remains consistent with any potential changes to the performance management plan; and the submission of an ordinance to council approving an increase in the city health commissioner’s salary hours from four to seven at the current hourly rate.

Stainbrook also wanted to remind people that they should contact the city health district, rather than the county health department, for issues in the city, and that if residents were unsure of whether or not a matter fell within the department’s purview, they should contact the city and they would refer them to the county as necessary.

The city health board will meet next at 2 p.m. Oct. 19.

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