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Salem Health board adjusts food license fees

December 6, 2012
Morning Journal News

The Salem City Health Board held second reading on new food service license fees for 2013, but not before amending three of the fees and adding a fee for a new licensing category introduced by the state.

Licenses will cost food service operators a lot more money next year based on the cost methodology which looked at time spent on the program and a percentage of the sanitarian's salary.

During a special meeting Wednesday for the second reading, the board agreed to reset the fee for vending operations to $18.75, with $6 of that total going to the state as required. Previously, the board tentatively increased the fee from $18.61 to $18.99 in anticipation of an increase in the consumer price index, but opted to not wait for that and just go with a flat increase to $18.75, he explained.

For mobile facilities, he said he failed to include the state remittance fee of $28, so that had to be added, making the fee $117.73 per event instead of $89.73. The fee was $39.99 this year.

The board also reworked the price for temporary facilities, looking at what Columbiana County and East Liverpool health boards were planning to charge and deciding on a fee of $52. The price had originally been increased for next year from $11.99 (this year's price) to $179.45 per event.

Setty said the number of $179.45 had been based on the 6.5 hours spent by the sanitarian on the inspection for one facility this year, but said the board members indicated that maybe that was too much time to be spent on one operation. They opted for the lower fee of $52 which was more in line with what other departments were setting.

The last amendment to the fee schedule included an addition to the list for an entity known as a mini market.

Setty said that he and sanitarian Bill Hayward attended a meeting last Thursday in Massillon where the state instructed them on changes and a fee set for mini markets, which is a new category under food service. For 2013 and 2014, local health departments will charge $100 for the fee as set by the state, with $90 going to the local health department and $10 to the state. For 2015, the fee will be based on each local health department's cost methodology.

Setty described a mini market as a vending machine without a coin slot or a cafeteria-like setting with prepackaged foods and no cashier or attendant. The setting where a mini market could be located would be a factory or office building. The perishable food, such as wrapped sandwiches, would be in a machine, but the purchaser would pay with a debit card.

At this point, he said he didn't know if the city had anything that fit that description.

Next up will be a public hearing where food service operators can hear all about the proposed fees and make comment. The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 27.

The third and final reading to approve the new fees will be held during the board's next regular meeting set for 10 a.m. Dec. 27, where they'll be able to consider any comments from the public hearing.

Letters are being sent to the roughly 100 food service operators in the city to notify them about the public hearing and provide them with a list of the proposed fees. If a food service operator does not receive a letter, they can call the health department office at 330-332-1618.

When the health department first returned to the city a few years ago, the fees were based on the county's cost methodology. Last year, city health department officials did a cost methodology of their own which prompted them to cut the fees nearly in half. The latest cost methodology warranted an increase to those fees.

The new 2013 fees being proposed for facilities with less than 25,000 square feet (with the 2012 fee in parentheses) are: risk level 1, $106.20 ($52.45); risk level 2, $116.19 ($55.96); risk level 3, $197.26 ($84.42); and risk level 4, $242.79 ($100.40). All fees listed include a $28 portion which has to be submitted to the state.

The fees for facilities over 25,000 feet will be: risk level 1, $141.35 ($64.79); risk level 2, $147.34 ($66.89); risk level 3, $452.88 ($174.14); and risk level 4, $478.44 ($183.12). These fees also include a $28 portion which has to be submitted to the state.

Plan review fees will remain 100 percent of the license fee for a new establishment and 50 percent of the license fee for a remodeling.

The effective date of the proposed fees will be Feb. 1.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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