Food service fee hikes considered to counter cost deficits

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Logan County District Board of Health members discussed at their Wednesday afternoon meeting across-the-board fee increases for the food service program that will be considered in the new year to help offset current deficit costs that program is incurring.

New Environmental Health Director Tim Smith, who replaced Craig Kauffman upon his retirement last month, said cost methodology was implored to determine all of the costs associated with the various components and inspections for the food service program. Utilizing those figures compared to the fees currently charged by the health department for various levels of food service facilities, he presented a report with the following findings:

• For risk-classified facilities, which includes both commercial and non-commercial food licenses and for facilities less than 25,000 square feet and also greater than 25,000 square feet, that portion of the program was running a deficit of $10,134.69 in 2016.

• For mobile food licenses, that segment of the food service program incurred a deficit of $2,709.75 last year.

• Also in 2016, the vending facilities portion showed a deficit of $1,363,909, and the temporary facility licenses had a deficit of $271.20.

To rectify these deficit issues, Smith has proposed the fee increases for each of the categories that would involve charging the amount calculated in the cost methodology as the health district’s new fee.

For example, for commercial licenses for level l, less than 25,000 square feet, the new local fee would be a total of $161, plus the $28 required state fee, an increase from the current local charge of $126 (and $154 total when including state fee). Cost methodology for this category showed expenses of $161.29 are incurred by the health district per license holder.

In addition, some of the other proposed new food service fees are: mobile food license, local fee increase from $60 to $98; and local vending fee from $18.55 to $18.94; and temporary food license from $25 to $37.

Smith also provided the board with a comparison of the LCHD’s current fees to fees charged for the same food license services by neighboring counties, including Union, Shelby and Auglaize counties, and noted that the proposed fee increases would bring the agency’s fees in line with the other counties.

The board is scheduled to conduct a hearing regarding the food service fee increases at their next regular meeting, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3. Notices will be mailed to all current food license holders in the county to invite them to attend the hearing.

Read complete story in Thursday's Examiner
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