LISBON — The Columbiana County Health District Board held its second reading of next year’s proposed food license fee increase during its regular meeting Thursday.
The potential increases are based on a cost methodology process that takes into account the time invested in the program by health district employees.
The health district inspects food establishments, such as restaurants, food trucks or any commercial operations that serve food, looking for health and safety violations.
A public hearing will be scheduled later this year to allow licensees to comment on the fees.
The proposed new increased fees for food establishments, by risk level and size, each including a portion of $28 that goes to the Ohio Department of Health, showing first the current rate, then the increased rate include: commercial under 25,000 square feet, risk level 1, $251 rises to $314, risk level 2, $281 to $351, risk level 3, $524 to $648, risk level 4, $661 to $814; commercial 25,000 square feet and over, Risk Level 1, $356 to $443, Risk Level 2, $374 to $465, Risk Level 3, $1,293 to $1,584, Risk Level 4, $1,370 to $1,677; mobile, from $125 to $133.
Late fees were listed as 25 percent above the cost of the license.
Fees for temporary events decreased from $67 to $54.68. There is no ODH fee applied for temporary events.
The sales tax, which is also based on the previous year’s Consumer Price Index, increased from $19.88 to $20.78. Each figure includes $6 to be sent to the state.
In announcements, Health Commissioner Wes Vince said the county’s health district received glowing reviews from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), which accredits public health departments, following the district’s annual report and particularly its response after Norfolk on February 3, a Southern train derailed in East Palestine.
“PHAB cited our work as the ‘impressive work’ that was completed in support of the East Palestine train derailment response.” Vince said. “They specifically talk about using our health department plans and ‘using and working with local partnerships, increasing communication and information sharing, equipping staff with support to ensure an effective response’ and our testimony to the Senate.”
Vince said such a compliment is rare from the board of supervisors and a testament to the dedication of health district employees.
“They concluded by saying, ‘Thank you all for your hard work and service to members of the Columbiana County community during an incredibly stressful time.'” Vince said. “Knowing how critical they are of public health departments and their thoroughness, I was quite impressed with PHAB in how we responded. I wanted to share this and commend the staff for a great job.”
The Board also endorsed the Lisbon Agreement on Public Affairs. Vince explained that the agreement is a continuation of an existing agreement with Lisbon to assist the village in monitoring trade links to prevent backflow
“The municipal water system must have backflow devices in commercial properties to prevent contamination of the entire water system. We help them by sending the mail and tracking the backflow testing program.” he explained. “It’s just a continuation. No change in fee. We’ve been doing this for four years and I think this will be our third contract. It’s a very successful program that works well for them.”
Vince added that this is a service the health board will provide for other municipalities in the county.
In the budget changes, the board approved reductions in official certifications for Get Vaccinated ($50,000) and the rabies program ($331), as well as a reduction in rabies program salary appropriations ($12,215.65).
The board also approved several policy updates, including a food resolution with new conditions and new code sections, an embargo resolution and a domestic nuisance policy. A resolution approving the modernization of policy manual updates was tabled to new board member Linda Garwood, who was selected by the District of Columbia Health District Advisory Board to fill the seat left vacant on July 29 by the death of longtime board member Tom Ho in September, he is given ample time to review it. October’s monthly expenses of $56,644.43 were presented and approved, and quotes for employee medical insurance and estimates to renovate the front door to meet ADA regulations were reported as received.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 20 at 4:30 p.m