Food License Fee Structure challenged and revised (Audio included)
12/5/2012 2:38:55 PM
By Mike Vetorino
The Logan County Health District met for the final time in 2012 on Wednesday afternoon. As expected, a significant public turnout greeted board members.
The main topic of interest was the second reading of the proposed Logan County Health District Regulation #40 (food service fee increases). Don Eggenschwiller, owner of The Landing in Russells Point, represented the interests of county restaurant owners. He challenged the need of the increases, especially if food-related illnesses are down. His other concern was about the amount of the increase-approximately 47% from the previous year.
Environmental health director Craig Kauffman clarified that there is no relationship between the number of health inspections and the number of reported food-related illnesses. The Ohio Department of Health established the fee chart based on size of the building and type of establishment. Board chairman Don Spath reminded those in attendance that the proposed rate increases were the first such increases in eleven years.
After listening to Eggenschwiller’s plea, the board altered the existing resolution. The fee percentage increase would be spread out over two years with the 3% vending license increase remaining as originally proposed. The board had to approve the measure as a financial emergency. Financial emergencies don’t require three readings. Three readings would mean that any changes would take place after the law went into effect.
Three county food establishments received attention from the board in November. The Blackhawk Inn in Lakeview had their license suspended. Serving poorly refrigerated and stored food products was the reason. The Indian Head Roadhouse and Black Tie Catering were both cited for repeated documented violations. The businesses have until the end of the year to correct the concerns.
Grant Peper, owner of a vacant, open house with a collapsing roof and faulty floors, has until the next board meeting to prove that “substantial” work has been done to the appearance of the dwelling. The original recommendation of the board was to have the structure removed in 60 days. Bob Netzey, Stokes Township zoning officer, shared that residents in the area have been complaining about the house for 2 ½ years.
Jennifer Wren RN, Home Health Nursing Supervisor, reported that for the second year in a row, her department was recognized by OCS Homecare for their high-quality performance. Several different criteria were used to evaluate their care. Only 25 home health services in Ohio were recognized.
Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott presented an optimistic view of the future. Technology advances was his main reason for optimism. However, his optimism is tempered about the future of health care. Until the government distances itself from regulating health care, patients may not be able to always get the care they deserve.
The board will next meet on January 2 at 1:00 p.m.
Dr. Boyd Hoddinott discusses flu shots and health care.