Food licenses to go up in Salem next year

SALEM – Food service licensees can expect a slight increase in their fee for next year, but not by much.

The Salem City Health Board held first reading recently on the proposed fees for 2014, with two more readings and a public hearing required before the fees take effect Feb. 1.

“All the fees have gone up a little bit,” city Health Commissioner Richard Setty said.

The proposed increases are based on a cost methodology prepared by Setty based on the amount of time sanitarian William Hayward devotes to the food service program, including inspecting restaurants and food service facilities. The methodology also accounts for any time Setty may work on the program.

According to calculations, Hayward spends 74.9 percent of his time working in food service, with the remainder of his time spent in other areas, such as nuisance complaints and dog bites.

The increases range from 22 cents to $22, with the fee for temporary facilities per event actually decreasing from $52 to $45.10. The price for the category known as mini markets will remain the same with no increase. The city has no mini market facilities. The category was added last year by the state for a vending machine without a coin slot or a cafeteria-like setting with prepackaged foods and no cashier or attendant. The state set the price at $100, with $10 of that going to the state. A portion of each fee for all food service categories goes to the state.

The proposed fees (with current fees in parentheses) for risk classifications of a size less than 25,000 square feet include: level 1, $110.68 ($106.20); level 2, $121.14 ($116.19);

level 3 $206.03 ($197.26); and level 4, $253.70 ($242.79).

The fees for risk classifications for facilities over 25,000 square feet include: level 1, $147.48 ($141.35); level 2, $153.75 ($147.34); level 3, $473.68 ($452.88); level 4, $500.44 ($478.44).

The fees for a vending operation will increase from $18.75 to $18.97. The cost for a mobile facility will increase from $117.73 to $118.19.

A plan review fee for a new establishment will remain 100 percent of the license fee, with the fee 50 percent of the license fee for a remodeling.

In other food service-related action, the board approved a resolution giving Setty the power to immediately suspend the license of a retail food establishment/food service operation in the case of immediate danger to public health and also put procedures in place for the embargoing of food if necessary.

The resolution was approved in preparation for a visit from the Ohio Department of Health to survey the food service operation. Someone from the state will look at the operation and also spend time in the field with Hayward.