Hearing set on health license fee hikes

SALEM — The city health district will hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. today regarding proposed increases to licensing fees for public swimming pool and tattoo establishment programs.

City Health Commission Lynle Hayes acknowledged the cost increases are hefty, noting the last time a cost methodology was completed for the environmental health programs was in 2014. The fees are supposed to be based on the time being put into the programs by health department personnel.

She said the department was obtaining maybe half of what the programs were costing.

During the public hearing, the cost methodology for both programs will be explained, along with what the code requires and the intent for recouping the costs for conducting the programs.

The city health board has already had two readings on the fees and is expected to hold the third reading for approval of the fee increases at the board meeting set for 2 p.m. today. Both the hearing and the meeting will take place at the health department offices in the KSU City Center.

Hayes noted that the fee schedule does not include the state fee public pools must pay. There is no state fee for tattoo establishments.

The proposed new fees for public swimming pools are (with the current fee in parentheses): individual public swimming pool $205 ($132); individual spa $205 ($132); individual special use pool $205 ($132); additional pools, spas, special use pools $100 ($75); and govrnment/school-operated pools, spas and special use pools $205 ($132).

The proposed new fees for tattoo establishments are (with the current fee in parentheses): tattooing services $150 ($68); body piercing services $150 ($68); combined body art services $300 ($136); time-limited approval for a specific event $80 ($40); apprentice registration $40 ($25); and artist registration $40 ($25).

If approved, the new fees will go into effect April 1.

Besides the environmental service fees for pools and tattoos, the agenda for the board meeting includes discussion of an interpreter and translation policy, a communication plan and a surge capacity and emergency event policy, along with reports from Hayes, the environmental services director, the director of community health and the vital statistics registrar.