Food service license fees may increase

Auglaize County Health Department officials are considering increases to food service license fees.
Environmental Health Director Curt Anderson distributed charts of Auglaize County’s current fees and those of 22 health department in the state’s northwest district to Auglaize County Health Board members during Tuesday’s meeting to compare and review during the next month as they prepare to hear proposals for fee increases locally.
In all categories, the Auglaize County Health Department is charging significantly lower than what is being charged in other counties and lower than what they were allowed to charge dating back to at least 2008, which is far as the chart went. Local food service license fees also are below the average within the district in all categories.
“We’re below average in terms of what we’re charging,” Anderson said. “We want to discuss possible changes.”
Auglaize County’s charges range from $100 to $700 in categories that include a variety of levels of restaurants and stores and sizes. Mobile, temporary and vending fees in the county range from a little more than $25 to $130.
A state fee of $28 is added to each license and sent to Columbus.
A 50 percent discount on the local portion is given to government agencies and non-profits.
Charges are determined based on the number of hours of work a job entails, as well as benefits factored in to that cost.
The Auglaize County Health Department began spending more time on each license in 2009, after the decision was made to put more into each inspection, but prices have not changed, Anderson said.
Auglaize County Health Commissioner Charlotte Parsons said they plan to bring recommendations for increases to the Auglaize County Health Board meeting in October for board members to consider.
“The maximum we’re allowed is the highest we would go,” Parsons said.
On the low end, those increases would be $80 per license for smaller operations and more than $300 for larger restaurants and businesses.
“We’re not prepared to jump that much,” Parsons said. “We haven’t raised local fees in 10 years.
“We’re getting behind,” she said. “It costs more than what we are charging.”
Current fees apply through the end of February and new fees must go through three readings before they are approved.