Health Board OKs Inspection Fee Increase
MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County is hiking some of its inspection fees charged by environmental services.
During the recent county Board of Health meeting, board members approved increasing fees for campgrounds, temporary residences, mobile home parks, swimming pools, festival food vendors and more.
“We haven’t raised any of them since 2016,” explained Jessica Wuerstle, director of Environmental Health Services. “Staffing is more expensive, gas prices are more expensive, everything is more expensive, obviously.”
Public Health Director Christine Schuyler agreed. “We definitely have increased costs as far as us doing business,” she said.
Wuerstle said they tried to be conservative in their increases and have talked to other counties across the state to see what they charge. They also decided against hiking permanent food service establishment fees because so many were hurt by the pandemic and still haven’t recovered.
She said the increased fees are not meant to be a huge burden.
“I want businesses to thrive, I want businesses to do well, but I want to make sure that I can staff my department,” Wuerstle said.
Some of the increased fees are as follows:
¯ campgrounds and mobile home parks — from $150 a year to $350 for a two year permit.
¯ temporary residence — $350, up $50.
¯ bathing beach — $125, up $25.
¯ swimming pools — $125, up $25.
¯ vending machines — $40 for two years, up $10.
¯ temporary food service establishment — $60 per application, up $10. Cost is $120 if application is received less than seven days before the event. This is up $20.
¯ temporary food service establishment for non-profits is free, unless the application is received less than seven days before the event. In that case, the fee is $50.
In the past, nonprofits that attend a festival or event have not been charged. But Wuerstle said the $50 fee is aimed to encourage nonprofits to submit its application early.
“If they get the application to us more than a week out from the event, that’s fine. But when we get all these last minute. …There’s a lot of scrambling that we need to do,” she said.
The county Board of Health unanimously approved the new fee structure. The new fees will now be sent to the state Health Department and it then becomes part of the county’s sanitary code.