Health code upgrade disagreement scuttles Long John Silver’s
June 15, 2007
Long John Silver’s restaurant in Carson City closed about two weeks ago without installing an expensive grease disposal required by the Carson City Health Department, according to the city’s division of Health and Human Services.
According to Dustin Boothe, a city environmental health supervisor, the South Carson Street fast food restaurant received letters saying it needed to install a new grease system that could cost about $30,000 and would stop most of the restaurant’s grease from going into the city’s water system.
The owners of the building and the restaurant were apparently in a disagreement over how to pay expenses, Boothe said.
Efforts to reach representatives for Long John Silver’s were unsuccessful.
The restaurant also had minor code problems like grout on the floor and “it was a constant struggle to get them to upgrade,” Boothe said.
In Carson City, the tenant is the one that has to pay to keep the building up to the health, planning, fire and environmental codes required for a business license.
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Boothe said the restaurant had a grease trap, which catches grease and can be emptied by the store employees.
The city, however, wanted the store to put in a grease interceptor, a large vat that is better at catching the grease and is usually pumped out about every three months.
While these kind of improvements are good for the environment, opening a restaurant in Carson City can be expensive, said Ralph Swagler, owner of Local’s Barbecue.
Swagler said he spent about $40,000 on his grease interceptor and about half a million dollars making sure his restaurant was up to code.
In May, City Manager Linda Ritter sent out a letter to members of the Chamber of Commerce saying the city might change part of the business code to ease costs for tenants.
Ritter said owners, instead of the tenants, could have to pay to connect water and sewer services in the future.
But the owner could pass on those costs to the tenant, she said.
“Right now, if a tenant were to relocate to another location that needs additional water or sewer services, the connection he paid for at his original place of business could not be transferred to the new place of business,” Ritter said.
According to the city, a business license can cost $300 to $400 a year for a restaurant like Long John Silver’s.
The assessor’s office lists Mary de Armond and Julie Marie de Armond of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., as owners of the former Long John Silver’s building.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.