Carson may raise health inspection fees

Some businesses would have to pay more than $200 more for CarsonCity health inspections if a plan to raise fees is approved.

Restaurants, hotels, schools, daycare centers and beauty and tattoo shops would all have to pay more. Daycare centers and large restaurants that have had to pay nothing for a health review would have to pay $200 or more under the plan.

Fee increases for reviews of pools, wells and septic systems at businesses would range from $5 to more than $100.

All new and remodeled city businesses must be inspected.

Dustin Booth, city environmental health supervisor, said "maybe it's not the best time" to raise fees for businesses, but the health department needs the money to cover more of the cost of inspections.

Fees haven't risen in 20 years, he said, but the department needs the money soon for "the sustainability of the program."

The department has two health inspectors, but it would like to have three. Supervisors told the department in October to keep the position open to help a shortfall in the budget. They also turned down a request by the department to fill the position earlier this year.

The department will hold public meetings over the next two weeks to go over the fees, but the plan might not go farther than that.

City Manager Larry Werner said he's not sure if the department needs the new fees, and he also doesn't know if he will ask the supervisors to approve the plan.

But if the new fees are approved, they can be raised incrementally after that, rather than all at once, Boothe said. Fees aren't meant to fund the inspections entirely, but more money will be needed sometime, he said.

Businesses have a mixed opinion of the new fees, said Ronni Hannaman, director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Some say inspections are important to keep the city safe and that the department needs the money, where others are skeptical.

Several businesses did support filling the open inspector position and criticized supervisors for turning it down.

All city departments had to cut back to prevent layoffs, supervisors who opposed the hire said, and the health department can wait a few months until the city has more money for staff.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.

If you go

WHAT: Meeting on proposed health inspection fee increases

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday; 3:30 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Ormsby Room of the Carson City Sheriff's Office, 885 E. Musser St.


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