>Baker City Herald | Baker County Oregon's News Leader

Baker news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow BakerCityHerald.com

Baker City Herald print edition

view all Baker City Herald print publications »

The Baker City Herald is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Health inspection fees hearing on May 1

Health inspection fees hearing on May 1

By Terri Harber

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

A plan to raise fees paid by business owners for health inspections will return to Baker County commissioners for a public hearing on May 1.

No business owners attended Wednesday’s commission meeting so the hearing has been rescheduled to allow for comments from business owners.

Malheur County’s Environmental Health Office conducts these inspections for all of Baker County. It’s seeking a 5-percent fee increase for inspections of restaurants and mobile food units. 

Also sought is a $5 increase for swimming pool inspections.

The higher prices would become effective July 1. 

“I don’t believe we have enough restaurants to run this from our health department,” said Commission Chairman Fred Warner Jr.

Malheur County has conducted Baker County’s health inspections since 1992. The last increases — 10 percent for all services — were instituted in 2008, said Craig Geddes, director of Malheur’s program.

“It’s not an exorbitant amount,” he said. “You’re getting a heckuva deal. There’s no cost to Baker County itself.”

Restaurant owners, most of whom are charged fees based on the number of seats in their establishments, are the primary focus. 

Most of Baker City’s restaurants have fewer than 50 seats. A restaurant with up to 15 seats would pay $425 and one with up to 50 would be charged $480 under the proposed pricing, Geddes said.

Limited service restaurants, mobile food units and bed-and-breakfasts also would bear these increases.

A portion of the extra money collected would cover cost hikes to the county from the state, Geddes said.

The rest of the new money would offset other expected increases in operating costs, such as for travel to and from points in Baker County.

Malheur County pays employee costs so the Baker activities aren’t wholly funded, Geddes said.

During 2012, the office completed 286 inspections within Baker County.

Each eatery is subject to two unannounced inspections each year — more if there are violations found during the regular inspections. 

Ed Hardt said that business owners might be apprehensive about speaking up in public. Hardt worked in the food industry years ago in another part of the state.

“We’re not out to get ’em,” Geddes explained. “We see things they might not have realized.”

Visit www.malheurco.org/EH to learn more about the inspections and see how local restaurants have fared.

A business must earn a score of 70 percent or better on its regular semi-annual inspection to receive a placard that notes that it has “complied” with state rules.

Assessor’s office

The Baker County Assessor’s Office is seeking a County Assessment Function Funding Assistance grant of almost $964,000.

Called CAFFA for short, it’s an annual grant program to help finance assessment and taxation operations. Funding comes from document recording fees and a portion of the interest from delinquent property taxes, according to the state.

The state started providing these grants more than 20 years ago because the property tax system lacked local funding. Collecting tax money had been becoming increasingly difficult for counties because they couldn’t afford to pay for the functions that accompany property tax collection. 

 The department must submit its request for the money by May 1.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Entered into a contract with Wade Swiger for investigative services during the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1. He works for the District Attorney’s office as well as the county and the  child abuse center. The total amount of the contracts is $35,000. 

• Appointed Keith Long as a Justice of the Peace Pro-tem through Dec. 31. Long primarily conducts marriages.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Features
Outdoors / Go Magazine / Milestones / Living Well
Baker Herald
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Commenting Policy / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Videos / Local Business Links / Community Links / Weather and Road Cams / RSS Feed

Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use