County board committee to consider health department fees
DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Health Department wants to create three new user fees that will be charged for services the department currently provides for free.
Shirley Hicks, health department administrator, said she and other department officials have reviewed their services from a fiscal perspective and determined that three new fees should be created to better cover the department's cost of providing services.
The fee proposal will be considered at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday during the county board's finance committee meeting at the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St., Danville.
The committee will consider approving the following fees proposed by the health department. If they are approved, they would still need to be considered by the full county board:
— A $25 fee would be charged for collecting water samples for testing. Currently, the department does it for free. Hicks said the health department tests water from private wells, for example. She said if a health department official goes to the site and gathers the sample, a $25 fee will be charged. If residents gather their own sample and bring them to the health department, the fee will not be charged.
— A $100 fee would be charged for the health department's environmental health staff to review plans for the construction or major renovation of a restaurant. The review allows the health department to make sure the business will meet codes.
— A $25 fee would be charged for a reinspection by the environmental health staff. Hicks said if the department finds a violation during an inspection, for a restaurant, for example, then a return visit is necessary to check on whether the situation has been corrected. For the return visit, the business would be charged the $25 fee.
Hicks said it's not about generating new revenue for the department but covering costs of the services provided.
She said the department feels that the cost should be borne by the people who use the services.
"This isn't going to be a lot of revenue stream for us," Hicks said.
Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon said when the new fees were proposed to the county board's health and education committee recently, at least one board member felt that the new fees should be reviewed again in two years to determine if they are still necessary.
McMahon said that idea may be suggested again at Tuesday's finance committee meeting.