MARTINEZ -- Contra Costa County's Environmental Health Division has updated fees for the annual permits it issues to businesses and government agencies that sell food to the public, operate swimming pools, dispose of medical waste and others.
It is the first significant change of Environmental Health fees since 2007, according to a news release from the county's Environmental Health Division.
"Some fees went down, some stayed the same, and some increased," Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood said in a statement. "We diligently assessed the time and work involved to inspect various types of facilities and updated our fee structures to reflect those factors."
A new fee schedule that includes some substantial increases was approved unanimously by the county board of supervisors last week.
Other permit holders likely to be affected include school cafeterias, tattoo parlors, dentists and veterinarians, among others. All were notified of the changes this week, according to the news release.
The changes are supposed to bring the agency's permitting and fee structures in line with state and federal regulatory requirements, comparable fees charged by neighboring jurisdictions and the county's costs for regulating permit holders to ensure public safety, according to the news release.
The new structure takes into account the size and type of facility and federal guidelines that increase the number of annual inspections for some food retailers, particularly those with complicated food preparation procedures or those that serve perishable foods, for example sushi restaurants, according to the news release.
This year the county will start charging public schools, city recreation programs, and other public agencies and programs the same permit fees it charges private businesses, according to the news release.
Environmental Health Division programs are funded by permit fees and are supposed to reflect the actual cost of services according to state law.
Complete schedules of Environmental Health Division permit fees for different types of businesses are available at http://cchealth.org/eh.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner.