Janesville65°

Need for repeat health inspections down in 2007-08

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ANN MARIE AMES
August 5, 2008
— The Rock County Health Department charges businesses extra if they fail inspection and require re-inspection, but the money can’t be depended on at budget time, sanitarian Roger Eychaner said.

From July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, the county issued $4,425 in re-inspection fees, Eychaner said. That was the first year the county switched from issuing citations to collecting re-inspection fees.


Using fees instead of citations keeps the money in the health department budget rather than the county’s general fund, he said.


In the 2007-08 licensing year, the county issued $975 in re-inspection fees, he said.


That shows that Rock County restaurant, hotel and convenience store owners learned from their expensive mistakes, Eychaner said.


“This goes to show basically this is very soft money,” he said. “It’s totally dependant on whether they comply or not. Now, they know the end results, you can see there’s been a big difference.”


The county did nine re-inspections in 2007.


If a business fails an inspection, the county automatically charges $225 to come back in 30 to 90 days to make sure things have improved, Eychaner said.


If a business passes but has one critical violation, the county will give the business time to correct the problem. They don’t charge when they come back and check that the problem’s been fixed, Eychaner said.


“If it’s fixed, they’re done,” Eychaner said.


If it hasn’t been fixed, the county will charge $75 for a third trip to check the problem, he said.


Common critical violations are broken dishwashers or refrigerators or food not kept at the correct temperature, said Eychaner, who has been an inspector with Rock County for 20 years.


The charges help cover the costs of repeat trips by inspectors, Eychaner said.


In 2006, Rock County businesses averaged 84.5 points out of 100 on their inspections. In 2007 and so far this year, the average has crept up to 85.4 points.



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