Allegheny County Health Department raising permit fees 25 percent
The Allegheny County Health Department increased fees Wednesday for dozens of permits and services the department oversees.
Eighty-nine fees will increase an average of about 30 percent. The department has not increased its fees since 2001.
Dr. Lee Harrison, the board's chairman, said the increase is fair and amounts to less than the rate of inflation. He said it should have been done sooner.
The changes will affect annual permit fees charged for restaurants, swimming pools, sprinkler heads, recycling centers, landfills and many other housing, plumbing and waste facilities the department tracks. Fees in those areas generated about $3.6 million in 2012 for the county.
The health department and board will consider charging schools $150 for a formerly free food safety inspection, Harrison said.
“It's a little unfair for the people who are paying the bill,” said John Graf, president of the western chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association and owner of The Priory, a banquet center and hotel in the North Side. “We really don't have a choice but to pay these fees.”
Graf did not object to the county raising their fees but did not like the sudden jump. If restaurants suddenly raised their menu prices, customers would balk, he said.
Dr. Kotayya Kondaveeti warned fellow board members to expect outrage from businesses and others affected by the increase in fees after years of stagnation. The board added an amendment to the new fees stating the department will examine fees every three years.
The department is developing a schedule for implementation of the new permit fees, spokesman Guillermo Cole wrote in an email.
As part of the new fees, board members eliminated a cap on fees for facilities with multiple restaurants.
Heinz Field and PNC Park on the North Shore and Consol Energy Center in Uptown and other places with more than one food vendor used to pay a flat fee of $1,386 a year in restaurant fees. These facilities will now be charged a fee for each vendor. The permits will be offered at a discount, Harrison said.
The board asked department staff to study the affect of removing the cap and report back to determine if adjustments are required.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Time to give Pirates owner Nutting his due
- Westmoreland subsidy that helps finance Spirit Airlines draws scrutiny
- Lottery wants volunteer witnesses from Western Pennsylvania
- Penguins’ prospects could hinge on health of Letang, Maataa
- Pittsburgh Police Department to expand use of body cameras for officers
- Nothing normal about Steelers’ standard as backups fill vital roles
- Hempfield woman bounces back from serious car crash
- Pirates notebook: Huntington weighs whether wild-card round should be expanded
- Pirates will play NL wild-card game at PNC Park after shutting out Reds
- Armstrong hockey aiming for return to Consol
- College coaches get glimpse of area talent at West Mifflin baseball showcase