County to waive health permits for businesses
Chautauqua County health officials have approved a plan to waive fees for businesses for the next two years.
County Environmental Health Director Bill Boria said his department has been awarded funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. “We’ve presented a relief plan for our permitted facilities that really had a hardship in the year 2020 and 2021 including restaurants, swimming pools, temporary food service facilities that would routinely vend at festivals,” he said.
In order to offer some financial assistance, he proposed to use ARPA funds to pay for their permit fees in 2022 and 2023. The businesses would still be inspected as required; the county, however, would not collect payments for the inspections.
Christine Schuyler, public health director and commissioner of Social Services, expressed her support. “This really is one way that we in local government, can try to provide even a small amount of assistance to businesses who really had some financial hardships during the pandemic and utilize those recovery funds in a small but meaningful way,” she said.
According to Boria, his department issues 1,438 permits on a routine basis. Those permits generate around $118,000 worth of revenue annually. “Over a two-year period, we’re looking at close to $240,000 of relief that we’ll be giving these permitted facilities,” he said.
The Board of Health unanimously approved the proposal.
In other business:
¯ Chautauqua County Board of Health member Dr. John R. Tallett also announced that he will be leaving the board effective Dec. 31. Tallett, who is a well-known obstetrics and gynecology specialist in Chautauqua County and retired medical director for Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., has served on the Board of Health for 19 years. Over the years, he has served in the capacity as a board member and for 3 years as Chair of the Board.
¯ Dr. Mark McConnon was welcomed to the Board of Health. He is a retired Westfield area veterinarian. He has helped with rabies clinics and other volunteer work.