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MCHD approves price schedule forward of legislative change

MORGANTOWN — Native well being departments throughout West Virginia are scrambling to remain forward of a legislative change that would disrupt their skill to cost for a variety of permits and companies beneath the environmental well being banner.

Senate Invoice 17 will repeal the code sections that govern environmental well being allow charges and charges for service and switch that authority to town or county the place the well being division is positioned.  

For the MCHD, that would be the Monongalia County Fee. 

SB 17 has already handed by way of the Senate and is on second studying earlier than the Home of Delegates. 

If in the end handed, it’s estimated the invoice’s efficient date can be April 1. As soon as in impact, well being departments won’t be allowed to cost charges for environmental well being permits or companies till the newly prescribed course of is accomplished. 

Which is why the Monongalia County Board of Well being held a quick particular assembly Monday morning to start that course of.  

The board voted to approve a brand new environmental well being price schedule.

These charges and the board’s plan of motion will now be posted on the MCHD’s web site, the State Register and on the Monongalia County Courthouse. 

After 30 days, the board of well being will overview any feedback and current the charges to the county fee, which could have one other 30 days to take motion or the matter is void. 

Beneath the present system, native well being departments have been final given legislative permission to extend charges by 25% in 2020. The Monongalia County Board of Well being held off implementing the upper charges till 2021 in deference to the monetary influence of COVID on native companies. 

The legislature accredited a 20% improve in 2023 that was in the end nullified as a result of it conflicted with Chapter 16 of state code. 

Environmental Well being Program Supervisor Todd Powroznik stated the will increase accredited by the board on Monday have been set at 20%. 

“To provide you an instance, a small mom-and-pop restaurant that has 20 seats is presently paying $125 per yr for that allow. That let would go to $150 beneath this price construction. It’s very minimal,” he stated. 

Monongalia County Well being Officer Dr. Lee Smith stated he believes the change will end in a big fluctuation in costs from one county to the subsequent.  

“This appears to be following the development that the legislative physique needs to distance themselves from controversial issues, notably the place charges are concerned, and push that to the county stage,” he stated. “It’s ironic, as a result of when the legislature entertains complaints concerning the public well being system it’s normally for the inconsistency throughout the state, one county versus one other county, however they’re initiating that very factor.” 

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