A proposed measure raising the fees for annual permits under the Food Sanitation Ordinance sparked a lengthy debate during an otherwise mundane Madison County Board meeting Wednesday. The ordinance, as presented would have raised the cost of inspections and food service for school districts by about $30, which was a point of contention for some board members. District 24 Representative Hal Patton seconded an amendment to the measure, freezing the current rates for school districts.

The amendment passed on a 13-12 vote. Patton says this amendment is about supporting local school districts.

Patton Comments

Schools will still be required to pay $300, under the ordinance, which passed on a 20-5 vote. Patton says the other types of establishments will see a fee increase ranging between $25-$50. Nearly every establishment or organization serving food is required to have an inspection and pay a fee, depending on how much on-site food handling is required. For example, a full-line restaurant will now pay $375 but a bar or tavern that serves only snack items will pay $150.

In other business, the board also voted to approve an appropriation of $93-thousand from a grant for the Adult Redeploy Illinois Program. That funding will pay for treatment alternatives for non-violent criminals who would be in prison otherwise.

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