Salem’s health commissioner wants a per capita increase | News, Sports, Work

SALEM — Salem Health Commissioner Alana Stainbrook has officially requested an increase in the department’s per capita amount from $5 to $7 for each city resident.

“I know you’re on a tight budget and with the services the department provides, it’s not an unreasonable request,” said Mayor Cindy Baronzi Dickey.

Stainbrook said such an increase would provide the department an additional $22,000 to $23,000 per year and is needed for several reasons, noting that capital equipment costs over $1,000 would almost completely deplete the department’s annual capital equipment fund. She also noted that the department’s training costs have increased significantly as part of achieving national accreditation, as staff must attend more trainings and events and the additional travel costs this entails.

Stainbrook also said that due to the department’s limited funds, she and other employees have been forced to use personal funds for necessary supplies for the department and its events.

Dickey asked Stainbrook to gather all upcoming expenses and those expenses paid with personal funds by department staff, determine which of those expenses are one-time expenses and which will be recurring expenses for the department, which will be presented to the city council.

The board also held a first reading of the proposed 2023 food service fees at its meeting, which are calculated using a cost methodology based on the time spent by the Division of Licensing, Inspection and Program Administration. It will take two more readings and a public hearing to approve the annual fee update.

The proposed fees are (with this year’s fees in parentheses): risk classification under 25,000 square feet, first level $108.15 ($103.36), second level $121.90 ($118), third level $233.53 ($236, 88) and fourth level $296.22 ($303.64); more than 25,000 square feet, first level $156.54 ($154.89), second level $164.79 ($163.68), third level $585.46 ($611.66) and fourth level $620.66 ($649.14) ; vending operation, $14.63 ($13.87);

mobile facility, $112.99 ($103.40); and temporary facility (per event), $37.66 ($60).

Fees do not include the required government fees which must be added. Costs for plan reviews for both new establishments and remodeling remain at $275 each.

Other activities include: approval of a network storage server for the department’s data backup system, with a total one-time cost of $1,499.99 to install and set up the server; tabling the proposed update to the department’s 2023 through 2026 performance management plan until next month’s meeting for further consideration and discussion; tabling the department’s 2023 to 2026 quality improvement plan until the next meeting to ensure it remains consistent with any potential changes to the performance management plan; and introducing an ordinance in council approving an increase in the salary of the city’s health commissioner from four to seven at the present hourly rate.

Stainbrook also wanted to remind people that they should contact the city health district, not the county health department, about issues in the city, and that if residents are unsure whether a matter falls under the department’s purview or not, they should to contact a city and they will refer them to the county if necessary.

The City Board of Health will next meet at 2:00pm on October 19th.

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