In the wake of recent publicity about food safety in local restaurants, the Putnam County Health Officer says restaurants who do not pay their fines will not have their permits reissued to continue operations.
Dr. Robert Heavin told the Putnam County Commissioners on Monday that there are some restaurants who have been cited for issues that have not paid the associated fines. He did not specify which restaurants, or the dollar amounts of the fines.
The health department has followed state guidelines in the restaurant inspection process, Heavin said, and they have tried to be helpful in educating businesses about proper procedures when a violation is found.
But in some cases, fines have been levied. Those who have not paid their fines will not be issued a new permit to operate, he said, and that might cause some concern if a business closes.
"We don't want it to look like we are putting them out of business," Heavin said.
The county sanitarians have been doing a good job with the inspections, he said, and he is also looking at instituting inspections for septic system installations.
Failing and improperly installed septic systems are an issue countywide due to the type of local soil. Heavin said the health department has been waiting for the state to update its codes on septic inspections, but that has turned into a long wait. So, the health department is looking into a program to do septic contractor certifications that must be passed by anyone installing a septic system.
That may meet some resistance from contractors, he said, but it is meant to be a team effort.
In other business during Monday's regular meeting, commissioners Gene Beck and Jim Baird:
* Heard that the Putnam County Community Foundation is looking into some land in the Parker Place Subdivision now owned by First National Bank in Cloverdale. However, the roads have not been accepted by the county since the road width does not meet county specifications. The commissioners agreed to look into the issue and discuss it again at their Dec. 3 meeting.
* Learned the county plan commission will have a special session on Thursday, Nov. 29 to go through the updated comprehensive plan. A resolution will be presented to the commissioners for adoption of the new plan.
* Reviewed some contracts for software to be installed in the new 911 Emergency Operations Center now under construction next to the county highway garage. The four software packages amounted to about $255,000. The commissioners asked 911 director Dave Costin to work up a spreadsheet showing how the costs for the EOC project compare with the approved budget.
* Agreed that a portion of abandoned road on CR 725 West south of CR 900 West in Russell Township can be closed with a gate by local property owners to prevent trespassing and damage to the local farmland.
The next meeting of the commissioners is set for 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 in the courthouse annex. The meeting is open to the public.