Though no item on Tuesday’s City Council agenda mentions replacing the city’s health inspector, the work of evaluating Gainesville’s food service establishments continues.

According to City Manager Mike Land a temporary health inspector, Kay Padon, was called in about three weeks ago to complete unfinished business.

Land said the city is in discussion with registered sanitarian who lives in Cooke County to fill the position full-time, but he has not submitted an employment proposal at this time.

“We’ve hired a person on a temporary basis every couple of weeks to make sure inspections are finished before the end of the year,” Land said. “She (Padon) has performed duties for the last three weeks, and has done multiple inspections to get us back on track for our annual inspections.”

Land said though his objective is that restaurants and other food service establishments be inspected multiple times per year, city code only requires an annual inspection.

“With Cynthia leaving, some annual inspections were falling through the cracks,” Land explained.

The previous health inspector for the city of Gainesville, Cynthia Talbot of Talbot Inspection Services, resigned March 5 following some confusion regarding food service establishment scores released to the media in February.

The Feb. 28 Register reported several local businesses owners noticed out-dated scores in the Feb. 7 edition. Talbot apologized for the error, claiming miscommunication and saying the scores were sent to the city were earlier scores sent in for a review and were not intended for publication.

Some restaurant owners complained signatures their inspection forms, indicating a manager’s presence for the health inspection, were forged.

The City began using private contractors for health inspection services in 2006 following a lean budget year.

Land said in a March 7 Register that future inspections will require the person signing the receipt of inspection to print their name, their title and date of the inspection and a telephone number in addition to a signature for accountability purposes.

In business Tuesday night, the Council is expected to consider a resolution to contribute city funds for the acquisition of right-of-way land from FM 51 to the Interstate Highway 35 frontage road for utility improvements to the site of the new Gainesville High School construction site.

At the April 2 meeting, the Council was told by Land that a water rate increase may be necessary to extend water and sewer service down the area known as Black’s Hill — also the site of two new housing developments.

“In order to generate the funds necessary to cover the cost of the high school improvements this coming year we will need to have a rate increase on our water rates right at 5 percent,” Land said at the previous Council meeting.

He said the issue of a water rate increase would come before the Council in May.

The Gainesville City Council is scheduled to meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal Building, 200 S. Rusk St. Visitors may sign up to speak prior to the meeting. The city of Gainesville may be contacted at 668-4500.

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted at andyhoguegdr@ntin.net

Recommended for you