Cook County Planning and Zoning officer Tim Nelson returned to the County Board with explanations for some fee increases proposed at a previous meeting. Commissioners had questioned the size of some of the Environmental Health fees and asked for more detail. Nelson said in most cases county service fees are set to cover the expense of staff time. There are, however some exceptions.
An increase from $100 to $300 for septic compliance inspections, Nelson said was designed to encourage landowners to use the private sector for inspections. Nelson said the current $100 fee is too low to promote competition. The service is not mandated by the state or county.
The county currently charges $70 for a water system sample analysis. The fee proposed is $150. Nelson said test kits for analysis are available to the public and it does not take planning and zoning personnel to administer the test. The test is not a requirement.
Other fee increases in the cost of sewage permits and three other planning permits are all mandated by county ordinance and are being increased to better cover the costs of administration.
Public Health and Human Services Director Sue Futterer advised commissioners that a new state-wide requirement would slightly lower the hourly rate for chemical dependency outpatient treatment. She also said a new fee had been created for non-licensed daycare provider background checks.
In other county business, Veteran’s Service Officer Richard MacKenzie and Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Rebecca Wiinanen have submitted their resignations.