The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 20, 2013

Food inspection program to have change in oversight

Change is coinciding with retirement of county's inspector

CLINTON — The state of Iowa will take over control of inspecting and licensing food and lodging establishments in Clinton County beginning next month.

As of May 1, all renewals, applications and questions related to food and lodging establishments licensure and payments will be directed to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.   

Clinton County Environmental Health Director Bob Summers said the change in responsibility is timed to coincide with the retirement of Clinton County's current inspector, Dean Siem.  

Siem has been a contracted inspector with Clinton County for two years. Prior to working as the Clinton County inspector, Siem served as an inspector in Scott County for 18 years and worked for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals as a statewide trainer for food safety inspections.  

Instead of Clinton County having its own inspector, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals will hire a permanent inspector who will live in Scott County and will be responsible for inspections in Clinton, Cedar and Muscatine counties. State officials anticipate this person will be in place by July 1.

In the interim, the Williamsburg and Dubuque inspectors will provide inspections in Clinton County. Low-risk food service establishments are inspected once a year while high-risk food establishments are inspected twice a year. Inspectors also follow up on food safety complaints.  

Summers said employees and owners of the approximately 300 food establishments in Clinton County won't be fazed by the responsibility switch.   

"It really should be a smooth transition," Summers said. "And I doubt if they'll notice a big difference once they get the new inspector in place."

Siem said he plans to leave notes on the master list of food establishments in Clinton County in order to make the switch easier for the interim and permanent inspectors. Also, all records will be transferred to the state electronically.  

"I'm going to make it as smooth as can be," Siem said.

In addition to coinciding with Siem's retirement, the change comes at a time when more counties are turning inspection responsibilities back to the state. In recent years, Summers said, nearly 20 counties that had a contract with the state to have their own inspectors have turned their contracts back to the state to be covered by a regional inspector.  

In Clinton County, the license fees have become insufficient to cover the costs of the program. The fees range from $50 to $300 depending on the type of food establishment and the volume of food it sells. Because fees are set by the state Legislature, the county can't adjust them to make the program financially sustainable.

If the county had to hire a full-time inspector to replace Siem, the program would run at around a $30,000 loss, which would need to be covered by tax dollars, Summers said.  

"This will be a big plus because it will be a savings to the county and not a drop-off in service," Summers said. "That's why other counties are doing it."

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-24-14 Golf cart tour photo National Wildlife and Fish Refuge to host golf cart tours THOMSON, Ill. -- Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge are hosting Refuge Golf Cart Tours that travel through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The tours are free and open to all ages. Trips are the first and th

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged in meth case CLINTON -- A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 24, 2014

  • Workers Memorial Day 2014 events scheduled CLINTON -- Working families, faith leaders and local officials will gather around Iowa, Friday through Monday, for a vigil to commemorate those who have perished or suffered injuries or illness on the job and to call on Congress to create safe jobs f

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 Dutch Days Preview Photo 40 years and counting FULTON, Ill. -- A spring-time staple will return for its 40th consecutive year. The community will come together once again May 2 to celebrate Fulton's heritage at the 40th annual Dutch Days Festival. Dutch Days committee chairwoman and City Alderwom

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coalition alerting parents to underage drinking CAMANCHE -- There are two significant milestones that many students look forward to during their high school careers -- prom and graduation. However, because of bad decision-making, some students will never get to experience those rights of passage

    April 24, 2014

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal CLINTON -- A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea. Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a clas

    April 24, 2014

  • Man charged in meth case

    A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

    Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal

    A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea.

    Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a class D felony. He also was given a sentence of no more than two years in prison for domestic abuse assault, second offense, to be served concurrently.

    April 23, 2014

  • Medication drop boxes available

    Although no formal event is planned in Clinton County for Saturday’s nationwide Medication Take Back Day, area officials are reminding residents this week about permanent drop boxes at area law enforcement agencies.
    Unused or expired medications can be disposed of during normal business hours in the lobbies of four police departments in Clinton County — Camanche Police Department, 819 South Washington Blvd.; Clinton County Sheriff’s office, 241 Seventh Ave. North; Clinton Police Department, 116 Sixth Ave. South; DeWitt Police Department, 606 Ninth St.

    April 23, 2014

  • Legal Services photo New legal services agreement proceeds CLINTON - By one vote, the Clinton City Council voted for Lynch Dallas over local firm Frey, Haufe and Current as its next city attorney service. On Tuesday, in a show of solidarity, the council was unanimous, officially hiring the Cedar Rapids group

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Clinton

Camanche
Fulton

Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.