Fee schedule approved 

Published 10:32 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Polk approves fees for new health department 


COLUMBUS—Polk County’s new health department will soon be up and running.  

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The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and approved the fee schedule for the new department.  

Polk County Consolidated Human Services Agency Director Joshua Kennedy spoke with commissioners, and said the department plans to collecting the fees in June.  

The county’s new budget year begins July 1 when the new system will be in place. The county is currently taking applications for eight new employees for the new district.  

The fee schedule includes charges for wastewater systems, wells, well abandonment, food establishment inspection and permitting, public swimming pools and tattoo parlors.  

In March of this year, Polk County Commissioners decided to break off from the Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District and create its own health district.  

Polk County joined with Rutherford County in the 1970s, with McDowell County joining later. Previous to the merger, Polk ran its own health district, which includes all health department services as well as environmental services, such as well and septic permits and restaurant inspections.  

Kennedy said in March Polk County expected to allocate $238,562 to the Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District in 2020 and by 2022, expected to allocate more than $280,000 to the district.  

Polk’s standalone health department is expected to cost the county $236,850 in 2020 and by 2022, the county expects to save $63,000, according to Kennedy.  

Polk County conducted a study before creating its own health district.  

The move came after well and septic permits through the joint health district were seven weeks behind schedule. Commissioners heard from realtors recently that selling homes was difficult because of the delay in permits.