Oppose Significant Fee Increases to Food Facility Program
This petition made change with 770 supporters!
The Board of Supervisors is considering fee increase to the Food Facilities Programs. These Sonoma County Dept. of Health, Environmental Health and Safety Section programs include Farmer's Markets, Cottage Food Operators, and Food Trucks to name a few. The proposal to significantly raise all food fee schedules on 4/21 was removed from the agenda to "invite additional public input and provide education". But it will come back in one form or another.
The proposed fee increases affect Farmers’ Markets (an increase from $206 to $507), all community events ($592 for 6 or more vendors), all mobile food facilities ($1,183 for extensive food prep), and Cottage Food Operators (Class A-$338+hourly fee after 2 hours and Class B-$507+hourly rate after 3 hours).
The groups affected have very low profits (if at all) and struggle to compete with big box stores, fast food chains, and large super markets.
This increase in fees targets the struggling small food operator so that many will not be able to survive. It also targets the smallest segment of the Sonoma County food industry.
These are "neighborhood serving" programs that increase access to healthy foods and reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and carbon emissions. These programs should be supported by Transportation dollars to reduce wear and tear on roads and provide easy access to healthy foods.
Please sign this petition to alert the Board of Supervisors to the unfairness of these increases. Attend the 4/21 Board of Supervisors meeting and during Public Comment at 8:30am, ask the Board to streamline the application process so that more vendors will join the program. Ask the Board of Supervisors to find another way to pay for the Health Dept. staffing needed to process and review the applications.
President, Petaluma Grange #851
Former Petaluma Vice Mayor
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