The Bethel Board of Selectmen is hosting a public hearing tonight on proposed Health Department fee increases. The selectmen were slated to also discuss a fracking ban ordinance, but that's been canceled for now and will be rescheduled.
The Health Department fee hearing is at 7pm in Meeting Room A of the Municipal Center.
The fracking ordinance proposal was tabled for a number of months for research. At the same time, the state was considering a stronger bill than what the towns would be capable of doing but it never got out of committee. There's still a moratorium on the use of fracking waste in Connecticut. The ordinance which would have been considered in Bethel was rewritten, with the help of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Selectman Paul Szatkowski was concerned about who would enforce the ordnance and that the fine of $250 was too low.
Bethel Health Department fees haven't increased in 20 years and currently don't cover the cost of doing business for the town, especially during the busy summer construction period. Some fees, like annual inspections of nail salons, would remain unchanged. New restaurant owners and annual license fees would be between $75 and $200 more under the proposal, depending on restaurant classification. Well permits would increase from $50 to $125.
Fees would double for new residential septic system fees and for annual or biannual inspection for daycares.