Starting in January, Douglas County health inspections will be conducted by Carson City’s Department of Health after the Nevada Interim Finance Committee signed off on the plan Thursday.
The plan was worked out by officials in both counties, but required the state to agree to surrender control over inspections in Douglas.
“It’s part of the regional consolidation of services,” said lobbyist for both Carson and Douglas Mary Walker after the vote.
“We’ve evaluated their plan, and we feel confident in their ability to take over these services,” said Nevada State Health Division Deputy Administrator Mary Wherry.
The specific services being combined under Carson City health’s control include inspections of everything from restaurants to other businesses where there is a potential health risk like tattoo parlors and swimming pools for potential health hazards.
Wherry said the transfer is money neutral, that Douglas County will be paying Carson City for the inspection services instead of the state.
“This really is just taking fee revenue from the permitees and the county revenue out of their budget,” she said.
She said the state has assigned two employees to handle Douglas County inspections but that Carson City will put two and a half employees on the job.
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, questioned the change pointing out that Carson will be inspecting tattoo parlors, asking whether they have the statutory authority to do that.
Wherry said that counties have the power to enact tougher health rules in specific areas. They noted that Carson has been inspecting tattoo parlors for years as have officials in Washoe, Clark and White Pine counties.
Businesses cover the costs of the inspections through fees.