Richmond County Daily Journal
There were only two things on the agenda for the Richmond County Board of Health when they met at the Cole Auditorium Monday evening, and one of them involved barbecue and hushpuppies.
First, Health Director Tommy Jarrell presented the Richmond County Board of Health with the department’s 2009-10 budget, then the board hosted a banquet to present its “Golden A” and “Platinum A” awards to area eateries who earned A sanitation grades throughout the year.
The department’s $4,171,421 budget was adopted unanimously by the board, at more than $182,000 less than last fiscal year’s budget.
“The budget will go up a little bit I assume,” Jarrell told the board. “The commissioners know that we usually get a little bit more funding, whether it be from state or federal funds or grants. It may trickle back up to about the figure budgeted for (2008-09), but I doubt it will equal it.”
Jarrell said the department prepared its budget with the instruction of County Manager Jim Haynes in mind. He instructed all county departments to maintain the same local funding they had from last year.
He also pointed out the federal funding is not usually received until the fall, and the health department does not face major cuts in the state budget proposals of the Governor’s Office and the Senate.
A cover letter in the budget packet informed the board several items were not included in the upcoming year to grapple with economic difficulties, including no salary increases for staff, no new equipment, no new vehicles for environmental health and no increase in local funding.
In addition, the letter notes several expenses have been incurred and sources of revenue diminished, including the expense of translators for non-English speakers accessing services and significant declines in the amount of environmental health fees that are collected.
“It seems that each year it becomes more challenging as we strive to provide services to more citizens with less resources,” Jarrell wrote in the letter. “This year has certainly proven to meet that challenge with our national, state and local economies. However, I am confident that the budget being submitted to you will allow this department to continue our mission to provide quality services that the citizens of Richmond County expect and deserve.”
Jarrell also pointed out to the board if funding is cut from any individual program, it would be the mosquito control program, which received $4,325 in the 2009-10 budget.
“Because it’s a smaller budget and it’s not mandated that you provide that service, though it is something that citizens want you to do,” he said.
The board also voted unanimously to adopt a more than $116,000 animal control budget, with only a nominal reduction from the last budget.
After budget business, it was time for banquet business.
“When you walk in a business, and you see a “Golden A,” you know what it means,” Health Board Chairman Thad Ussery told the roughly 100 food service workers in attendance. “It means it’s clean.”
Judging by the awards, Richmond County Schools’ students eat from the cleanest kitchens in the county.
Richmond County Schools racked up 11 “Platinum A’s,” which require a food preparation establishment maintain an “A” sanitation grade throughout the year for 10 consecutive years.
This is the first time the department has awarded “Platinum A” awards, and its 10th year of “Golden A” recognition.
The schools receiving the decade of A’s distinction were Cordova Elementary, Fairview Heights, Hamlet Middle, Mineral Springs, Monroe Avenue, Richmond Senior, Rockingham Middle, Rohanen Middle, Rohanen Primary, Washington Street and West Rockingham Elementary.
Health Board Chairman Thad Ussery presented the awards, and noted Ashley Chapel also would have made the first class of “Platinum A’s,” had it not been for a remodeling project which made it impossible for them to be inspected at one point.
Ellerbe Middle and L.J. Bell both registered nine consecutive “Golden A’s” along with Ashley Chapel.
Two Hamlet establishments made the “Platinum A” grade outside of the school system - K’s Corner Stop, located at the intersection of Business 74 and Highway 177, and Convenience Corner on Marlboro Street.
“Golden A” establishments maintained an A sanitation grade throughout the last year, and accounted for 31 restaurants, four meat markets, 12 food stands and 16 school lunchrooms.
The Platinum winners were included in the Golden list.
Mama Noi’s, #1 Diner and Dairy Queen held the most seniority as clean establishments among the restaurants recognized for “Golden A’s,” with Mama Noi’s Famous Hot Subs and #1 Diner registering with seven consecutive years, Dairy Queen with six and Mama Noi’s Pizza and Hot Subs with five.
All four awarded meat markets have displayed excellence upon inspection for multiple years with the Food Lion on Highway 1 earning the distinction for seven consecutive years, Norman General Store for six, Food Lion in Hamlet for four and Butcher’s Block for two years.
GOLDEN “A” AWARD RECIPIENTS 2008
The following food service establishments were awarded the Golden “A” for maintaining a sanitary grade of “A” throughout the course of the year.
Andy’s Burgers, Shakes, and Fries one; Biscuitville, three; Bojangle’s, one; Bostick’s BP, one; Burger King in Hamlet, one; Burger King in Rockingham, one; Captain D’s, two; Christie’s Family DIner, one; Conner Convenience, one; Dairy Queen, six; Dixie Kitchen, one; Ellerbe Diner, one; Fiesta Brava, one; First Health Richmond Memorial Hospital, three; Fuji Grill, two; K’s Korner Stop #1, 10; KFC, three; Mama Noi’s Famour Hot Subs, seven; Mama’s Noi’s Pizza and Hot Subs, five; McDonald’s, two; McDonald’s in Wal-Mart, one; #1 Diner, seven; Pat’s Kitchen, two; Pizza Inn, three; Rockingham Fish Camp, two; Seaboard Station, one; Steve’s Pizza, one; Substation II on Broad, two; Subway in Hamlet, one; Subway in Rockingham, one; and Wendy’s, two.
Butcher’s Block, four; Food Lion in Hamlet, four; Food Lion on Highway 1, seven; and Norman General Store, six.
Campbell’s Kitchen, one; Convenience Corner, 10; C-Store-Trade Wilco, one; Domino’s, one; Food Lion Deli/Bakery in Hamlet, two; Food Lion Deli/Bakery on Broad, seven; Food Lion Deli/Bakery on Highway 1, five; Henna Corner, three; Papa John’s, one; Wal-Mart Deli, two; Wal-Mart Seafood Market, three; and Wilco Hess, one.
Ashley Chapel, nine; Cordova Elementary, 10; Ellerbe Middle, nine; Fairview Heights, 10; Hamlet Middle, 10; L.J. Bell, nine; Mineral Springs, 10; Monroe Avenue, 10; Richmond County Transitional School, seven; Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy, eight; Richmond Senior, 10; Rockingham Middle, 10; Rohanen Middle, 10; Rohanen Primary, 10; Washington Street, 10; and West Rockingham Elementary, 10.