MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW)--Marathon County business owners dish out more cash to undergo inspections.
A Marathon City grocery store owner says the inspection fee makes it difficult for his store to survive. Businesses in Marathon County must pass an annual health and safety check to stay licensed.
That inspection cost George Hiles of George's Marathon Foods nearly $900. He says in a tough economy, every penny counts.
"Small business people are being hurt. We pay a lot of taxes. We support the community. It hurts us real bad to pay these big fees out and its getting worse every year," says Hiles.
Dale Grosskurth of the Marathon County Health Department says license fees will increase nearly 10% each year until 2013. He says Hiles will likely pay more than $11,000 for the inspection fee in a few years. It's part of a licensing program to make business operators cover the cost without the help of tax dollars.
This is the second year of the licensing program. The Marathon County Board of Health plans to consider any chances to the program this fall.