NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City restaurants will soon be paying lower fines for minor health department violations.
As WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reported, the changes to the fines associated with the city’s letter-grading system for restaurants are expected to take effect by the end of the year.
As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported Sunday evening, the restaurant letter-grading system was a signature accomplishment of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. But Leonard de Knegt, owner of Jerry’s Café at 90 Chambers St. in TriBeCa, said the grading system has put him on the verge of going out of business.
“Over the past three years, we’ve probably spent over $30,000 in fines,” de Knegt said.
He said health inspectors exercise wide discretion, issuing exorbitant fines for minor offenses – some as high as $2,000.
“I got a fine once for $300 for a dead strawberry,” he said.
But that is all expected to change now. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has worked out an agreement between the restaurant industry and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to lower fines to $200 for many minor issues.