LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Child care facilities around Nevada are going to be charged a lot more for inspections by the Nevada State Fire Marshal’s Office starting in 2023.
Regulations reviewed and approved Wednesday included changes to the fees that haven’t changed in more than 40 years. And things have changed quite a bit in that time.
For some businesses in rural Nevada, the old fee — a flat rate of $22 — is going up more than 10 times.
The child care facilities were not consulted about the increase in cost.
The Legislative Commission approved a new fee structure that shifts the burden of the cost to the businesses.
Republican Assemblyman Gregory T. Hafen questioned the differences in fees charged to child care facilities. Some businesses in his district, which covers parts of rural Clark, Nye and Lincoln counties, will range as high as $237, he said. Others would be around $180.
Nevada State Fire Marshal Chief Mike Dzyak explained that the agency standardized fees by ZIP code so that it wasn’t literally “charging mileage” depending on the distance from the Fire Marshal’s Office to the business. There’s one office in Reno and another in Las Vegas.
Dzyak explained that his agency is no longer funded through the general fund, and they couldn’t shoulder the cost anymore.
“We can’t do anything for free. We have to cover costs,” Dzyak said.
Hafen cast the only vote against the change. He wasn’t satisfied with the explanation of why the fees varied by so much when the businesses were only “a 5-minute drive” away from each other.
Dzyak said he couldn’t offer a more detailed answer. He said the staffer who devised the method for determining the rate was unavailable because of problems with Southwest Airlines flights.