Poway restaurant owners who lost business when they were forced to close due to contamination in an area water reservoir are getting break from the county in the form of a fee waiver approved Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors.
The board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Kristin Gaspar absent, to waive a $459 health permit fee, and reimburse the costs for restaurant owners who already received a modified health permit.
The waiver will cost the county between $16,000 and $25,000 in reduced revenues, according to county documents.
The city of Poway issued a boil-water advisory and ordered restaurants to close after residents reported discolored tap water on Nov. 29. The order was lifted on Saturday.
Officials said the tap water was compromised when rainwater entered the water system. City officials said the site of the rainwater contamination, the Clearwell Reservoir, was disinfected and refilled early last week.
Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, whose district includes Poway, said restaurant owners in the community “were hit hard” by the boil-water order.
Waiving the permit “is a helpful way the county can assist restaurants in getting back on their feet,” she said. “Poway’s up and running, the water is flowing, it is safe and the restaurants are open.”
Jacob said she’ll be doing her part by dining in Poway “and giving large tips.”
Ed Franklin, executive director of the Poway Chamber of Commerce, called the board’s decision “good news.”
He said restaurant owners were “obviously disappointed” by the boil- water order, and praised the county for following through on the fee waiver.
Franklin added that to draw customers back to Poway restaurants, the chamber will begin a awareness campaign on social and traditional media.
Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting was the last of 2019. The board will reconvene Jan. 14 at the county Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway.
Since September, the board has been meeting at the county’s Operations Center in Kearny Mesa while the downtown facility undergoes a $4.1 million renovation, which is expected to be completed later this month.
Updated at 12 p.m. Dec. 11, 2019
–City News Service