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Derry council makes changes to food licensing

DERRY — The town council has agreed to change some language in the local health ordinance in order to make restaurant licensing more business-friendly.

Instead of issuing licenses that expire on March 31, licenses will be valid for one year from the date of issuance. This will prevent businesses from having to pay twice for licenses in one year, councilors agreed last week.

The town in 1982 adopted Chapter 55 of the health ordinance, the language governing food service establishments. The chapter was amended in 2012, according to officials. The Derry Public Health Department and town sought to further amend the chapter to include the period during which licenses will be valid and to make other minor changes, according to a report filed by acting Administrator Larry Budreau and Paul Raiche, health officer.

“This is what we’ve termed a business-friendly approach, so that some establishments don’t find themselves, unfortunately, getting a license on March 1 and having to get a second license a month later,” Budreau said.

Councilors also agreed in the meeting to approve an amendment that addresses selling food at flea markets. Derry doesn’t currently have a flea market but has in the past, according to officials.

The council agreed to remove “flea markets” from language in the ordinance, but also agreed to leave in the term “vendors” to apply to anyone selling food at flea markets.

Approving the amendment means everyone who sells food at a flea market must have a license to do so, Budreau said. It also means the owner of a flea market has to have an individual license and can’t have an umbrella license that would cover multiple establishments, Budreau said.

Councilors voted 7-0 to approve the amendments to the health ordinance.


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