West Haven apparently didn’t get the memo.
The city had no idea it was responsible for inspecting and licensing hair and nail salons, according to the New Haven Register.
The news came as a shock to some and has the state working with West Haven to come up with a quick solution. Health Director Eric Triffin is now working on a plan toward safer, more sanitary salons, the paper reported.
According to state law, municipal health departments are in charge of conducting these inspections annually. But William Gerrish, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health, admitted that the state isn’t able to track those inspections.
“We certainly are available to work with local health departments so they are able to regulate and conduct inspections in their jurisdiction,” Gerrish told the paper. “We do not have a punitive enforcement.”
Until 1984, the state did all the annual inspections of hair and nail salons.
Triffin told the New Haven Register “ it is a strain on local health departments when the state 'dumps' unfunded mandates on their lap”. However, he understands the importance of implementing a solid licensing program for all city salons.
Currently, West Haven has about 50 to 60 hair and nail salons. Triffin is proposing a plan that would cover start-up costs with state grant money. The council plans to take up his proposal at its next meeting in May.
“We are all kicking into gear and doing the right thing on this,” he told the Register. .
City councilwoman Nancy Rossi happens to be a licensed hairdresser. She says public safety is key.
“I’m all for it,” she told the paper. “This is an expense that is necessary. It’s the cost of doing business and it will protect the public,” she added.