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Borough considers putting restaurant inspections online

September 12, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Some people like to read a restaurant review before going out to dinner, but the Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday night discussed the possibility of putting restaurant inspections on the Internet.

If the council approves the plan, it would be similar to Web postings by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for restaurants outside the borough, said Assistant Borough Manager David Finch. The Web site would include the name and address of the restaurant, when it was last inspected and what violations, if any, were found.

Online information might also include brief descriptions of the infractions, Finch said. A local Internet service provider quoted a low-end price of $1,200 to set up the site and $290 a month to maintain it, he said.

The inspections would be done by Commonwealth Code Inspection Services and handed over to the Internet service provider monthly to update the Web site, Finch said.

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Council President William McLaughlin asked Finch to check into whether the borough could create and maintain the site with its own staff and how much that might cost. Councilwoman Elaine Swartz asked Finch to find out if the site could be updated as inspections are done, rather than monthly.

"Let's pretend there is no Internet ... What if someone wanted to see the inspections?" Councilwoman Sharon Bigler said. Finch said some municipalities offer the inspection results to news media for publication.

Bigler suggested the borough make the inspection information available at Borough Hall for anyone who wished to see them in person.

There are approximately 200 restaurants in Chambersburg, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said.

"Is there some problem with restaurant inspections?" asked resident Eugene Klee. "Nobody eats out more than me," he said, adding that he never had any problems with restaurants in the borough.

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