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Smith County approves funding for NETHealth

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TYLER (KYTX) -- The Smith County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to approve its portion of funding for the Northeast Texas Public Health District for fiscal year 2014.

The vote comes one week after the court failed to approve funding, citing a high number of complaints regarding overly strict food inspectors that food vendors felt were not "customer service oriented." Commissioners said those complaints came primarily from vendors at the East Texas State Fair.

Before the vote, Judge Joel Baker recounted a meeting that took place between some commissioners and leaders at NETHealth. Baker said they discussed implementing orientations for out of town vendors regarding Smith County's regulations and customer service training for food inspectors.

Commissioner JoAnn Hampton praised NETHealth for its commitment to food safety and said she hoped changes would not affect the high quality of restaurant food in the area.

Upon approval of the funding, Baker said he hopes they can have a continuing conversation about operations at NETHealth in order to avoid a similar situation next year.

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