Topeka — State safety and sanitation inspections of hotels, motels and other overnight lodging operations will be suspended because of budget cuts, officials reported Thursday.
“This is the painful reality of our current economic climate,” said Josh Svaty, acting secretary of agriculture.
“Without adequate resources, we are forced to decide which services we can continue to provide and which ones we can’t. The cuts to our budget now mean that we won’t be able to inspect the safety and sanitation of Kansas’ hotels, motels and other overnight lodges,” Svaty said.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture licenses 825 lodging facilities, which includes hotels, motels, lodges and bed-and-breakfasts. The facilities are inspected annually.
The agency was cut by $303,000 in Gov. Mark Parkinson’s latest round of budget cuts last month. The cost of the lodging inspection program is $240,000 per year.
Food safety inspections will continue, the agriculture department reported.
The state general fund portion of the department’s budget for the current fiscal year is $9.8 million, which is $2.4 million less than was appropriated in 2008. The department said in a news release that it is operating with 92 fewer employees through layoffs and unfilled vacancies.
Svaty said in an interview that the suspension of inspections will probably start at the end of the month.