As counties shed weights and measures services, Ag. Dept. picks up slack

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 9, 2013 6:52 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The state Agriculture Department is picking up the slack for counties that stop inspecting devices like scales and gas pumps.

The shift is cutting into the agency's bottom line.

The department's seen an increase in the need for both its weights and measures and food safety services as counties also stop inspections of restaurants in an effort to cut costs.

Agriculture Secretary George Greig says the added duties could break his department's budget.

"We dread the day that Allegheny County gives up their inspection service," Greig half-jokes. "Some of these counties that recently have turned their services over to us, each county that does that, it creates more of a strain on our department, on our budget."

Greig says another huge cost is looming on the horizon.

The Agriculture Department has been tasked with making sure the gasoline coming out of the commonwealth's gas pumps is at the octane advertised.

Bids are out for labs that will do the testing.

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