Community Development (Building Inspection, Environmental Health, and Planning & Zoning) will be closed to the Public until further notice. 

In response to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, Polk County Government is taking unprecedented steps to protect our staff and the general public – in particular the high-risk populations we serve. To continue to serve our citizens, please contact the office you need directly, and they will instruct you on how your business may be conducted. If it cannot be done remotely, you may be asked to schedule an appointment. Visit for a list of all County Department contact information.
Building Inspection – 828-894-3739
Environmental Health – 828-894-3739
Planning & Zoning – 828-894-2732

Environmental Health Services

Our Environmental Health Services team educates the public as well as regulates and enforces activities in the environmental and health field. Water quality, wastewater disposal, food protection, environmental education, drinking water, environmental hazards, rural and agricultural issues, and involvement in air quality issues are all part of the program activities of the unit.


Office Hours:  8:00 am – 4:30 pm  Monday - Friday     
Inspectors in office 8:00 am – 9:00 am   
Permits issued 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

35 Walker Street
Columbus, NC 28722
828-894-2913 (fax)

Yvette Szuster, Administration
Environmental Health Permits
Email: Contact us  

Steve Chambers, REHS, Soil Scientist
On-site Inspector and Environmental Health Supervisor
Email: Contact Us

Geoffrey Hiles, REHS
Food & Lodging Inspector
Email: Contact Us