City council looking at possible mosquito control plansPublished 11:04am Monday, August 5, 2013
City officials are researching options for mosquito control.
Public Works Director Anne Martens did some checking in the area to see what other cities spray for mosquitoes, and she found Perham is the only city in the county to do so. Otter Tail County Public Health also isn’t planning any mosquito control.
Under consideration for mosquito spraying in Fergus Falls is a $120,000-per-year contract for aerial spraying. It’s something that is not in the city’s 2013 budget general fund. One option might be to tack the cost on to residents’ utility bills.
Nothing has been decided, as the Finance, Personnel and Development Committee talked it over last Wednesday.
“It’s a long process to move forward on this,” Martens said.
Though city councils have talked about mosquito spraying in the past, Finance Director Bill Sonmor said the city has never sprayed. At issue in the past has been determining which areas to spray, especially with all the water around, Martens said.
Committee member Ben Schierer recalls talking about it a few years back.
“I wasn’t in favor of it then,” Schierer said. “I’m not in favor of it now.”
Randy Synstelien agreed, saying he gets calls from people who would like to have the mosquito spraying. But when asks them if they’d be willing to have a higher tax levy to pay for it, they usually back off, he said.
“Once you start, you’re probably not ever going to stop,” said City Administrator Mark Sievert.
Both Schierer and Anthony Hicks asked about environmental concerns with spraying. Hicks wanted feedback from public health regarding health dangers.
No decisions have been made on how the city will proceed with mosquito control.