Northwood, which is struggling with budget cuts due to reduced income tax collections, will not pay for insecticide used for mosquito spraying this summer.
Currently, the city is using insecticide left over from last year, Administrator Pat Bacon said to city council at a committee of the whole meeting June 3.
“When it’s gone, it’s gone. We’re not purchasing more,” said Bacon.
A 55-gallon drum of insecticide would cost the city $4,400, she said.
The city will continue to use larvacide in the catch basins, she added.
“Putting in the larvacide in the catch basins is very important, and we’ll continue to do that,” she said after the meeting.
Mosquito spraying only benefits those living in subdivisions, not in rural areas, she said.
“We only go into residential subdivisions, so we’re not servicing the entire city. We’re not going out where the industry is, we’re not going out on Curtice, Fostoria and Bradner roads. We’re only doing it where the subdivisions are. If you’re not benefiting the entire community, that’s one of the first things to eliminate. We’re all taxpayers, but only those who live in the subdivisions have the benefit,” she said.
“It takes five gallons each time to spray in the city, so that would be 11 more treatments at $4,400,” said Bacon.
The city can be sprayed three more times, she said, before the insecticide is depleted. The 55-gallon drum of insecticide is concentrated and can cover a large area once it’s diluted with water, she said.
“We could go through the city three more times before it’s gone without buying another 55-gallon drum,” said Bacon.
Costs to spray, she added, include paying for the license and overtime for personnel.
“They only go through half the city on one night, then the next night they do the other half, so it does add up, more than just the cost of just the insecticide,” she said.
Other communities, she said, who are continuing mosquito spraying include Pemberville, Genoa, Clay Center, Walbridge, and Perrysburg. “Rossford has cut theirs back dramatically,” said Bacon.
“Is the money in the budget?” asked Councilman Dave Gallaher.
“The line item for the mosquito spraying is not there,” said Bacon.
“That kind of highlights the situation we’re in,” said Gallaher.
Also at the meeting, council decided against contributing money this year for the community Care-A-Van, which transports residents who can’t find transportation to doctors’ appointments and hospital exams.
The city participates in the community Care-A-Van with Oregon, East Toledo, Lake Township, Walbridge, Millbury, Walnut Hills, Jerusalem Township, and Curtice, said Bacon.
“We’re asking for a contribution for this much needed service,” states a letter from the Care-A-Van board to Bacon. “The board understands how bad finances are, so any amount would be greatly appreciated.”
The city initially contributed $3,000 per year for the service, then $2,000 last year, said Bacon.
Bacon said 110 people who live in the 43619 area code, which includes portions of Lake Township, participated in the service from July until March.
“So there are residents who are using it,” she said.
Council, though, said there just wasn’t enough money in the budget to contribute towards the service this year.
“If the mosquito spraying wasn’t in the budget, then there’s no budget for this,” said Gallaher. “I really don’t see how we can do it, as much as we’d like to. Unless someone has a bucket of money.”