|Mosquito spraying on the way|
|The Press - News|
|Written by Mike Anderson|
|Friday, 20 July 2012 09:03|
The voluminous rainfall dumped on Northeast Florida by Tropical Storm Debby earlier this month provided much-needed relief from drought conditions, but also created a new plague: a mosquito invasion.
Relief, however, is on the way throughout the region, including Baker County, officials announced at a county commission meeting on the evening of July 16.
Sheriff Joey Dobson and County Manager C.J. Thompson told commissioners that Baker County has been approved for mosquito spraying by the state at no cost to the county. Though no actual date has been announced for the spraying to begin, the sheriff said it could as early as this week.
The county manager said the spraying will cover the most populated areas in two targeted zones encompassing 131,400 acres, extending from just east of Macclenny to the Southwest corner of the county and stretching almost to the northern county line.
The specific areas were designated after mosquito traps were placed throughout the county to determine the neighborhoods with the greatest need.
Most of the spraying, if not all of it, Mr. Thompson said, “will be done by airplanes.”
“Hopefully, we’ll see them out and about in the next day or two,” he said.
Originally, Baker County was approved to participate in the state’s vector control program on a cost-sharing basis, with the county’s portion estimated at $25,000 to $30,000, or 12. 5 percent of the total cost, Mr. Thompson said.
“The good news,” he told commissioners, was that the state has agreed to fund the entire operation.
Adam Faircloth, a lieutenant in the Baker County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s emergency management director, said Baker was the ninth county approved for the state’s mosquito spraying program.
“Eight other counties were approved ahead of us,” Lt. Faircloth said, adding that they include Union, Bradford, Nassau, Gilchrist and Putnam.
Any county affected by floodwaters in the wake of Debby was eligible to apply for emergency assistance through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. But only small, rural counties such as Baker can receive 100 percent state-funded spraying, officials said.
Also in Debby’s wake, which left dozens of homes destroyed by floodwaters and many others heavily damaged, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has offered temporary housing, home repairs and other storm-related expenses for both owners and renters.
|Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 09:48|