WATSON – The two Livingston Council members who oversee a mosquito abatement program will ask fellow councilmen to remove the portion in the Denham Springs city limits from the proposed new districts.
The board of Livingston Parish Mosquito Abatement Districts 2 & 3 — headed by councilmen Garry “Frog” Talbert and Maurice “Scooter” Keen — unanimously agreed Feb. 20 to introduce the ordinance at the meeting of the full council Feb. 28. The final decision on the ordinance would follow at the March 14 meeting.
The mosquito district must meet the March 18 deadline, imposed by the Secretary of State’s Office, for any changes to a proposition intended for the spring ballot.
If the council approves the measure, Parish President Layton Ricks will sign the ordinance. The new legal descriptions without the incorporated area would then go to Livingston Parish Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews.
The vote came three days after Keen and Talbert discovered part of District 3, represented by Keen, included an area within the Denham Springs municipal limits.
Voters in the two districts will decide May 4 on a proposed monthly fee not to exceed $3.00 for a mosquito abatement for the area north of the Denham Springs city limits and extending to the Watson community.
“It would be ridiculous for us to ask residents within the city limits to pay three dollars per month when they already get mosquito service,” Talbert said.
If approved, the fee would generate approximately $325,000 annually over 10 years. The proposed revenue is based on an estimate of 9,000 customers in the district.
WHERE WOULD THE MONEY GO?
The budget the district approved at the meeting would cover the $325,000, but the district would sustain a shortfall of $41,900 if an emergency necessitates aerial spraying throughout the area.
The district could enter a contract with FEMA or the Center for Disease Control to help with the costs should the circumstances necessitates a flyover. An emergency declaration would likely lead to eligibility for reimbursement of 75 or 90 percent of revenue spent on a post-storm flyover.
The district has no intention of doing a flyover unless absolutely necessary and with a partnership or funding.
The expenses listed on the budget are:
- Salaries of four, full-time employees – based on costs of the former Livingston Parish program – would run the districts $135,000 annually
- Benefits would cost $75,000 annually
- Laboratory testing would cost the district $10,000 annually
- Consumable supplies would cost $75,000 annually
- Utility expenses would cost $25,000 annually
The district also approved a list of intended services it would provide the area if the vote passes.
The services will include:
-- Sampling and testing, which will allow the district to spray based on actual need, not just random spraying.
-- Education, which would involve a public education program that would be used by civic groups, educational instructors and homeowner’s associations.
-- Prevention, which will include studies to determine impacted areas of flood mosquitoes, identification of breeding grounds and legislative assistance to correct deficiencies.
-- Treatment, which would include the application of larvicides and pesticides.
-- Individual services, which would involve response to individual complaints, surveys of residences and identification of problem areas, along with corrective action and recommendations for corrective spraying around the area.