The council heard from Four Corners resident Virginia Sutton on mosquitoes and Homer Boudreaux and Ricky Brinlee of Cremo Lane on the condition of that street near Patterson.
In response to Sutton who asked for more insecticide spraying, Councilman Chuck Walters said the program is a surveillance program aimed at mosquito borne diseases such as the West Nile virus, not an abatement program.
Chief Administrative Officer Henry “Bo” LaGrange explained that the parish is divided into zones and each zone is sprayed about four times a month.
The program also consists of light traps and sentinel chickens to make mosquito population estimates and identify the presence of viruses, he said.
The parish collects $2 a month per household to fund the project. LaGrange said the fee generates $179,000 per year that supplements the $248,000 program cost. Attempts to eradicate mosquitoes would likely triple or quadruple that contract price, he added.
While the contract stipulates that the spray trucks should travel no more than 15 mph, Sutton estimated that she sees them going through her neighborhood at 45 mph.
“I don’t know if he’s running from something or scared to be in the hood,” she said. She added that she wouldn’t mind paying $5 a month if the program was more successful.
LaGrange said the parish is in the process of hiring a third party to monitor the contractor. In the mean time, he said a parish employee randomly follows the spray trucks to monitor their process.
Councilman Ken Singleton of Patterson pointed out that the presence of mosquitoes goes with the territory that’s surrounded by bodies of water and marshland. Even after intense, continuous spraying they would return within days, he said.
He added that precautions are taken to avoid upsetting other insect populations as well as the overuse of chemicals that some people may be allergic to.
In regard to the condition of Cremo Lane, a private, gravel road that accesses about 25 residences, the council agreed to explore the possibility of dedication of property by the landowners to convert it to a public road. If that can be accomplished landowners could agree to a front-foot assessment to fund paving of the road.