AMITE — Areas of Tangipahoa Parish not protected by Mosquito Abatement District No. 1 will not be getting an anti-mosquito aerial spraying treatment because of budget constraints, Parish President Gordon Burgess told the Parish Council.
Burgess said during Monday’s meeting that at a price of $1.80 cents an acre, one spraying would have cost about $800,000. Those funds would have covered the cost of a spraying pass from the Tickfaw area to the parish line north of Kentwood, Burgess said.
Six years ago, residents of the council districts south of Tickfaw to the parish line at Pass Manchac passed a 5-mill tax that created the mosquito abatement district. This area of the parish is treated on a regular basis by spraying from trucks and from the air.
At the council’s meeting on Sept. 10, Council President Carlo Bruno expressed concern about several cases of West Nile virus that had been reported in the northern end of the parish. Bruno asked at that time if the parish could offer some relief from the mosquito infestation.
Bruno said Monday that when a parishwide mosquito abatement district was proposed, voters on the northern end of the parish decided not to tax themselves and participate. That attitude has changed, he said, adding that he has heard more complaints about mosquitoes this year than ever before.
Bruno said he will take the initiative to meet with Dennis Wallette, director of the mosquito abatement district, to explore whether or not the existing district can be expanded. He said he favors putting the matter to the voters once again.
Other matters addressed by the council included:
ROAD RESURFACING: The council voted unanimously to award a bid of $3.46 million to Barriere Construction for the overlay of parish roads in Phase 17 of the parish’s long-range road improvement program. Burgess said that about 28 miles of roads will be resurfaced in this phase.
ASSESSMENT REPORT: The council unanimously approved acceptance of the annual assessment report delivered by Parish Assessor Joaquin “Junior” Matheu. He said the assessed value of all property in Tangipahoa Parish for 2012 is $692,711,313. Matheu said that figure is about 1.5 percent greater than the assessed value for 2011.