EPPJ discusses mosquito spraying in special meeting

By: MICHAEL BORDELON

News Editor

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held a special meeting Monday, September 29, to discuss mosquito aerial application around the parish.

Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau informed the jury it received three bids for mosquito aerial application. The low bid was from Vector Disease Control at a cost of $1.77 per acre. The other two bids were from Clark Mosquito Control ($2.20 per acre) and Mosquito Control Contractors Inc. ($2.08 per acre). The jury approved the bid contingent on the Department of Health and Hospitals’ (DHH) approval of the parish plan, which outlined all acres that would be sprayed. However, Landreneau said there was some trouble getting DHH to approve the plan.

When the planning phase began, the parish’s plan contained over 200,000 acres to be sprayed. Landreneau said DHH is looking at the issue based on population, so many of the rural areas would be left out of the plan. A second plan was sent to DHH containing 125,000 acres. That plan was also rejected, according to Landreneau. A third plan, containing only 85,000 acres, was submitted recently. Landreneau said he was able to speak with a representative at DHH and was told verbally that the plan was still too large.

Jury President Bob Manuel said the jury is currently speaking with Representative Bernard LeBas and Senator Eric LaFleur in an attempt to have DHH approve the plan containing 85,000 acres.

Juror Eric Soileau said if rural areas have to be bypassed, then the spraying will not solve anything, as those are the areas mosquitoes are coming from. Landreneau said this spray was a contact killer, so it would not prevent the mosquitoes from coming back into sprayed areas.

Soileau said he wanted to go on record that although the jury is accepting this reduced plan now, that they will continue to try to get more areas sprayed in the future.

After the meeting, an agreement was reached between DHH and the parish. According to Secretary/Treasurer Doug Deville, a plan was approved with 106,777 acres. Spraying began Tuesday night.

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