Police Jury revives mosquito control
By Paul Kedinger
Faced with the resignation of their mosquito control director Antoinette DeRouen and her replacement as an interim director, the Acadia Parish Police Jury called a special meeting Tuesday night to figure out how to proceed with some form of a control program.
“As of now, we have no mosquito control program in the parish,” said Jury President A.J. Credeur in his opening remarks.
After talking with numerous experts from neighboring parishes, jurors opted for a temporary quick fix and a long-term solution retaining an in-house operation.
Jurors agreed with the double prong approach suggested by Juror John Quebodeaux and seconded by Juror Tony Moreau.
The Jury agreed to sign a 60-day contract with Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc. (MCCI) which now serves Lafayette, Iberia and St. Mary Parishes. That firm will take over the parish program as of today (Wednesday).
Quebodeaux’s motion also stipulated that parish immediately advertise for a certified director in order to maintain its in-house mosquito control program.
Glen Stokes of MCCI acknowledged Acadia Parish was “in dire straits.”
Referring to the parish’s operating budgets over the past four years, Stokes told jurors his firm could save Acadia up to $200,000 a year.
“We can save you, hire local people and buy local,” said Stokes, who came prepared with a two-month contract under which MCCI will use parish-owned equipment, supplies, chemicals and trucks. The firm is prepared to offer jobs to Acadia Parish workers.
In turn, Acadia will pay for all insecticides for spraying and all part-time workers beyond four.
MCCI will do no aerial spraying during the two-month period.
Under the interim contract, the parish will pay MCCI $22,500 per month. The contract will expire on June 10.
The contract provides the option to enter into a long-term agreement.
In a gesture of “returning a favor,” Billy Noegel, director of the Vermilion Parish Mosquito Control Program, offered to permit an Acadia Parish director to operate under his certified license while that person became accredited. Noegel explained that past Acadia Director DeRouen permitted him to work under her supervision and license while he worked on his certificate.
While noting Church Point citizens were never consulted about being included in the mosquito control taxing district, Charles Labbe, town clerk, on behalf of Mayor Roger Boudreaux, urged the jurors, “Please move ahead.” He remarked Church Point was “paying dearly.”