Kokko

Town commits nearly $50,000 in 2015 budget to battle Fraserville mosquitoes

 

A mosquito, with sack full of blood, sits on a door screen belonging to Fraserville resident Brenda Kokko, who took the photo. Kokko is one of many residents aiming for a nuisance program to be put in place along with the current West Nile Virus program to combat the annual mosquito problem in that area of Amherstburg.

A mosquito, with sack full of blood, sits on a door screen belonging to Fraserville resident Brenda Kokko, who took the photo. 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council is going on the offensive against mosquitoes in the Fraserville area.

Council members agreed to commit $49,972 in the 2015 budget on a nuisance control program to help combat the ongoing mosquito problem in the Fraserville neighbourhood. The nuisance program is over and above the larviciding program offered in conjunction with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Brenda Kokko, a Fraserville resident, told town council it is a quality of life issue for residents there and that residents are “held hostage” by the insects.

“I love our neighbourhood except for the infestation and overpopulation of mosquitoes,” she told town council.

Residents in that area have been known to suffer three bites per minute, said Kokko, and stated students at Stella Maris School have “mosquito days” where they stay inside at recess. Mosquito repellents offer little relief, she said.

“Our health and safety is affected as is our quality of life,” said Kokko.

The nuisance program offers an 80 per cent kill rate.

Kokko added she has received support from Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and reminded council of the “overwhelming support” she received during last fall’s municipal election campaign.

“I trust I will receive this support now,” she said.

Councillor Diane Pouget said she was “literally attacked” when campaigning in that area last year. The money should be committed now as opposed to waiting until the budget is passed in order that the nuisance mosquito program can be carried out in a timely fashion, she added.

“I think it’s a health and safety issue, especially in your area,” Pouget told Kokko. “My main concern is  that if we wait until budget, it could be too late.”
Councillor Joan Courtney said when quality of life is being negatively impacted, it is her duty as a councillor to do something about it.

“That’s my obligation as a councillor,” she said.

Engaging a firm now to conduct a nuisance mosquito program was also something Councillor Rick Fryer believed in, with Fryer adding the 80 per cent kill rate can be better adhered to if the program can start without delay.

“If we start now, we can hold the company’s feet to the fire and say we want to see the numbers,” said Fryer.