OREGON – After several citizens asked the city to spray for mosquitos this year, the Oregon City Council discussed the request at its meeting on June 9.
Mayor Ken Williams and the council had an open discussion on mosquito abatement programs. They discussed several options.
Option 1) The city would purchase the sprayer and complete the treatments with existing staff. The approximate cost of this for year 1 would be $21,000 - $25,000. This cost includes the equipment purchase price, chemicals, catch basin treatments and personnel overtime. Year 2 costs would decrease since the sprayer equipment would be paid for.
Option 2) Contract with an outside service provider. Estimate for this service is approximately $13,000 per year. This cost would re-occur each year of the program.
There are no funds in the current budget for spraying. Both options will require the levy of additional property taxes. With lower revenues anticipated through the loss of sales tax dollars additional funds will be required. Two funding options will be reviewed:
Funding Option 1) Create a Mosquito Abatement District under 79 ILCS 1005. This would require a petition to the courts. This would then go to a referendum on the ballot. A small property tax increase would pay to offset the costs of the program. Mayor Williams estimates this would be an additional $8-$10 on a $100,000 home. These funds would only be used for Mosquito Abatement costs. This option allows the public to vote on the tax increase.
Funding Option 2) Allocate health and safety funds that have a minor surplus currently, shifting the focus of the funds from a Community Service Officer position to the Mosquito Abatement. This would cover the current summer and for future years add an increase to the 2021 tax levy to cover ongoing costs.
The discussion included concern from some council members that not all our residents would want their yards and homes sprayed. There was additional discussion of the possible impact on the chemical to other insects like bees and butterflies.
Williams assigned Commissioners Schuster and Williams to further explore these options and concerns and to report back with a recommendation at the next meeting.
The city welcomes citizen input. Please email City Administrator Darin DeHaan [email protected] with any comments or concerns. You can also send us a message on our Facebook page search @oregon.il in your Facebook search bar.