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North Okanagan mosquito control considered

At least one North Okanagan politician believes it may be time to take a swat at mosquitoes.

Director Jackie Pearase says the regional district should investigate establishing a mosquito control program because the provincial government has eliminated funding for such efforts.

“I want to see what it would mean to taxpayers,” she said.

The primary focus of a function would be nuisance mosquitoes although there is a concern about the possible spread of West Nile virus.

“If it’s a health issue, the province needs to come to the table,” said Pearase, pointing out that health is Victoria’s jurisdiction.

The primary problem spots for mosquito development are standing water along the Shuswap River corridor from Lumby to Enderby.

Pearase, though, admits opinions about a control program are mixed among her rural Enderby constituents.

“There are some people who say they want control and others who say don’t bother.”

For the Regional District of North Okanagan to hire a contractor to control mosquitoes, it could cost between $91,300 and $158,000 a year depending on the amount of work that has to be done.

The government eliminated funding for mosquito control, saying there is minimal risk of West Nile virus.

Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson, isn’t sure that was the best approach to take.

“I’m a bit discouraged they don’t see the value in this,” he said.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has a mosquito control function in place.

 

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