LAURINBURG — Next week a bug spray truck may come to your neighborhood, invited by Scotland County commissioners who held a second meeting this month to discuss to pressing problem of mosquitoes.
The county was given $54,000 from the state to deal with the pesky biters, but estimates seemed to exceed that amount — until County Health Director Kristen Patterson reported to the board she had found a company, Mosquito Authority, that fits the budget.
Aerial sprays started over budget at $70,000, so the board voted to approve the spray by truck route, which will be $6,282 per treatment, including lodging for the workers. The county plans to pay for five treatments after the next storm passes, which will be over a time span of five weeks.
“They (the workers) will break up the county into three sections — because the county is so large, we can’t spray everywhere,” Patterson said. “Because we don’t have the funding, we chose the most highly populated areas.”
The route the trucks will spray remained undisclosed, but Patterson said that they chose 216 miles of road the trucks will take in the most populated areas of the county.
For areas with standing water, the health department passed out all dunks they have to the public. They have ordered mosquito spray and hope the product is in by next week so it can be given to the public.
In other business Tuesday …
— The county discussed the debris removal fee because homeowners are receiving warnings to remove debris from their yards. The subject was tabled until the next meeting.
— County Manager Kevin Patterson shared an update on the new cell phone tower the county is planning to erect — Verizon has given a proposed lease agreement and the consultant is reviewing the agreement for the November agenda.
— Patterson brought before the board that EOC personnel need government cell phones for events like Florence. He suggested adding about six phones to an already existing plan for emergency purposes.
— The Laurel Hill Community Center auditorium was flooded from Florence and the board discussed whether or not to fix or condemn the older building.
“The community is against tearing down that building, because of the history, and we have accommodated that to some extent,” said McCook. “I am concerned that it could become a liability issue.”
“We have been having the same problems with it for 20 years, I am surprised we continue to consider it for future use,” said Betty Blue Ghoston, commissioner.
She agreed with Patterson when he suggested that the board reach out to the Laurel Hill School System when the new gym is complete and discuss a use agreement for the county facility.
The auditorium has been locked from use but the community continues to use the building for events.
— Patterson urges the public that if they have applied for FEMA assistance to answer the phone. If contractors cannot get in contact with homeowners after two calls, the owner has “voluntarily withdrawn” assistance.
“You will get a letter with that information and can take it to a FEMA center to get it reactivated, but if an inspector can not get on your property your case will be closed.” said Patterson.
Jael Pembrick can be reached at 910-506-3169 or [email protected]