Despite opposition, city approves mosquito control
After several residents voiced their concerns, the Mount Pleasant City Commission voted to contract with APM Mosquito Control on sprays.
At its Nov. 23 meeting, a handful of residents spoke during public comment about their concerns for the environment and their health because of mosquito control tactics.
Nancy Robinson, a resident of Kinney Street said she is highly opposed to inorganic mosquito control.
"Please consider what kind of harm you're doing to our community with the spray," she said. "People have other ways of protecting themselves."
After reaching out to the Health Department and the Central Michigan University Biology Department, as well as hearing presentations from different mosquito control companies, the commission had mixed opinions. Members of the university's biology department said spraying could disrupt the ecology in Mount Pleasant.
Commissioner Matthew Sous made a motion to reject any mosquito control after public comment, but the motion was struck down.
Former Mount Pleasant Mayor Sharon Tilman said she approved of the spray used. Mount Pleasant entered a one-year contract and will pay $85,000 for mosquito control, as opposed to $16,000 in sewer briquettes which may be better for the environment, some residents said.
"I resorted to spending money to screen in my back porch," Tilman said. "There are a number of people that experience reactions to mosquitoes. Certain weeks our city has gotten uncomfortable. I'll also note I haven't noticed people dropping dead because of the spray."
Sous, as well as some residents, said they were concerned about the environmental impact of mosquito spray on 50-acres of land in Mount Pleasant. Union Township recently rejected bids for mosquito control, which Sous said makes things in Mount Pleasant more complicated.
"I don't want to do this without Union Township," he said. "I'm concerned about the environmental impact--it would affect the bottom of the food chain and go up from there."
Commissioner Tony Kulick made a motion to approve mosquito control for 2016. His motion passed.
"Mosquitoes don't know where the border is (between Mount Pleasant and Union Township) and will suck blood in the city, but for the comfort of our community it's worth a try for a year," he said.
The following were also approved at the Nov. 23 meeting: