City votes to cancel APM Mosquito Control service contract


The Mount Pleasant city commission unanimously voted to terminate its contract with APM Mosquito Control for mosquito control services at its Feb. 8 meeting.

The possibility of cancellation was raised at the Jan. 11 meeting by commissioner Lori Gillis because of concerns she received from residents about the environment and public health because of inorganic mosquito control spray.

An amendment was added to the resolution that canceled the contract, instructing the city manager to work with APM on additional studies and information gathering to make a possible new contract in 2017.

"By terminating the contract, I think this will be a reset button to give the public and this commission a better opportunity to review the service and to provide education of the service to better understand the value of it," said commissioner Nicholas Madaj.

More 10 people publicly commented on the contract, the majority in support of voting to cancel it.

"We are not America the strong, we are America the sick," said Mount Pleasant resident Kiana David. "Our future depends on the chemicals we use."

Mount Pleasant resident Deborah Porter's neighbor sprayed their backyard for mosquitoes, the chemicals causing her to have to take daily injections for extreme allergic reactions.

After that experience, she said the risk of being exposed to the chemicals city-wide spray will force her to leave the community.

"You just feel like you're suffocating inside, and that was just with a sprayed backyard connected to mine," Porter said.

Remus resident Jolene Sweet spoke in support of the contract because she is more concerned with the "diseases that can be and are being carried by mosquitoes," she said in an e-mail to city commissioners.

Sweet said she is concerned with the transmission of the Zika Virus, the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

"Research shows that mosquitos are a food source for bats and other small insects, but a very small percentage," she said. "Most bats and other small mammals and insects will choose larger insects."

The contract was originally approved for one year at $85,000.