RDOS mosquito prevention program increasing to cowl Princeton, Keremeos and Naramata – Penticton Information

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Photo: Randy McGuire

RDOS mosquito spraying focuses on standing water areas

Mosquito control is heading towards a full regional service for 2023 throughout the entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, adding in Princeton, Keremeos and Naramata.

The RDOS Mosquito Control Program (MCP) works to limit the potential of widespread nuisance mosquitoes, targeting known mosquito sites with a naturally occurring granular bacterial larvicide which, when applied to water, kills mosquitoes and biting black flies at their larval stage but does not harm any other insects or animals.

Throughout March to September, over 400 sites are monitored throughout the South Okanagan Similcameen, not including Princeton, Keremeos and Naramata.

In the past, cost apportionment for the mosquito control service was based on a value-added three year average of time spent in each participating area, on improvements only.

During the 2021 budget discussions, the fairness of this method was questioned and a motion was brought forward to discuss an expansion to a regional service.

This changed moves all properties to pay the same rate per $1000 depending on their assessment.

“For about $700,000 property. It would cost $3.44 for the program for a year and put a perspective on it. A large coffee and donut at Tim Hortons is $3.36,” Lisa Bloomfield ,RDOS Manager of Engineering said during Thursday’s meeting.

Challenges with the current systems leave areas with a highly variable tax requisition rate every year.

“Of course in Area G we certainly support the option, just because of the fair and equitable addressing issue around the fact that mosquitoes don’t see borders,” Tim Roberts, director for rural Keremeos and Hedley explained.

Naramata director Karla Kozakevich noted she was also in agreement with expanding to a regional service, even if her area hasn’t seen much of a mosquito problem themselves.

“We’ve all traveled to different parts of the region and we appreciate when we go for hikes or wine tasting or whatever in other communities that mosquitoes are being controlled there. So I think a full regional service for the entire RDOS is the fairest approach. We all benefit,” Summerland Director Doug Holmes noted.

“I probably spend more on mosquito repellent for my family and my children than this will cost us in the year,” Ron Obirek, the Okanagan Falls area director added.

The motion passed for establishing a full regional service, with one director opposed.

Moving forward, the RDOS will need to prepare an amended bylaw and bring it to the board for three readings. The amendment bylaw will then be sent to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval.

Photo: Contributed

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