Prairie Township residents will have one less itch to scratch next summer.
The Prairie Township Trustees approved funding for mosquito control through the Franklin County Board of Health (FCBH) at their Nov. 7 meeting.
Although the FCBH took on much of the responsibility for mosquito control this year, they have decided to go to each jurisdiction and ask for participation in the program, including funding, for 2008. This means that next year, individual jurisdictions will have a choice as to whether or not they participate in the program.
According to a representative from the FCBH, the board will aid those jurisdictions that choose not to participate in the program only in situations where it is required by law.
“Basically, the only time we are required to step in is in a case of mosquito-borne disease, and really by then, it’s too late,” he said. “We’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”
The FCBH hopes to establish a county-wide program to cover the estimated increasing costs of providing mosquito control and plans to contribute $168,000, which includes the cost of spraying and setting traps for adult mosquitoes, as well as applying larvicide to mosquito larvae. The program will cost the township a capped $3,328 in 2008 in addition to the amount already afforded to the FCBH.
According to Prairie Township Road Superintendent Dave McAninch, this is a good deal.
The chemicals used by the township to spray for mosquitoes costs an estimated $55 per gallon, and according to McAninch, it’s almost time to restock. Participation in this program eliminates that need.
The program will also save the township wear and tear on township vehicles, as well as employee overtime in the spring, said McAninch.
PTSC on the move
Also at the meeting, trustees decided to move forward with a possible relocation of the Prairie Township Senior Center, currently located in the Lincoln Village Plaza, at 4656 W. Broad St.
The 3-year lease proposal would move PTSC to a new, smaller location, also within the Lincoln Village Plaza.
The new 3,120 square foot space is just over half the size of the center’s current 7,000 square feet.
“Having to much space almost makes it seem empty at times,” said Trustee Chair Steve Kennedy.
According to Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, this move would help to reduce costs to the township while still allowing the center to maintain its vitality. All organizations currently using the space have agreed to continue after the move. These groups help to offset some of the costs associated with the center.
Kennedy explained that when PTSC was started, the township agreed to spend eight percent of the general budget on the center, with a goal of reducing those costs to around three percent. This move would do that.
The current space is leased to the township at $48,006 annually. The new agreement will cost $33,211 per year, including base rent, tax and maintenance. It will also include a $5,000 allowance for renovation of the space.
The township has not yet signed a lease agreement for the center. They have agreed to allow a lease to be drawn up for their consideration.
Though the Franklin County Sheriff reported no disturbances on Halloween, some residents are concerned about remaining decorations.
Residents expressed their frustrations at a home in the township they feel should be described as a “nuisance.”
The homeowners used spray paint to adorn the brick walls of their home with Halloween messages.
According to Zoning Officer Connie Swisher, there is no zoning regulation prohibiting this.
“Something has to be done,” said Virgil Hibbs.
According to Steve Kennedy, the township’s trustee chair, the spray paint is a Halloween decoration and does not violate zoning regulations.
“Do we really want to get into regulating when people have to take down Halloween decorations?” asked Kennedy, “Are we going to do that for Christmas lights, too?”
Both Hibbs and Kennedy agreed to revisit discussion of the situation at the next meeting if the decorations are still an issue.
In other news
•The Prairie Township Senior Center is hosting a potluck diner on Thanksgiving Day. The event will begin at 1 p.m. There is no charge for the dinner, but everyone is required to bring a dish.
•The next trustee meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 19 due to the holiday.
Whitney Wilson Coy contributed to this article.