Street Department Superintendent Tommy Woolley said spraying is not worth the cost.
“My biggest issue with mosquito spraying is that it doesn’t work,” Woolley said. “It makes people feel better about spraying in their neighborhood, and I know that sounds terrible, but with all the insecticide regulations, I have seen no difference at all with the stuff we’re spraying now.”
Woolley said one drum of spray costs $2,000.
“It takes 20 hours a week to spray the whole town, and a drum lasts 60 hours or about three weeks,” he said. “We would have to pay whoever sprays overtime because it has to be done after the sun goes down.”
The council decided to wait until later into the summer season to make a decision.
“The closer we get to summer, we’re going to hear more and more about it,” said Councilman Ken Horn. “I’ve had a lot of calls already.”
Councilman Walter Jacobson said he couldn’t see the benefit of spending $20,000 on spray over the summer season if it is not effective.
Woolley said all types of insecticide are basically the same and none is more effective than another.
“You can get it from different vendors, but it’s all the same stuff,” he said. “It’s regulated so tight now on what can be sprayed.”
“The more rain we get, the more mosquitoes there’s going to be, and whether we spray or whether we don’t, there is still going to be mosquitoes,” Woolley said. “If people go outside in the evening when the sun goes down, there’s a good chance they’re going to get bit if they don’t have some Deet on.”
The council also heard an update from “I Can Achieve,” a nonprofit group hoping to occupy the East Highland School property to begin about 27 youth and senior adult programs.
Founder Mary Scott Hicks said the group is working to compile five items the city requested in order for the group to operate out of and renovate the dilapidated building. However, Hicks said they are having difficulty applying for grants without being able to access the school building to make plans and define a budget.
“There are so many people who would donate some time and everything to us if we can get into the school, but the way it is now our hands are tied because of these five items that we have to come up with,” Hicks said.
“What you’re asking me to do is to come up with all the plans I’m supposed to have without getting into the school.”
Mayor Sam Wright said the school is uninhabitable and would have to be repaired before the group could enter it.
“Somebody’s got to look at that building and figure out how much it’s going to cost to make it safe to use and operate in it,” Wright said. “This is a monumental task to repair that building. We can’t afford to fix it, and I don’t know who can afford to fix it. I’m no contractor, but you’re talking about a couple million dollars.”
Hicks said a Childersburg contractor has agreed to evaluate the building soon.
The council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Contact Emily Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.