WASHINGTON CITY – The Southwest Mosquito Abatement and Control District met Thursday to approve expenses and discuss the district’s 2015 budget.
The board approved several expenses, discussed amending purchasing policies and considered a tentative budget for 2015. The district’s budget will increase from $499,00 in 2014 to $552,400 for next year.
Most of the budget increase will be used to purchase new vehicles, District manager Sean Amodt said.
The Mosquito Abatement District was created in 2002 as a special service district of Washington County. The District is funded through property taxes, and the budget increase is the result of a Truth-in-Taxation meeting held in 2013.
The Abatement District focuses on providing mosquito control to the county to prevent disease and improve quality of life. Mosquitoes carry several diseases including West Nile Virus. Every year West Nile Virus makes its way to Utah, although the last human case in Washington County was in 2013.
“There were no reported (human) cases in 2014,” said David Heaton, of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department , “but in 2013, we had two confirmed human cases. A lot of times in the state, we’re the first area to detect West Nile Virus because our mosquito season is a little longer.”
The Southwest Mosquito Abatement and Control District is one of the few centers in the state that have their own equipment on site, Amodt said.
“We do our own trapping as a surveillance, to monitor where the mosquitoes are. We also use it to monitor West Nile Virus,” Amodt said. “We’re one of the only districts that have our own testing equipment, most other places send it to the state lab, doing their testing up north. Once a mosquito is positive, that means they could have already gone out and bit somebody. So you don’t want to have too much time in between catching mosquitoes and finding out if they’re positive.”
This year has been an interesting one for the Abatement District, due to the heavy rainfall in August and September. “It just threw us off,” Amodt said. “We didn’t have any rain up until then, then it was just a downpour for three weeks. The mosquitoes were terrible.”
The meeting, held at the district’s building in Washington City, consisted of 11 members of the Board of Trustees, each representing a different city in the county.
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