10/26/06 — Flood woes suck money out of city's bug budget

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Flood woes suck money out of city's bug budget

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 26, 2006 2:35 PM

Heavy rains and floodwater that saturated much of Goldsboro and Wayne County this summer left their mark.

Monday, City Council members dealt with one of the aftereffects of that wet weather -- exhaustion of funding for the city's Mosquito Control Program.

Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra requested an additional $5,000 for the program, citing various reasons the $17,000 he was already given for the 2006-07 fiscal year is now gone.

One of them was increased manpower and chemicals used after the West Nile Virus scare on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

"We sprayed additional hours this year," Cianfarra said. "And when the base assumed they found West Nile, I sprayed even on the weekends."

The mosquito population is controlled by the operation of three pickup trucks with machines, which spray an atomized solution of Biomist that controls the adult mosquito population. During "mosquito season," the city is covered two times per week by crews that spray in the early morning and evening hours, Monday through Friday.

And while cold weather and freezing temperatures send the insects into dormancy, Cianfarra said it's not time to halt spraying just yet.

"Normally, when I get two freezes in 10 days, I can stop spraying for mosquitos," he said. "We haven't had that yet."

Council members approved the allocation of additional funding for the program Monday.

"As soon as it's transferred into that budget line item, I'm going to purchase chemical," Cianfarra said, adding in the end, the move will save the city and its taxpayers money.

"Because we've reached the end of season, we can get the chemical at a discounted price," he said.

And should two freezes occur in the next few days, the allocation will still not be for naught, he added. You never know when a mild winter will bring the mosquitos back and you can never be too prepared for next year's conditions, he said.

"There have been a couple of times when I have had to start spraying in February," Cianfarra said. "I won't get my new budget until July 1 next year."