By Chris Johnson


PECATONICA – It didn’t take much more than a community of concerned residents as well as a social media influence that pushed the Pecatonica Committee of the Whole into action.

Based on how the Committee System is set up, the Chairman of each specific committee, within the Committee of the Whole, can authorize certain expenditures, restricted by the overall cost of the decision.

With mosquitoes invading, for residents, especially those along the river and wooded areas, the issue has been almost unbearable. Many weed plots remain to be cleared and standing water has contributed to the upsurge in the mosquito population. Some residents had reported being unable to step outside their front door to take their family pet for an evening walk, without getting swarmed.

It is a difficult year for them, all in attendance agreed, including Committee Member and recently appointed Village Trustee Paula Hachmeister. The mosquitoes are bad, Hachmeister reported to her fellow Committee Members, however, she had reservations about attempting to eradicate them.

“I’m concerned about the chemicals they use in these mosquito sprays. I’m worried about the mosquitoes like everyone else, but I’m also concerned about the long-term effects of being exposed to the mixture they use.”

During what has been reported as one of the wettest two-month periods in recent memory, mosquitoes have taken residence within the Village limits and have shown no sign of expressing their desire to leave.

Complaints were filed with the Village Hall as well as through social media on how terrible the mosquitoes in Pecatonica are this year.

“They’re especially bad,” according to Village Trustee Bill Smull. “For those residents who live closer to the river it’s terrible this year. There are a lot of mosquitoes. It could be one of the worst years we’ve had in a while.”

Following action taken Thursday night, July 2, the Committee of the Whole decided it was time to spray.

Village President Dan Barber said it’s what will happen.

“It will cost about $1,000 an application. I talked with professionals and have been doing a lot of research on this and we found out it could take up to four sprayings. Each time we spray it’s about $1,000. The professionals, the people who I asked, those who work in this field said we may have to do it up to four times. Each time you spray, you have to spray within a certain number of days after your first application a second time.”

Committee members, voting by a three-to-two margin decided the Village would spray for mosquitoes.

The cost of spraying hasn’t changed much in the past seven years; however, spraying hasn’t been something the Village has done much, in recent history.

In 2014, the Village of Pecatonica sprayed twice at an expense of $1942.00. In 2013, the two sprayings conducted by the Village cost $1,904.

Between the years of 2009 and 2012, there was no spraying done at an expense to the Village of Pecatonica. In 2008 one spraying cost the village $940.

Barber told Committee members that the arrangements would be made to have the Village sprayed, but impressed upon the Committee it’s responsibility to be able to find the money in an already short stacked, less-than-optimistic financial statement.

The Committee of the Whole will present its findings to Trustees with the Pecatonica Village Board when it meets next on Tuesday, July 21, beginning at 6 p.m.


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