By Chris Johnson


On Tuesday, July 19, Trustees with the Pecatonica Village Board welcomed a comment from a community member in regards to the issue of public safety. Trustees listened, with Village President Dan Barber asking that certain steps be achieved, in an effort to address the resident’s concern, otherwise a second spraying for mosquitoes would have to be completed.

“There is a certain time frame, where we have to do this,” according to Village President Dan Barber. “There has to be two sprayings, in an attempt to be effective.”

The first kills the current lot, with the second spraying taking out the offspring.

Pecatonica resident Emily Hachmeister asked the Board to reconsider spraying the second time in an effort to try to combat the mosquito problem.

The second spraying was to occur on Thursday, July 21, according to reports.

The risk of being infected by Zika or the West Nile Virus is low in northern Illinois. However, the dangers caused by the use of specific chemicals are higher, Hachmeister said.

“If you spray on Thursday, when it’s supposed to be the hottest day of the year, some of our low income residents could be at risk. If they don’t have air conditioning they will be exposed to these chemicals which have been proven to lead to health problems for children. When they are exposed to these chemicals, studies have shown a significant impact on cognitive development.”

It isn’t just the younger residents, Hachmeister said. There are other problems that spraying causes. It’s not always just people.

“What if someone is pregnant. The Board has to make a decision to keep our community safe. The chemicals are endocrine destructors. It is a neurotoxin and can lead to various diseases. Those chemicals kill all the insects that are natural predators too, such as the dragon fly.”

The effects of spraying were more long-term according to the Pecatonica resident. It’s been outlawed for farming.

“The chemical we are using has been banned for agricultural use. There are a lot of community members who have gardens. I sell my produce at the Pecatonica Farmer’s Market. I say my produce is locally grown and pesticide free. How can I say that? Every living creature outside is affected by this. If you have to go out, use deet or something, spray it on yourself, I heard citronella works. I think the Board should be ashamed for poisoning this community.”

Village Trustee Zach Foster asked Hachmeister to explain what she was asking the Board to consider.

“Are you recommending we not spray at all, or not use this chemical? You don’t want us to spray, but then I will get 100 people asking me when we are going to. I need to know if there’s a better option out there.”

Hachmeister said individual residents should consider avoiding certain times of the day or use a mosquito repellant spray if they do go out. There are answers in the natural world too, Hachmesiter stated.

“If we spray these chemicals, we are killing the predators of these mosquitoes. Mosquitoes hatch every two weeks. I am willing to go to every house in town and get signatures to ask you to not spray, if I have to.”

Village President Dan Barber said he would need the Board’s approval to avoid spraying a second time in order for him to accommodate the resident’s wish.

“When you make a decision to spray, two sprayings are what you get,” Barber said, “but I will do as the Board wants me to do. If you get something to me with 300 signatures, or something like that, I will then do what the Board requests. If that’s canceling the second spraying, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Time worked against Hachmeister, with the request for a number of signatures required needed and a limited amount of time to present them.

A delay in spraying plans impacted the community into Thursday night, as it rained in Pecatonica.

The Pecatonica Village Board will hold a Special Meeting on Wednesday night, July 27, as the discussion on the development of a TIF District is presented.

This could pave the way for the possibility of new construction or possible location of retail outlets, within the Village.

The Wednesday meeting begins at 6 p.m., in the Village Hall.


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