BLSG and Salisbury still working on a deal
Pesticides are a concern; the concern over pesticide use is what made the vote in Salisbury to not fund the BLSG.
— Paul Vaczy
LEICESTER — Members of the board that oversees mosquito control in six area towns held a special meeting at the Leicester Meeting House July 1 to discuss plans for the insect control district’s relationship with the town of Salisbury. But they didn’t make much progress.
“Two motions were made, one did not get a second and the other was withdrawn,” said Jeff Schumann, one of two Salisbury representatives on the board of the Brandon Leicester Salisbury Goshen Pittsford Insect Control District, known as the BLSG.
“No action was taken,” added Schumann, who is president of Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association.
At the preceding BLSG meeting held June 24, the board voted to stop servicing Salisbury for mosquitoes starting July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Nevertheless, Salisbury remains part of the district.
The BLSG also serves the town of Proctor.
Salisbury voted on Town Meeting Day not to pay its $25,411 portion of the BLSG budget due to concerns about whether adulticide — spraying full-grown mosquitoes with pesticides — is harmful to endangered bats.
The other method of mosquito control is larvicide, which kills mosquitoes before they mature.
“Larvicide is a solid pellet product which can be spread by hand or via an aircraft,” Schumann explained. “There is no spraying, just an application to an area of water.”
Some board member at the July 1 BLSG meeting called Salisbury’s March vote reckless.
“People voted not to pay us because they had the ability to say no,” one member said. “I don’t see why we’re negotiating (with Salisbury).”
One topic discussed at the meeting was if Salisbury was ever going to be serviced for mosquitoes again and how much Salisbury might have to pay for servicing in the future.
“I think the most important part is there is still a dialogue between the town of Salisbury and the BLSG,” said BLSG board member Paul Vaczy, who is also a Salisbury selectboard member. “The state is doing what it can to support a larvicide program instead of an adulticide program.”
Vaczy and other members suggested tallying up how much money Salisbury might owe by accounting for how much the town has paid in the past for larvicide costs versus adulticide costs.
A group of members will discuss the costs of adulticide and larvicide before the BLSG’s next meeting.
“A committee is going to look at the entire budget and attempt to allocate each line item to either adulticide or larvicide or a percentage to each,” Schumann said. “Hopefully they will complete this and the entire BLSG board will approve it before July 13, which is when the next Salisbury selectboard meeting takes place and they could then consider it.”
Vaczy also expressed hopes that the committee might find out an accurate cost of future BLSG larvicide services for Salisbury.
“There is a disparity in the numbers,” he said. “We’ll try to see what we can come up with and have an honest discussion.
“Certainly one of the issues is (that) the townsfolk voted to not fund the BLSG, so we will have to figure out how to move forward from there.”
Although Salisbury residents voted to defund the BLSG, the town did not vote to leave the insect control district.
The BLSG’s board floated the idea of making an environmental committee to discuss the insect control district’s use of adulticide, the method of mosquito control that the Vermont Endangered Species Committee has determined could be possibly harmful to endangered bats and other wildlife.
“There are folks — quite a percentage of the town — concerned with pesticide use to bats, bees, humans,” Vaczy said. “That’s the science. Pesticides are a concern; the concern over pesticide use is what made the vote in Salisbury to not fund the BLSG.”
But although the environmental committee was put on the board meeting’s agenda, the July 1 meeting ended shortly after the environmental committee was mentioned.
“Nothing has been done with regards to that,” Vaczy said. “It obviously didn’t get very far.”
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