Possible mosquito solution could be coming to Portage

Not everyone agrees spraying is the right call
Possible mosquito solution could be coming to Portage

Portage residents may not have to deal with mosquitoes much longer.

The city’s Municipal Services Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss finding a way to spray the town for the bugs. Committee member Mark Hahn said as long as it has public support, all it has to do is look through the Public Works budget for spare money.

“Best-case scenario is we figure this out on Thursday,” he said. “Worst case is it would take up to a month. That would be my guess.”

Hahn said if the committee can’t find the money in the Public Works budget, the members might have to take it to the finance committee. If they can’t find a solution for this year, they could work it into the budget for next year.

Public Works director Aaron Jahncke said it will cost about $20,000 for the project, $4,000 for labor and $16,000 for supplies.

Jahncke has been handling phone calls from residents asking for it to be done.

“People complained a little bit last year,” he said. “It was brought up at a municipal services meeting then, but there was no action on it. This year of course we have more people complaining about it, so there will be some discussion again as well.”

Resident Kayla Kinzler said she’s noticed how much worse the mosquitoes are this year.

“They’ve been really bad,” she said. “I’ve been outside maybe a few times, and I’ve gotten so many bites. It’s crazy.”

Sheila Shaw said she notices how bad the bugs are too, but she said she doesn’t think spraying is the right answer.

“It can’t be a good thing if you’re killing mosquitoes,” Shaw said. “It’s doing something to our system. We’re breathing it; we’re touching it; it’s scary.”

The Municipal Services Committee is scheduled to discuss the budget for spraying at Thursday’s meeting. It is at 5:30 p.m. at Portage City Hall.