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Mosquito control resumes

Mosquito Conrol Board members, left to right Rudy Austin, Jason LeBlanc, Tyke Ely and Cyndi Gaskill. Photo by P. Vankevich

Mosquito Conrol Board directors, left to right Rudy Austin, Justin LeBlanc, Tyke Ely and Cyndi Gaskill. Photo by P. Vankevich

The  Ocracoke Mosquito Control Board announced Wednesday that spraying the main roads will occur for the next couple of nights now that the water is receding.

Here are the minutes from the last meeting.

Ocracoke Mosquito Control Board (OMCB)

Public Meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015; 6:30 p.m.
Ocracoke Community Center

MINUTES

After being called to order by new OMCB Chair, Justin LeBlanc, with Board Members Rudy Austin, Cyndi Gaskill (Treasurer) and Tyke Ely present and Hyde County Health Department absent, a copy of the NC State Statute Authorizing Mosquito Control Boards was provided to all Board Members and is attached to these Minutes.

The Board reviewed and confirmed the current OMCB Tasks as including:

  1. Spraying and treatment for mosquito control in compliance with a state pesticide permit:
    1. Spraying is limited to an as-necessary basis to avoid immunity development in mosquitos;
    2. Residents may request spraying be restricted around their property and efforts will be taken to limit overspray within reason and capabilities;
  • Open water bodies are also treated with a larvicide;
  1. Clearing and maintenance of existing ad-hoc drainage ditches in village of Ocracoke, primarily the clearing of debris and removal of blockages;
  1. Upon property owner request and acquisition of appropriate CAMA permits, OMCB will cover the expense of the installation of culvert to replace the ditch on such property. It was discussed that several years ago, OMCB would pay for the acquisition of the CAMA permit but no longer does so do to the cost of securing the CAMA permit.  Chairman LeBlanc mentioned that there may be a General CAMA permit that OMCB could acquire to alleviate this case-by-case/property-by-property approach to facilitate culvertizing drainage ditches.  Additional research on this approach will be completed by Mr. LeBlanc in advance of the next OMCB meeting.  It was also noted that some property owners have come to regret getting their ditch culvertized as it can create standing water on the filled-in land.

The Board discussed whether or not a long-term plan for the OMCB to address long-term standing-puddle drainage in the village fell within the authority and mission of the OMCB.  It was determined that while alleviating all standing water in the village was infeasible and that major storm events would still product significant flooding, those puddles that are long-standing, i.e., remain for 4 or more days after a rain event could and should be addressed by the OMCB within available funds from the existing budget surplus (see below).  It was noted that there is a general understanding with NCDOT that if OMCB provides a connection from existing drainages to major puddling areas on roadways, NCDOT would pay for the installation of boxes and grates at the roadway to drain these puddles into the new OMCB-installed connection.

Financial Report – OMCB funds are collected via a Hyde County tax of $0.01 per $100 value on all taxable property (land, automobiles, etc.).  Several years ago it was higher at $0.03 per $100, but in light of a growing surplus it was lowered to $0.01.  The surplus generated from these higher tax rates stands at approximately $250,000.00.  It is these funds that the board agreed to use towards puddle mitigation, provided that the surplus did not drop below one-year’s operating budget (approx. $50-55K).  In addition, it was discussed that some of these surplus funds may need to be used to acquire and build out property for the storage of the OMCB vehicle, equipment, and materials currently stored under a rental agreement with an OMCB employee.

Under the current tax rate, the OMCB receives approximately $50,000 to $55,000 per year and spends most of that annual revenue on annual tasks (spraying and treating, projects (ditch culvertizing), board and staff compensation, storage, materials, and maintenance).

Assessment of Maintenance Needs – It was determined that the OMCB members will tour the village of Ocracoke to identify outstanding maintenance needs with existing drainage ditches, culverts, and outfalls that can be addressed by the OMCB and for such maintenance tasks to be undertaken within budgetary constraints.  It was noted that all Ocracoke residents should be encouraged to contact the OMCB to identify drainage issues so they can be assessed and potentially mitigated.

Project Bids – It was reviewed that the OMCB outsources work culvertizing drainage ditches or installing puddle drainage connections to independent contractors.  All bids with an estimated cost greater than $30,000 must be put out for public bid while those less than $30,000 may be sole-source issued without soliciting bids.

Next Meeting – the OMCB meets quarterly.  The next meeting will be held in early-to-mid November at a specific date and time to be determined.  Two-weeks public notice via public postings and media outreach will be provided.

 

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