GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - Come Tuesday, the Georgetown City Council will consider whether or not to conduct city-wide spraying to combat the growing mosquito population as a precaution against the transmission of West Nile virus.
An increase in the number of cases has concerned the residents and public officials. The Williamson County and Cities Health District reports six cases of West Nile virus and one death.
The city has sprayed for the mosquitoes in parks every Friday during the summer. The spraying is done between midnight and 5 a.m., officials said.
It will take one full week to spray insecticide across the entire city and up until November when cooler temperatures will kill off most of the mosquito population.
City staff is working with mosquito spraying contractors to obtain cost estimates for providing this service for approximately 7 weeks. Under normal circumstances, this program would be bid per normal purchasing policies, but due to the short window of time remaining in this season, the expenditure will not meet the threshold requiring a professional bid, according to officials.
An estimated cost is $18,500.
The city has the necessary equipment to continue the spraying program, and the ability to obtain the necessary chemicals in a matter of days to expand the program.
If City Council chooses to expand the current program from only spraying public parks to a city-wide effort, staff has contractors that are available to move forward with a city-wide effort.
Officials estimate they would need two contractors to provide the services. They added that the city's equipment is aging and has had light use in recent years, and these machines were not new when Georgetown discontinued the city-wide spraying program in 2009.
If City Council chooses to continue a city-wide mosquito spraying program beyond this year, staff will need to evaluate the need for future equipment replacement and a funding source for next fiscal year.
If one of the sprayers should need replacing this fall, a replacement unit can be purchased for approximately $7,700, according to city officials.
The City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Council Chambers, 101 E. 7th St.
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