A mosquito control program will start in the spring following an affirmative vote at Tuesday's special town meeting.
Lanesborough becomes the ninth town the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project will operate in. The state-backed agency focuses on reducing mosquito populations and monitoring for infectious disease outbreaks.
The Selectmen received more information on membership to the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project that will be on the town meeting warrant.
Before placing and recommending all 10 special town meeting articles Monday, the board heard from Christopher Horton of the mosquito project who explained the program is aimed at monitoring the mosquito population and testing for West Nile virus.
Lanesborough voters will be asked a second time if the town should join the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project.
At November's special town meeting, voters will be asked to first sign onto the project and second to spend $4,500 to allow the project to get the preliminary work done in the spring - to be ready for the peak of mosquito season.
A swath of the town was sprayed this week after West Nile virus was detected last week in the Cross and Pecks Road area.
The town is also asking residents to remove standing water such as in bird baths and tires, and to wear long sleeves and pants and use repellent in the evenings. Should any dead birds be observed, residents should not touch them but instead contact the Mosquito Project at 413-447-9808.
The Health Department has expressed concern with a growing number of tick-borne illnesses.
Public Health Nurse Kayla Donnelly-Winters cited rising numbers of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA)and Lyme disease over the last three years. In 2014, she said there were 15 cases of HGA and 51 cases of Lyme. In 2016, the number of HGA was up to 17 and 82 for Lyme. The number of cases of HGA is already at 25 and there have been 74 cases of Lyme.
To reduce the mosquito population and potential for infection, truck-mounted mosquito spray application is scheduled for 10 p.m. to midnight Thursday, Aug. 3, on roads within a one-mile radius of Route 41and Route 20 intersection (Route 41 to Richmond line; Route 20 to and including Callahan Drive, Cloverdale and Branch streets, Southpond Drive, Thistledown, Scace, Sunny Croft, and Windmere).
The Parks Commission is deferring to the Health Department on whether or not the parks should be sprayed for mosquitoes.
The Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project heads efforts to prevent mosquito-spread disease through a control program, using pesticides to limit the population. There is an option for property owners to exempt their land from being sprayed and Commissioner Joe Durwin, an opponent of the use of the chemicals, proposed using that exemption for city parks unless there is a
Last year was the "season that never was" when it came to mosquito control.
But, this year Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project Superintendent Christopher Horton is back at it with approval for the 2017 plan from the Board of Health.
Voters will be asked to join the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project at town meeting.
The Board of Selectmen voted to add a warrant article asking voters to join the efforts to control mosquito populations after meeting with project Superintendent Christopher Horton. The project is state run and so far eight other Berkshire towns are part of the local effort - those are Clarksburg, Hinsdale, Otis, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sheffield, Stockbridge, and Tyringham.