During the last couple of weeks I've received many telephone calls about the massive infestation of mosquitoes on the south side of Fort Wayne. There's no question in my mind that the mosquito problem is much worse than it has been for years and that opinion has been confirmed following my recent conversations with Loren Eck, the chief mosquito control officer at the Allen Co. Health Dept. For the first time in 8 years, I've talked on the telephone with severely distressed citizens of areas including Waynedale and Indian Village who are crying as they talk to me on the telephone about the fact that they and their kids are having to spend all summer inside their homes or that they're covered with mosquito bites due to the severe mosquito problem which DEET doesn't really seem to prevent. The only good news regarding the mosquito "invasion" is that as of the time of this writing there has been no real evidence that these mosquitoes are carrying West Nile Virus. Regardless of that fact, there is definitely a public health aspect to the mosquito problem since several kids have been taken to doctor's offices with multiple bites with secondary infection as well as other complications.
After considering all of the information available I've made up my mind that the mosquito problem has become so severe that we need to spray adult mosquitoes at least once and possibly more often. With that thought in mind I've contacted the Allen County Health Dept (funded through Allen County Government) and have been told that funds are not available for spraying adult mosquitoes since at this time there's no evidence that we're in the middle of another West Nile epidemic. Mayor Graham Richard recently made several thousand dollars available to step up the mosquito larvaciding effort. City Councilman Tim Pape and I encouraged the mayor to also provide more city funding for spraying adult mosquitoes but so far Mayor Richard has declined to do so because of his concern about possible adverse effects of mosquito sprays. I believe that the risk is small and remain hopeful that the mayor will change his mind on this issue of major importance to the vast majority of citizens residing in the affected areas on the south side. I've carried my crusade even further to the Indiana State Health Department and the Federal and State Emergency Management Agencies. Final word from these state and federal agencies is still pending at the time I'm writing this column. The bottom line is that I believe the mosquito problem is severe enough that we need spray NOW for adult mosquitoes. I'm doing my best to get the job done and any calls you make to the mosquito control division of the Allen County Health Dept. or to the mayor's will be greatly appreciated.
Later this summer Mayor Graham Richard will host public meetings during which citizens can make suggestions regarding the city budget that will soon be reviewed by City Council. The dates of those meetings will be publicized or you can call 427-1111 for more information. Also, don't forget 2 upcoming special events later this month: the next downtown block party is scheduled for 5-7:30 pm at the old Barr St. market site on Wed., August 27th; the first annual Waynedale Picnic will be held at Waynedale Park from 10am-2pm on Sat., August 30th–both events are free and are open to the public. Everyone is hoping that lots of kids will show up at the Waynedale Picnic event where there will be moonwalks, hot dogs, pizza, drinks, clowns and lots of fun "stuff" for kids!
Give me a call or send an email with any questions or suggestions!!
City Councilman—4th District