Confusion over state mosquito funds

by Carol Thompson

The announcement by New York State Senator Patty Ritchie that the state will provide $150,000 to battle the mosquito problem has left some residents, and even some legislators, in confusion.

The announcement was interpreted by some to mean that Oswego County would receive all of the funding. That is not the case, according to county officials.

The funds will be split between Oswego, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. It is not known how much money each county will receive.

The details of how much each county will receive have not been worked out, however, the program will be administered by the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District, according to John DeHollander, who heads the district.

It is believed the funds can only be used for state lands, however, there remains uncertainty.

Last month, the Oswego County Legislature approved spending $18,436 for a mosquito surveillance program.

The program involves marking mosquitoes with a fluorescent power to track them and is significant, county officials said, because it will help determine more precise information regarding locations, distance and time adult mosquitoes migrate.

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