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CITY, COUNTY WORK ON MOSQUITO-SPRAYING POLICY

The Cattaraugus County Health Department has given mosquito monitoring data to Olean's Common Council president and is clarifying terms of its contract with the city before excluding parts of Olean from the next aerial spraying of mosquito insecticide.

On Wednesday, Mayor John J. Ash sent a map to the Health Department marking areas the city wants omitted from the treatment and pointing out spots where members of a city-appointed task force have documented large numbers of mosquitoes. The city also requested discretion be used in spraying Little League ball fields while games are in progress.

The task force's report at a Tuesday night Council work session stated mosquitoes appear to be thriving despite aerial treatments against both larvae and adult mosquitoes, in some cases because the chemicals fall on trees that shield the breeding areas.

"There are just as many mosquito larvae after (spraying) as before (spraying) in five areas," task force member Steve Eaton told aldermen at the work session.

Some aldermen said they have received numerous complaints about mosquitoes, but other aldermen reported few mosquitoes. No one objected when several task force members and aldermen told the mayor to request some exemptions in the county's spraying program.

"No decision (on the mayor's request) has been made at this time as we are trying to clarify both the city's position and contractual responsibilities," Connie Kramer, the county's deputy public health director in charge of the spraying program, said late Thursday in a written statement. The statement also said the county already uses discretion in spraying recreation areas.

Her department was not represented at Tuesday's work session, and monitoring data used by the county to justify aerial spraying by its contractor was not made available as requested by Common Council President James P. Griffin. But Griffin and others expressed a strong desire to compare the two sets of data before committing to future mosquito control efforts.

Mrs. Kramer's brief statement said the county's data "meets criteria for adulticiding." She said the data had been given to Griffin, who could not be reached to comment Thursday.

Ash said he hopes a common goal can be reached, but he pointed to the county's need to live up to its contract as an indication it will not begin new methods of mosquito control. He added he is also requesting more facts and documentation of citizen calls from aldermen.

Jeff Reed, chairman of the city task force, said Thursday he will call his group together during the second week in August to examine both sets of data in order to determine how to treat mosquitoes. County Health Department representatives will also be invited, he said.

At the work session, Reed suggested hiring a contractor to cover problem areas on foot with insecticides as an immediate solution.

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