Pickerington officials were on the cusp of enlisting the Franklin County Board of Health to handle mosquito eradication efforts this year, but the price tag proved to be too much of an increase over having city workers performing the work in-house.
City Services Director Ed Drobina said in the December Safety Committee meeting that he would look into having Franklin County perform the work, especially since Franklin County offers more services such as mosquito trapping and West Nile Virus testing.
"It probably wouldn't hurt to sit down and talk to them," Drobina said Dec. 12.
"Right now we have (our) employees do it. They have to go to a training and pass a test," he said, adding Franklin County could give Pickerington residents "more bang for the buck" in the fight against mosquitoes.
Drobina came back with the figures at the Safety Committee meeting Jan. 16.
He said Franklin County could provide the services for $16, 446.38 in 2013 versus the approximately $7,000 a year the city spends on mosquito eradication.
Drobina said Franklin County offers a number of services Pickerington does not, including "catch-basin treatment with dry pellets" as well as complaint investigation and mosquito trapping.
In addition, he said Franklin County provides educational materials and expertise in the mosquito industry.
City Manager Bill Vance recommended the city go with Franklin County.
"It's more comprehensive, if we want to improve upon being more proactive," Vance said.
If we want to play catch-up and put band-aids on it, we can continue to do that."
Councilman Brian Sauer asked Drobina if there were any complaints about Pickerington's level of service.
"Last year we didn't get as many. We probably got just as many complaints (that) we do (the spraying)," said Drobina, citing issues about chemicals and "3 a.m." spraying.
Councilman Jeff Fix said he had concerns about the price "being more than twice" what Pickerington expends. He said Pickerington should continue to do its own spraying.
"I'm totally happy with the (level) of service," Fix said.
"I understand Bill (Vance's) point if we do want to get pro-active. We're fine where we are," he said.
The Safety Committee agreed, informally, to maintain the status quo, however, Councilman Mike Sabatino said the matter could be revisited.
Pickerington already has a health services agreement with the Franklin County Board of Health for 2013, but mosquito spraying and treatment is not included in that contract.