Rats, which reared their whiskered heads in alarming numbers in Clintonville in late summer 2013, once again are on the move, if not the increase, in the neighborhood.
Libby Wetherholt, chairwoman of the Clintonville Area Commission, said she has invited a representative from Columbus Public Health to speak at the panel's July 5 meeting.
The monthly session is set for 7 p.m. at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.
"There have been a few rat sightings that people have contacted me about, so we thought we'd get a refresher course," Wetherholt said. "Some of them might be getting disturbed by the sewer work. We thought if people know what stirs rats up, we could nip it in the bud."
Ryan Younge, vector control manager for the health department, will attend the July 5 meeting. He said his goal would be "mostly education and awareness about the science of rats, what causes rat infestations and then what people can do personally to help prevent rats on their property."
"I wouldn't say it's overly alarming," Younge added of recent rat reports in Clintonville. "We definitely have had some additional service requests come in because of construction, but construction isn't the only factor with rat infestations. Rats, if they are dispersed, still have to find a food source. The key thing for us is finding the food source."
CAC members in September 2013 passed a resolution asking for a study of the rat situation in the neighborhood in response to residents spotting growing numbers of the vermin.
Also at the July session, Wetherholt said new CAC members and one returning veteran will take their seats. Judy Minister was re-elected to the District 4 post, and Dana Bagwell will take over District 5 from Matthew Cull. John Eschenbrenner will assume the seat that had been held by Jason Meek in District 7.
Wetherholt said the organizational portion of the next area commission meeting will see officers elected for 2018-19, and she would like to return to her current post.
"I'm interested," the chairwoman said. "This would be my third year, which is the maximum number. I couldn't be chair after this year."
Wetherholt said members still are being recruited to serve on the CAC's standing committees for the coming year.
Those committees are planning and development, zoning and variance, technology and public relations, historic buildings and elections.
Members of the committees are volunteers and serve one-year terms, beginning the first Thursday of August. Clintonville residents interested in joining a committee may submit a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. July 13.
The email should include a mailing address, contact information, the specific committee or committees of interest and a brief statement regarding the person's background or reason for interest.
Resumes are not necessary but may be submitted.