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Residents bugged by sprayings

Howland trustees hear complaints

HOWLAND — Residents came to Wednesday’s trustees meeting bugged about mosquito spraying and with complaints about road paving.

Resident Jack Mullen asked trustees if changes can be made to the mosquito spraying schedule next year, including cutting down on the number of sprayings.

Trustee Chairman Rick Clark said any changes can be reviewed in the off-spraying season.

“We do receive a lot of calls from residents wanting us to spray for mosquitoes and to make sure we are going to spray,” he said.

Clark said other communities, including Champion, Cortland and Newton Falls, also spray for mosquitoes.

Mullen said Howland sprays five times in the spring and summer months — more than most other communities that don’t spray at all or spray twice at most.

“I found that there are virtually no spraying for mosquitoes in Mahoning County except at a few parks in Boardman and Austintown,” he said.

Mullen said some people don’t want insecticides on their vegetable gardens.

He said having prior notice of spraying will let people cover their gardens.

“It takes me an hour to cover my vegetable gardens. We need to refill the bird baths or our dogs’ water bowls after each spraying. Sometimes I do not know which night they are spraying. We need to let the residents know more,” Mullen said.

He said some residents have asthma, allergic reactions and other health conditions so they need to keep windows closed during the sprayings.

Officials said the township posts on its website and in the local media the dates for the mosquito sprayings, which are dusk to 5 a.m. the second Monday in May, June, July, August and September.

Township Administrator Darlene St. George said the first scheduled day is for the spraying unless there is inclement weather, with the second day being the makeup day.

Trustee James LaPolla said he does not want to see the sprayings changed, but to look at different options of notifying residents.

In other business, Trustee Matt Vansuch said in all his years as a trustee, he has never had calls from people not wanting their streets paved.

“I’ve been here 12 years and to see people complaining that their roads are being paved I thought I had heard it all,” he said.

Some residents have wanted paving delayed on their streets due to scheduled block party events or other celebrations. Public Works Director David McCann said once paving contracts are awarded, the contractor has a schedule to do the job and the township can’t dictate the times unless they specifically know of an event ahead of time.

He said roads scheduled to be paved may be delayed due to rain so the date of paving may change and not be appreciated by residents.

Vansuch said the township has a list of roads to pave and when they are scheduled to begin.

“We can’t change dates. It is up to the contractor of when the streets are scheduled to be done. People may not know their road is going to be paved and may get surprised when it is being done,” he said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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