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Council discusses putting mosquito issue on Nov. ballot

‘We don’t want to do it until we know a good portion of the town is behind it’

The Oregon City Council held its June 23 meeting via Zoom.
The Oregon City Council held its June 23 meeting via Zoom.

The Oregon City Council discussed putting a mosquito abatement up for a referendum vote in November at its Tuesday meeting,

The council eventually decided to hold off on a decision until more discussion and possible action at its July 28 meeting.

After several citizens asked the city to spray for mosquitoes this year, the council discussed the request at June 9’s meeting.

Options include the purchase of a sprayer and use of city staff for $21,000-$25,000 in year one and decreasing costs after year one as well as a contract with an outside service provider at a cost of approximately $13,000 per year.

There are no funds in the current budget for spraying. Both options will require the levy of additional property taxes. With lower revenues anticipated through the loss of sales tax dollars, additional funds will be required.

Going to a referendum to create a mosquito abatement district would require a petition to the courts and then a vote. A small property tax increase would pay to offset the costs of the program.

“We’ve seen a lot of people for it, but not a lot against it,” Public Health Commissioner Kurt Wilson said. “We need to take it to the public and put it on a referendum in November.”

Mayor Ken Williams estimates this would be an additional $8-$10 on a $100,000 home. These funds would only be used for mosquito abatement costs.

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