HUMBOLDT — Humboldt council members said Monday night they would depend on residents to tell them when to spray for mosquitoes this year.
In discussion that tended toward shying from spraying, Councilwoman Vada Aikins put a cap on it with a motion that, in part, said “leave spraying up to the community.” The action came on the heels of Mayor Nobby Davis proposing that mosquito activity and numbers be monitored and to “spray only if we really need to.”
In the past city crews have sprayed each week, much as to their counterparts in Iola.
However, some concerns about the spray being harmful to the environment and children — Ellery Robertson’s comments early in the meeting — won the day.
City Administrator Cole Herder said he had two negative calls about spraying — one from Robertson. He suggested giving residents a greater role in mosquito control, by encouraging them to watch after stagnant water, favored breeding place for mosquitoes. His take, before Davis and Aikins had their say, was to monitor the insects and also pay heed if West Nile infections became a problem anywhere near Humboldt.
If spraying is done, Herder’s recommended, on advice from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, use of a larvacide, which stops the larva from developing.
He also distributed a flyer from the American Mosquito Control Association that urges dependence on the 3 D’s: Drain water to eliminate breeding; dress in light-colored and loose-fitting clothing, which discourages mosquitoes; defend with repellents.
HERDER will work with Allen County and local parties to find a solution for provision of meals for homebound and other eldery residents.
He noted the county is discussing having the Meals of Wheels Program take advantage of the jail’s kitchen. Sheriff Bryan Murphy told county commissioners two weeks ago meals could be prepared there for $1.50 each, compared to $2.48 for those coming through Senior Services for the Elderly in Coffeyville.
The discussion arose when the county learned SSE would change from delivering hot meals daily to a menu of five frozen meals carried to the county once a week.
Herder said he could see no way for Humboldt employees to transport the meals daily from Iola, but, at council member’s urging, said he would “work out a direction to go.”
Humboldt will have full control of its swimming pool this year, after ending its relationship with USA Pools, a national pool management company that had held the reins the past two years. Last year’s experience left much wanting. Severing ties cost Humboldt $9,000, less than originally was anticipated for the deal-breaker.
Two Humboldt women, Heather Jones and Misha Collins, will share management responsibilities. The pool will open with a “splash day” on May 24.
IN OTHER NEWS, council members:
— Learned two rental properties will be rehabilitated for about $34,500 through a state Department of Commerce program funded 75 percent by a community developmental block grant. Owners will pay $5,000 each for the properties, at 908 1/2 Bridge and 1015 S. Ninth streets.
— Alerted residents a chlorine burnout will affect the taste of tap water, and that some may have a rusty color, which could stain laundries, because of hydrant flushing. Both processes started Monday and will continue for several days.
— Were told Johnathen Muhl, an Iola Boy Scout working toward his Eagle Scout certification, would place a container at City Hall to collect worn American flags. A similar container will be at the courthouse in Iola. Flags collected with be disposed of in a flag retirement ceremony.
— Noted Civil War Days will be June 5-7 at Camp Hunter. The event is held every other year.
— Applauded the police department for passing a state security audit, during which offices were found to be secure, standard operating procedures well-written and terminals used and managed properly.