2018-08-09 / Front Page

Caseville discusses insect treatment

By Ben Muir

CASEVILLE – Whether to pay for a thorough annihilation of mosquitoes in the city was up for discussion at a council meeting on Monday.

“I personally support it,” Council Member Todd Talaski said at Monday’s meeting. “It seems like it’s been a terrible year for mosquitoes.”

The issue is still young, with the city just underway in its deliberations on whether to spray for mosquitoes, while the township – having only about five days since it came up – had proposed asking the public in the election, and paying for it through a millage, if it were to pass.

Jaime Learman, the city office clerk, offered a different payment plan. After he got a quote of $29,000 for the spray job, he said it could be charged as a flat rate of roughly $34 per parcel in the city.

“If you do it as a millage,” said Learman, examining the township’s possible route, “( . . . ) then you’re paying on a taxable value. So, if you have a house that’s worth [$150,000] taxable, and then you have a lot that’s worth four or five thousand, which is where all the mosquitoes are probably hanging out, is it fair that you with the house would pay $60-70? Whereas, if we did it per parcel it would be $34 and change.”

If the city were to take Learman’s proposal, which he thinks is fair, then it would constitute a special assessment, which means there would be public hearings and opportunities for the public to voice its opinion. What is somewhat complex is the per parcel idea can still be put on the ballot, and then the public hearings can take place afterward, Learman said.

“Which makes no sense to me,” Learman said. “Because once the people vote, they’ve voted on it, right?”

Caseville resident Derek Guster said he favored the township’s plan, considering the property he owns.

“I’m all for mosquito control,” Guster said. “If you’re talking per parcel, that kind of makes me think. I have four lots. If it’s a millage, I don’t have a problem with that.”

The city, however, is strapped for time. A ballot proposition would have to be prepared by Tuesday, Aug. 14 in order for it to be eligible for the November election.

“If not, you’re going to have to pay for a special election,” Learman said. “Which costs a few thousand dollars.”

Councilman Talaski agreed to examine it further.

“We’re rushing it,” he said. “So, we need to slow it down.”

As a result, the council decided to send the issue to the finance committee for review and recommendation.

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