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Mosquito District Selling Plane To Stay Viable

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Flickr user: jingleslenobel
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The Lemon Fair Insect Control District plans to sell the plane it uses to spray larvicide in mosquito breeding grounds.

The Lemon Fair Insect Control District exists to do one thing: keep down the mosquito population. It's primary tool for getting this job done is areal larvicide application. So it's not a good sign for the financial viability of the district that it has decided to sell the airplane which it uses to spray the wetlands where mosquito larva thrive.

Minutes from the district's Jan. 6 board of directors meeting state the district, which includes Bridport, Cornwall and Weybridge, expects to have $11,793.64 on hand once expenses through April are paid. There's also an offer on the table to buy the district's airplane for $40,000. Even with the sale of the district's biggest asset, directors are doubtful that the district is viable in its current configuration.

"A countywide effort is needed, but other towns in Addison County have not shown an interest in mosquito control." - LFICD minutes, Jan. 6. 2015

"Our three towns are too small to be sustainable, both acreage-wise and financially," the minutes state. "With proceeds from the sale of the plane, LFICD can be viable for two or three more years, however, longer term viability will require contributions from more towns. A countywide effort is needed, but other towns in Addison County have not shown an interest in mosquito control."

The board plans to meet with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to determine its next steps.

"Given that we no longer will provide aerial application services, a possible role for the LFICD could be to collect the larval data and inform the VAA when larval counts meet threshold levels," the minutes state. "We would like the VAA to be responsible for contracting out aerial larviciding when they feel that there are an appropriate number of acres. LFICD field techs could perform ground level larviciding when feasible for spot treatment of low acreage."

In addition to local funding, the Lemon Fair District receives a grant from the state. It also earned money by contracting aerial application services to the Brandon, Leichester, Salisbury, Goshen (BLSG) mosquito district.