City hall eyes skeeter policy shift | Winnipeg | News | Winnipeg Sun

City hall eyes skeeter policy shift

By ROSS ROMANIUK, Winnipeg Sun

Last Updated: July 13, 2010 10:13pm

City hall has planned its attack on mosquito-control buffer zones and other parts of what it considers its out-dated and unworkable insect control policy, and is looking for provincial help to make the far-reaching changes.

Mayor Sam Katz and at least some members of his cabinet will vote Wednesday morning to approve administrative recommendations to cut the size of anti-fog residential protective buffers from their current 100-metre radius, and to reduce the duration of certain fogging criteria from three consecutive days to two, in addition to other changes.

“We need to take every opportunity to reduce the number of mosquitoes so that we can enjoy our wonderful summers,” Katz said Tuesday in a prepared statement, adding that the recommended changes would allow the city to “implement a more aggressive mosquito-control program.”

The proposed changes — which would require the Manitoba government to alter a pesticide-use permit issued to the city — come weeks after Katz and several councillors, including Gord Steeves (St. Vital) and Grant Nordman (St. Charles), called for a shift because of disputes between residents over the fog exemption zones.

Though the vast majority of Winnipeg homeowners want their properties fogged with the chemical malathion when the insects become bothersome, the city provides the 100-metre-radius exemption to virtually any resident who requests it. The size of the radius means that the homes of some neighbours who might want fogging are not sprayed.

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