Metro mosquito control gets extra $820,000
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has budgeted an extra $820,000 -- nearly 8 percent of its annual $10.5 million budget -- to fight mosquitoes and the West Nile virus.
In recent weeks, an executive committee has met in emergency sessions to release the money from the agency's $5 million budget reserve, said district spokesman Jim Stark.
The mosquito population is unusually large because much of the Twin Cities metro area has received up to 50 percent more rainfall than normal this year.
The agency has treated 190,000 acres of metro wetlands with a natural-soil bacterium to keep immature mosquitoes from becoming adults, Stark said.
Normally, it treats 120,000 acres during an entire season. The agency also has stepped up trapping and spraying in areas where birds and horses have tested positive for the West Nile virus, Stark said.
A 17-member board made up of county commissioners from seven metro counties governs the mosquito-control district.