Mosquitoes, ticks on county board agenda

MMCD 2013 budget, program among items before commissioners

adult mosquito            As Washington County finishes digging out from a midwinter snowfall, the Board of Commissioners Tuesday will learn more about the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District’s control program and budget.

MMCD Executive Director Jim Stark will discuss the agency’s 2012 program and review the MMCD’s 2013 budget and objectives at the board’s 9 a.m. meeting.
Stark’s presentation is part of a full board agenda that includes the 2012 annual report from Child Protection Citizen Review Panel Chairman Guy Sedarski and the 2013 assessment classification and valuation change list from the Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department.

Commissioners will also hold three closed executive sessions with Washington Public Works and county administration to discuss buying separate properties in Denmark Township, Grey Cloud Island and Woodbury for trail and park purposes.

After the closed sessions, commissioners hold two workshops. One is with WPW staff to consider options for county participation in the Grey Cloud Slough restoration through construction of a bridge on County Road 75. The second is with Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Brent Peterson for an update on WCHS fundraising efforts for the society’s proposed purchase of a South Greeley Street building for a new historical center.

MMCD officials meet annually with the county board to discuss the agency’s budget and programs. The MMCD has a 2013 levy of more than $16.7 million, with another almost $1.5 million from Washington County, for a budget of more than $17.7 million.

MMCD uses that money to control both mosquitoes and ticks and educate the public on the transmission of insect-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

According to MMCD information provided to commissioners, the agency said 15 West Nile virus cases were reported in district residents last year, with one case in Washington County. Nationally, 5,207 West Nile virus cases were reported last year, with 234 deaths. Texas reported the most West Nile cases with 1,707, followed by 249 in Illinois, 224 in California and 202 in South Dakota.

Besides controlling mosquitoes, MMCD also monitors deer tick activity in the Twin Cities and uses public education as its main focus to lower the risk of tick-transited diseases.

There were 1,201 reported Lyme disease cases in Minnesota in 2011, with 88 cases in Washington County, according to MMCD figures. Another 782 human HGA cases were reported in the state in 2011, with 23 of those in Washington County, the agency added.

Commissioners wrap up their meetings with an update on WCHS fundraising efforts from Peterson. Tuesday’s workshop comes about five months after commissioners agreed Sept. 25 to provide $50,000 to the WCHS to purchase a vacant building at 1862 Greeley Street as the society’s new headquarters and display center.

Conditions placed on the WCHS to receive the county money were the society securing written letters of support from other county-based historical societies; securing donor pledges of not less than $795,000, and entering into a purchase agreement and buying the building no later than June 30.

Commissioners meet in the fifth-floor boardroom at the county Government Center in Stillwater. Workshops will be in conference rooms adjacent to the boardroom.

Contact Erik Sandin at erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

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