Lee Town Board tables tick-spraying at popular town park

Dave Gymburch
Staff writer
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Posted 5/15/19

TOWN OF LEE — Spraying of the town park for ticks and mosquitoes is being aired by the Town Board, which has stopped short of letting it fly due to uncertainties on how to schedule it at the busy …

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Lee Town Board tables tick-spraying at popular town park

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TOWN OF LEE — Spraying of the town park for ticks and mosquitoes is being aired by the Town Board, which has stopped short of letting it fly due to uncertainties on how to schedule it at the busy facility.

The board reviewed proposals from two pest-control companies Tuesday night, but tabled action to review how to go about shutting down the park during the spraying periods.

Further reflecting the park’s many activities the board approved two new summer usage requests for soccer programs plus a request involving the Spikeball sport.

• Pest-control proposals focusing on ticks were presented by Lee councilman L. James “Jamo” Jones Jr., who said the Little League organization that uses the park had asked if he would look into it. The organization indicated there had been 17 tick bites through last year, he noted.

Problems with ticks and their bites have become more common overall locally in recent years.

The small bugs can attach to the skin of a person or animal, and feed by sucking blood.

They can transmit disease-causing bacteria through a bite, with Lyme disease the most common tick-carried disease locally.

Proposals for spraying included $3,900 plus tax from the Mosquito Victory company for seven to eight applications every three weeks through the beginning of October; it included an estimated two hours to complete each application by multiple technicians, plus 30-45 minutes afterward before being safe for children and pets to walk near or on the grounds. Spraying would need to be after sunrise or before sunset to be most effective, according to the company.

Also, the Orkin Pest Control company proposed a $7,500 cost plus tax for applications including one per month from May-September. It estimated six hours to complete each application, plus a 30-45-minute period afterward before walking near or on the area.

The spraying is “something we haven’t done before,” said Jones, citing “a lot of pluses and minuses.” Town Clerk Sharon Mortis noted the need to “find times...when kids aren’t there.”

Town Supervisor John Urtz added “you’d have to have a schedule developed by the town” for the spraying, and later emphasized “you’d have to lock the park down” with signage/barriers at all access points.

Besides being used for Little League baseball plus soccer leagues, the park has two pavilions used by the community for various gatherings plus it is a popular spot for walkers including people with dogs.

The property borders subdivisions at its southwest and northwest portions, plus other residences are near its northern and eastern boundaries.

The potential spraying is “a tough one,” said Urtz, and Jones agreed “to try to work out the logistics....We’ve got such a busy park.”

As the discussion continued, Urtz said “at this point, until we have a plan...we should table it....Try to figure out how to make it work...to shut down the park for that period of time.” Mortis suggested asking the pest-control companies “if they’ve done a place like the park before.”

• The board approved a request from Tom Larkin representing Copper City Soccer Club for youth soccer academy programs and for a summer soccer camp, provided that its insurance coverage names the town.

Also, the program scheduling is to be coordinated so it does not conflict with AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) and town adult soccer league activities at the park.

• A request from Anthony Storms for a one-week youth soccer clinic at the park was approved, subject to providing proof of insurance and coordinating with AYSO for available spots.

• Using the park for Spikeball practices and tournaments was approved contingent on proof of insurance plus checking with other park sports uses regarding available space, after a request was outlined by local club President Robert Hojnacki.

The sport, described as a combination of volleyball and four-square games, does not “take up a lot of space,” said Hojnacki.

It is played by two-person opposing teams, with a taut hula hoop-sized Spikeball net on the ground between them; using a small ball, a team has up to three hits to control the ball and bounce it off the net toward the opponents.

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