Rat erad­i­ca­tion pi­lot pro­gram kick­ing off

Three stage pi­lot to tar­get 9 neigh­bor­hoods at cost of $770,000

The Avenue News - - NEWS -

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz an­nounced an en­hanced rat erad­i­ca­tion pro­gram this morn­ing for nine com­mu­ni­ties in Bal­ti­more County, in­clud­ing Mid­dle­sex and Hawthorne. The com­mu­ni­ties were se­lected af­ter an anal­y­sis by Code En­force­ment of­fi­cials and dis­cus­sions with County Coun­cil mem­bers and com­mu­nity lead­ers. The Plan will pro­vide in­ten­sive ex­ter­mi­na­tion treat­ment, in­creased trash pick-up, and ed­u­ca­tional fol­low-up to all homes in the pi­lot area. The in­ten­sive ex­ter­mina- tion treat­ment will cost $170,000, as de­ter­mined by a com­pet­i­tive bid award. The in­crease in trash col­lec­tion for the tar­geted ar­eas will cost $600,000 an­nu­ally, for a to­tal pi­lot pro­gram cost of $770,000.

“We have been work­ing closely with the County Coun­cil and com­mu­nity mem­bers over the past few months to take a fresh look at how the County can con­trol the rat pop­u­la­tion,” said Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz. “We be­lieve that this multi-pronged ap­proach will yield re­sults, and by creat­ing a pi­lot in 9 tar­geted neigh­bor­hoods, we can eval­u­ate its ef­fec­tive­ness be­fore ex­pand­ing to other com­mu­ni­ties.”

The pi­lot will be com­prised of three com­po­nents. Dur­ing Phase I, the County has se­lected two pest con­trol com­pa­nies to tar­get nine neigh­bor­hoods with in­ten­sive treat­ment for eight weeks, with fol­low up treat­ments where needed. Phase II will im­ple­ment an ad­di­tional weekly trash col­lec­tion in these nine com­mu­ni­ties. Phase III will in­volve work­ing with com­mu­nity groups to in­crease ed­u­ca­tion and to spon­sor com­mu­nity cleanups. Bal­ti­more County’s Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works will pro­vide dump­sters to com­mu­ni­ties to as­sist in this ef­fort.

“This is a re­ally im­por­tant ini­tia­tive, and I am very pleased that the County will pi­lot the project be­fore ex­pand­ing it,” said 1st District Coun­cil­man and Coun­cil Chair Tom Quirk. “It will be in­ter­est­ing to see the re­sults. It will be very ex­cit- ing if we can move for­ward.”

“I am very ap­pre­cia­tive that the ad­min­is­tra­tion has been so re­spon­sive and is will­ing to try a new ap­proach to con­trol the rat pop­u­la­tion,” said 6th District Coun­cil­woman Cathy Bevins. “This is a real qual­ity of life is­sue for fam­i­lies in my district, and I will be mon­i­tor­ing the progress of this ef­fort very closely.”

“This is very good news for my area,” said 7th District Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell. “A lot of peo­ple are work­ing very hard to com­bat this is­sue, and I am pleased that the County will ded­i­cate ad­di­tional re­sources to this fight.”

“The Riverview Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, is ex­tremely pleased with the new pro­posed ini­tia­tives and we are more than ready to sup­port and work with County Ex­ec­u­tive Kamenetz and Coun­cil­man Quirk in this ef­fort,” said Ron White­head, Pres­i­dent of the Riverview Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Code en­force­ment and fines alone have not been as ef­fec­tive as de­sired,” Kamenetz said. “Part­ner­ships like this and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion must be part of the so­lu­tion to our trash and ro­dent prob­lems, and give us pride in our neigh­bor­hoods.”

Over the past three years, Bal­ti­more County has spent $100,000 and erad­i­cated nearly 16,000 prop­er­ties.

The pro­posal will be dis­cussed at the County Coun­cil work ses­sion on April 25 and voted on at the Coun­cil’s May 1 Leg­isla­tive Ses­sion.

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