The Town of Golden an Columbia Shuswap Regional District are working to address mosquito populations in Golden. (Black Press file photo)

The Town of Golden an Columbia Shuswap Regional District are working to address mosquito populations in Golden. (Black Press file photo)

Solutions sought to Golden’s mosquito problem

Controlling mosquito population would come with additional costs

Whine, slap, curse!

The sound of voracious mosquitoes may not be on anyone’s mind right now, but days will lengthen, snow will melt and they’ll be back.

Hopes are that expanded mosquito control in the Town of Golden and Electoral Area A of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District will make life in the wetlands a little more pleasant.

Area A director Karen Cathcart says mosquitoes are a real problem for about three or four weeks every summer.

“If you have a year with high heat and high water, it affects the quality of life,” she says, noting larvae need to be treated early in the season. “People can’t even go out in their gardens because they are being swarmed.”

Ben Van Nostrand, CSRD team leader Environment Health Services, says a request by Cathcart led to Morrow Bioscience, the regional district’s mosquito control contractor, being asked to provide the benefits and costs of expanding the service and how it would look.

“There would be benefits to Area A and to Golden, but please recognize there will be cost increases,” Van Nostrand said. “We’re comfortable with those increases, but it’s quite an increase in terms of percentage, and Director Cathcart will have to defend that during budget deliberations, which begin in January.”

Cathcart meanwhile says she had been unaware the Town of Golden was not currently included in the regional district’s mosquito control bylaw.

Van Nostrand and CSRD Manager of Operations Darcy Mooney have been in conversation with Town of Golden CAO John Milgard about the need to include the town and expand mosquito control with a 60-40 split on costs.

Mayor Ron Oszust says he is happy with the service increase and Golden paying 40 per cent of the cost.

“Currently, the program doesn’t treat recreational areas around the municipality and this area is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he says, pointing out he has been told mosquitoes can travel up to 10 kilometres.

“I’m happy to expand the treatment area and recognize the impacts to our budget in that there will be a 15 per cent increase for the municipality and a 29 per cent increase for Area A.”

He says a 35 per cent increase in the cost of the program to reduce the annoyance is well worth it.

“To put that into context, there will be an increase of between $5 and $8 to households in Golden and Area A per year.”

READ MORE: CP Rail train derails near Golden

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