A key decision was reached last week in the fight against the potential for mosquito-borne diseases coming into town as the South Pasadena City Council voted 4-1 to formally start the annexation process into the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
The resolution passed by the council is required by the Vector Control District and Local Area Formation Organization (LAFCO), which now takes over the annexation process over an estimated six to eight months.
“We’re among two cities in the San Gabriel Valley that are not part of the Vector Control District,” explained Gonzalez. “With the rise of West Nile and Zika cases in the United States I think it’s important that our residents know we have their best interest.”
South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez said, if all goes well in the process, residents will likely notice a new charge by July 1, 2017 of the next fiscal year, when they will be subject to an annual assessment of approximately $9 to $12 annually to cover the costs for the services provided by the Vector Control District.
“The services provided through the district are not available by other private entities,” explained Gonzalez. “They are the only ones who can do the work that is required to monitored mosquitoes, including monitoring and spraying appropriate chemicals when needed.”
Gonzalez said action by council members was a formal step required to join the Vector Control District and staff will stay on top of the process as it moves forward. He expects residents will be receiving information about the annexation into Vector Control District in the near future.
South Pasadena City Council member Dr. Richard Schneider cast the lone dissenting vote against launching the annexation process, continuing to say it is an unnecessary cost to residents. Schneider suggested during last week’s regularly scheduled meeting that the council hold off until November to make a decision on joining the Vector Control District because, according to Gonzalez, the mosquito season is usually in the fall. “He felt, let’s just wait to see how bad the situation in the fall is before making a decision. He wondered if we have to really start the process now. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of leeway because the sooner we start it, the sooner we can become annexed and have services available for our residents. This process takes about six to eight months and we’d like to start moving sooner than later.”