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Mosquito abatement could disappear in Livingston Parish

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Monday, October 21, 2013 - 6:53pm

Voters in Livingston Parish said no to a new tax to pay for mosquito control. Now abatement officials say, they'll run out of money in just a few years.

"I will probably be two years before we quit all together. What we are collecting now will pay for the services in 2014. We have some reserve funds in the bank," Jeanine Tessmer, director Livingston Parish Mosquito Abatement, explained.

Gene Covington, is part of the 66.78 percent of Livingston Parish voters, who voted against the new way to pay for mosquito control. He says the 3 mill property tax was too much to pay just to put away the pest.

"I think the mosquito abatement program is good. I just didn't think the increase in the millage or the change of the structure of the pay was good," Gene Covington, said.

Other voters like Ione Story say without the tax livingston parish will be in a tough spot.

"I think that people are going to suffer for this. The parish is going to suffer for this. Mosquitoes are going to multiply," Story said. "I think we have a lot of swamps, ponds, rivers. So, you can't kill them all, but you can control some parts (with mosquito control.)"

Mosquito abatement district officials agree.

"You can't operate any business or service of any kind if you don't have an income. We will not have an income after this year," Tessmar said.

Officials were having problems getting people to pay the old 30 dollar fee for services. It's why they wanted the tax millage in the first place.

They say the tax would have meant about $1.25 million for the district.

This was the last year for the $30 service fee. Now Mosquito abatement officials said they will not have any way to collect more money from parish residents.

Tessmar warns without mosquito abatement the parish will be at risk for getting tons more mosquitoes. She warned some of those mosquitoes could present a health risk.

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