Monday, August 27, 2012
Plano opts out of Denton County aerial spraying
Denton County will host a press conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. to announce which cities have opted in to the spraying.
PLANO The city of Plano will not opt in for aerial mosquito spraying over the city's Denton County portion, City Manager Bruce Glasscock said Thursday.
Denton County Judge Mary Horn asked cities Wednesday to opt in or opt out of the spraying, declaring a state of emergency in the county due to West Nile virus. Approximately two percent of Plano's population, or 5,400 people, live in the Denton County portion of Plano.
Denton County, which has seen 118 infections and two deaths caused by the disease, currently has the highest rate of West Nile virus in the state. Plano's current number of human West Nile infections is 19.
The city of Plano sees no need to include its Denton County portion due to the low rate of the disease in the city, said Geoffrey Heinicke, Plano's environmental health manager.
"Of the cases we've had in the city, only two of those cases are in the area of Denton County, so we don't feel that justifies the use of aerial spraying in that portion of the city," he said.
No special council meetings will be called to discuss the matter, Glasscock said, though the council will be briefed on the issue at Monday's regular meeting.
Cities who do not respond by the deadline will not be sprayed, said Kate Lynass, director of administration for Horn.
"So far, what I've heard from the different cities is that they're waiting for information or for the councils to meet," Lynass said. "We don't want just one person to make the decision. We want the decision to be made by the local governments."
Denton County's population is only three times larger than that of Plano, yet the county has six times as many human cases of the disease than the city, Heinicke said. The county discovered six new cases the day the state of emergency was declared.
Denton County will host a press conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. to announce which cities have opted in to the spraying. Spraying in the county could start as early as Tuesday night, Lynass said.
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