Livingston residents vote against mosquito abatement property tax

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Ione Story remembers well, how her home in Livingston Parish used to be infested with mosquitos before the Parish Mosquito Abatement Program started back in 2005.

"It was so bad, that our patio window was covered and our front door glass was covered," said Story, who leaves with her husband off Juban Rd.

Now she may be faced with those troubles again after residents voted no on a property tax which would fund the program.  Story says she and her husband would take care of the bugs themselves, but there is one problem.

"We have five acres, we are, we are both elderly we are not able to do this, " said Story

While voters said no to a tax increase,  Mosquito Abatement director Jeannie Tessemer said the program will have to use its reserve funds to operate, but late next year that money will run out and with nothing to fight off the mosquitoes is sign of a big problem for the parish.

"They're going to multiply in mass and people of the parish will be inundated with mosquitoes. Which means many more of them. And your taking a greater chance getting bit, " said Tessemer.

And that brings up another major issue. Tessemer said the parish had 22 cases of West Nile Virus before the abatement program started eight years ago. This year, they've only had two. And, she said numbers like that should make it quite clear that residents would be getting a good bargain.

"People are so reluctant to turn lose $30 a year which is less than the price of one cup of coffee a week," said Tessemer.

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