Proposed mosquito abatement program in Livingston Parish fails vote

Election day in 27 parishes across La., proposed mosquito abatement failed with 67% majority voters

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - To spray or not to spray... There was a heated debate over mosquito control in parts of Livingston Parish. A proposal that failed in a May 4 election would have meant a $3 monthly fee added to water bills, and those against it were very passionate.

The signs were hard to miss in Watson and other areas north of Denham Springs. Those are the districts where the mosquito abatement plan would have taken effect.

Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies were called in to watch over a meeting held before the vote at Live Oak High School, but thankfully, their services were not necessary. The meeting was tame compared to some in past months. The councilmen behind the proposal invited scientists and mosquito experts from neighboring parishes to explain how the program would work. They said the proposal was different because spraying would depend on surveillance programs that track mosquito populations. Those against the idea brought up several concerns, including the effects of chemicals on humans and other insects like bees. Some said they simply didn’t want to pay the fee.

“The fact that we voted ‘no’ twice already is a big thing for a lot of people, so I’m just standing up for everybody that is opposed to it regardless of their reason, because I think it’s a violation of their rights," said Shannon Sloan, a resident against the mosquito abatement plan.

”There’s a group on social media that’s really loud, but I believe that there’s a silent majority that’s gonna’ support us, and I feel very confident," said Garry Talbert, councilman for District 2.

Ultimately, those against the proposal succeeded. It failed with a 67 percent majority of voters.

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