The Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District will not be providing service to 70 percent of the city of Riverside after property owners voted against the district providing service in their area. While about 30 percent of the city is already in Northwest’s service area, this attempt was to bring in the rest of Riverside.
The Northwest District provides service in their covered territory for mosquitoes, bees, rodents, and other pests; they also do regular checks for the West Nile virus. The city’s public works responds to complaints outside the district’s service area but provides limited services and does not test for West Nile or treat for adult mosquitoes.
The vector-control district would have cost $8 a year to single family dwellings on a lot of an acre or less and a greater charge to larger properties and densely occupied areas. Additionally, the vote of property owners with large properties counted more since the votes were weighted depending on how much the property owner was charged for the services.
The 49% in favor (57% before vote weighting) for widening the vector-control district area came as a shock since the pilot survey showed overwhelming support for the venture. The results defeated the proposal but city officials hope to run the vote again.
Poor economic conditions were blamed for the defeat of the proposal.
Riverside City Councilman Mike Gardner states, “(Vector) is able to provide a better service than the city can, because they’re so much larger and have so much more equipment.”