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Commissioners discuss mosquito plan

The Madison County Commissioners gathered in regular session on Wednesday, April 27 at 6 p.m.

Up first for discussion in Public Works was the clean-up of the Sirmans Volunteer Fire Department site. The property owners around the site requested that there be trimming done on the trees in order to help the looks of the building. The commissioners approved the request.

Jamie Willoughby, Director of the Madison Mosquito Control Department, took to the podium to request permission to increase his methods of mosquito control. Due to recent flooding, there has been an increase of mosquitos around Cherry Lake, Pinetta and around the Suwannee/Withlacoochee River. Willoughby stated that the increased spraying would be a temporary fix for the citizens around the proposed areas, lasting only three weeks. He informed the commissioners that he may have to double spray the areas and asked for permission to hire back his part-time sprayer in order to effectively double spray. The commissioners approved Willoughby's requests. Willoughby commented that many citizens of Madison County are in fear of contracting the Zika virus due to the increase of mosquito population, but Willoughby stated that the specific species that has been showing up in his mosquito traps does not transfer the Zika virus. He urged the public to use mosquito protection in their homes.

Next up for discussion, in new business, was the legislative appropriation for a multi-use facility. The county has received a $500,000 grant to make improvements on the agriculture building. Many options were thrown around to come up with ideas as to what to use the grant for. Some of the commissioners considered putting the grant money towards a new building. Other ideas that were presented were replacing the building's roof or making a new parking lot in addition to the building repairs. Another idea presented was moving the facility to a new location. Chairman Rick Davis stated that he thought about creating an advisory board to discuss options. County Coordinator Allen Cherry commented that he would get a speaker from the Department of Agriculture to go over the details of the grant before the commissioners make a decision.

Commissioner Wayne Vickers presented the next item on the agenda in new business regarding the current noise ordinance 2000-112 for Cherry Lake. During the meeting held on March 29 that involved the water quality of Cherry Lake, some residents complained that the noise of the radios from boats on the lake were bothersome. The commissioners juggled around ideas, talking amongst themselves about how to enforce the ordinance and what words to change in order to adjust the ordinance to the residents' needs. Attorney Tom Reeves suggested that the commissioners take a look at how other counties are handling the ordinance and agreed to look into Florida statutes to see if any policies collide with the noise ordinance in order to come up with an effective solution.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about the interview process for the county coordinator position, as the current county coordinator is retiring. The commissioners will come to a decision for which applicant will be chosen during the meeting that will be held on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m.

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