Upton residents voted against joining the Central Mass Mosquito Control Plan (CMMCP) at the Annual Town Meeting held on May 5.
The Board of Health decided to bring the matter before the community after consulting with Massachusetts health officials. The Board said they beleive the Town should be proactive in mosquito control to reduce the risk of mosquito born diseases.
Tim Deschamps from CMMCP joined the meeting to answer questions and give a brief overview of the program. He said the program primarily focuses on Larva Control, Source Reduction, Surveillance, Adult Mosquito Control, Beaver Mitigation, Wetland restoration/ditch maintenance, Public Education, and Research. Spraying is done by request only.
“I’m concerned about public health,” said Board of Health Chair Richard Robinson.
Robinson noted only wealthy families in town could afford to spray in order to keep their families safe from mosquito born illneses. This program would ensure
A suggestion was made the BOH manage mosquito control in Town on their own.
Robinson said Upton is not capable of running their own special mosquito program, “We can customize the CMMCP program,” he said.
Several residents spoke out against the program raising concerns about the impact on the environment and potential health risks.
Resident Lara Wahl urged voters to say “no” to joing the CMMCP.
“The Town voted the measure down three years ago and no one has contracted any disease,” she said.
Walh said the risk of being exposed to carcinogens was far greater than contracting a mosquito born illness. Wahl also noted the Upton Convertion Commission was against the joining the program.
Board of Health member Richard Desjardins said several measures to control mosquitoes outlined by the Conservation Commission were in fact “part of the program being brought forward tonight.”
The measure failed.