Parish mosquito contract goes to MCCI of New Iberia

Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc. of New Iberia landed another two-year contract with St. Mary Parish Wednesday by a margin of one vote.

The company was one of two to respond to a request for proposals. Cajun Mosquito Control LLC of Houma also submitted a $191 quote that was $16 an hour higher for spraying service than MCCI’s at $175.

Chief Administrative Officer Henry “Bo” LaGrange recommended MCCI based on what he said was a higher score on the evaluation of the proposals.

The council heard from CMC owner Jessie Boudreaux who said he handles the mosquito service for St. Martin and Terrebonne parishes as well as for the cities of Franklin, Morgan City, Patterson and the Cypremort Point mosquito district.

He added that he has purchased six new ultra-low volume sprayers for use in the unincorporated areas of St. Mary should he get the contract.

The council also heard from Four Corners resident Virginia Sutton and Ward 2 Justice of the Peace Ray Manual who both said they have not been satisfied with mosquito spraying in years past.

Councilman David Hanagriff (District 3) said he thought the evaluation was flawed since negative comments in a recent report from the third-party monitor were not considered nor shared with the council. The monitor was hired last year at the urging of Councilman Glen Hidalgo (District 4).

Hanagriff said cited in that report was inferior chemicals and older equipment.

LaGrange countered that the RFP submissions were shared with the monitor who also had input on the recommendation. Problems noted in his report have been addressed with MCCI and corrected, LaGrange said.

“This is still supposed to be more of a surveillance (program) than eradicating, because you’ll never eradicate mosquitoes,” Hidalgo said. But he added that he feels that MCCI came in with a low bid on its RFP two years ago then asked for $50,000 more in the fall of last year.

LaGrange said that the $50,000 additional allocation request came for the administration when it appeared that more spraying would be needed in the last months in the year than anticipated. He reminded Hidalgo that the $15,000 salary for the monitor was taken out of the $250,000 annual allocation for the mosquito program.

Councilman Steve Bierhorst (District 10) said in his opinion, both companies are equal.

However, he said, “there’s a considerable difference” in the two hourly quotes, “and when I’m spending taxpayers money, I have to look at that.” He added that the monitor’s report also contained positive aspects as well as the negative remarks cited by Hanagriff.

Bierhorst then made the motion to approve the contract with MCCI and received a second from Councilman Albert Foulcard (District 9). The motion passed on 6-5 vote with Bierhorst, Foulcard, Logan Fromenthal (District 6), Butch Metz (District 1), Butch Middleton (District 2) and Ken singleton (District 5) in favor. Opposed were Sterling Fryou (District 8), Hanagriff, Hidalgo, Tim Tregle (District 7) and Kevin Voisin (District 11).

The surveillance portion of the service monitors from instances of mosquito-borne virus such as West Nile.

After the vote, MCCI owner Glenn Stokes said the company will respond with spraying to any calls of high-density areas of mosquito concentrations. Calls can be directed to the parish at 828-4100, ext. 500, or MCCI at (337) 365-6995.

In other discussions the council:

—Heard from former District 1 councilman the Rev. Craig Mathews on who shared accomplishments of that district’s Leadership Team; and MADD chapter representatives Jackie Ackel and Diane Wiltz who presented gifts of appreciation to parish employee Walter Clarkson for his assistance to the chapter’s victims’ impact panel.

—Passed resolutions on a grant application on the construction of a new chlorine storage facility at Water and Sewer Commission 4’s water plant; in support of the St. Mary Community Action Agency Head Start program; congratulations to Dr. Melvin Bourgeois on his selection as president of the state’s Board of Medical Examiners; endorsement of participation in the Enterprise Zone program by LAPCO Manufacturing, Inc.; authorization for Clarissa Adams, Claire House acting program director, to negotiate a contract with Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; in support of the continued operation of the Morgan City Downtown Post Office; in support of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan as long as adequate flood protection measures are in place; a contract on a Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant on phase 3 of the Martin Luther King Boulevard reconstruction project in Morgan City; and three requested by President Paul Naquin related to Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act proposed projects.

—Waived the open container law for the Krewe of Cypremort Sippers’ Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 18.

—Approved a $10,000 allocation to the Save Our Children Mentoring program from the gaming fund.

—Approved a request for funding by Hidalgo of $25,0000 from the Wards 5 and 8 three-tenths percent sales tax fund to Sub-Gravity Drainage District 1 of Drainage District 2 toward construction of the Opperman Road Drainage Canal project for the new Plantation Inn Drainage Pump Station.

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