City to purchase new mosquito sprayer, apply for traffic light grant

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Spencer City Council Chambers sign

Spencer’s getting a new piece of equipment for its annual mosquito battle.

On Monday, the Spencer City Council approved the purchase of a London Foggers Model 18-20/GPS Mosquito Sprayer for $15,940.

The purchase was identified in this year’s capital improvement plan, but only for $14,500. The rest of the money will be covered through the public works equipment reserve.

According to an agenda memo, because the project is over budget, a budget amendment will likely be needed.

City Manager Amanda Mack stated in the memo that the overage on the budget likely will be offset by the new system’s “increased efficiency provided with this unit” and fewer overtime hours needed to spray.

Mosquito spraying is routine in Spencer during the summer. The city’s current model is old, though.

“The current model we have was there when I started,” White said. “So it’s over 35 years old.”

Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson asked Public Works Director Mark White whether there’s anyway to know how effective spraying for mosquitos has been. Nelson said residents have asked him that question, too.

“It’s pretty hard to quantify the end results,” White said. “The product that we use, the mosquitos have to be in flight.”

White joked that he’s “never gone out and done a count or anything like that.”

At-large Councilman George Moriarty told White that he is able to tell when the city has been out spraying.

“Mark, I can tell you I live on the river and it really helps down there,” Moriarty said. “We can tell right away after you’ve gone by the next day.”

Grant application for Grand Avenue traffic light project approved

The city may get some help in funding its planned traffic signal upgrades on Grand Avenue.

The council approved, 7-0, authorizing an application for an Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program (ICAAP) grant for the project.

“In the next CIP, fiscal year 22, we’ve identified the traffic light system to be upgraded on Grand Avenue,” White told the council.

The city was working with Bolton and Menk to determine the best options for the project when it became aware of the ICAAP grant, which pays up to 80% of a project.

“We certainly thought it was worth trying because the system is in the $200,000 range,” White said. 

The traffic light project relates to air quality, White explained, because the light timing could improve traffic flow.

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