LANSING — State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) introduced House Bill 4573 on April 27 that would allow townships to establish a special assessment ordinance for mosquito abatement. This bill comes in response to a mosquito problem that Mundy Township has experienced for years and, in the last year, has addressed by spraying throughout the township as part of a one-year trial. The township spent $150,000 on spraying in this first year alone, according to a press release.
“Particularly with the spring weather upon us now, many communities across the state are faced with the re-emergence of increasingly large mosquito populations,” Sneller said. “In response, many communities rely on spraying to control these pests. My bill is a common-sense measure that allows townships to spread out the cost of such public improvements, just like cities and counties currently can.”
In current law, counties and cities are able to establish a special assessment for mosquito spraying, but townships are not. This bill would authorize townships to initiate a special assessment district by resolution, in addition to a petition of at least 25 percent of land owners in the special assessment district, to include the mosquito abatement special assessment on an upcoming ballot for a vote.
“If passed, my bill would allow Mundy Township to divide the cost of such a necessary procedure among the 7,500 parcels of property that would be within the special assessment district,” Sneller said. “Especially as illnesses spread by mosquitos continue to rise, like Zika virus, it is critical that we as lawmakers enable our local communities to institute public health measures such as mosquito spraying. I hope that my colleagues will understand the necessity of this legislation and work to provide this much-needed support for our local communities.”