Mosquito spraying continues as holiday nears

Technology and equipment used by the his department is effective in controlling the mosquito population, Wahpeton Public Works Director Dennis Miranowski said. Because of this, he sees no immediate need for aerial spraying.

Wahpeton continues to hit hard with mosquito control, Public Works Director Dennis Miranowski said Monday, July 1.

Ground spraying vehicles traveled the city that evening. A few hours earlier, Miranowski updated the Wahpeton City Council on the annual activity.

“Our plan is that we will also (have spraying) on Wednesday evening, weather permitting,” Miranowski said. “All day today, they were out doing barrier spraying in the park area and at the golf course. Let’s hope for a great Fourth.”

Ground spraying is an effective means for mosquito control, according to the Wahpeton Public Works Department. Miranowski reiterated the point both for council and residents.

“We have been able to keep our nuisance mosquitoes at bay. With the new technology and equipment we’re using, an aerial spray is not needed at this point. If we do get a positive (for West Nile disease), that’s going to be an automatic trigger,” he said.

Wahpeton Mayor Steve Dale suggested that concerned residents read the weekly reports by Engineer and Appraiser Technician Josh Meyer. The reports, issued each Friday, are expected to be shared at the city website and through social media.

A different approach

Councilman Brett Lambrecht, 3rd Ward, shared his concerns about recent city employee evaluations.

“I’d like to see a different approach on job evaluations, to make them more accountable for all accounts, in communications and followup,” Lambrecht said.

Lambrecht said he was a little puzzled that while job evaluations were performed, some council members did not receive all relevant information.

“Two department heads received great evaluations, fours and fives (per category), while the public works director received straight twos,” Lambrecht said.

In Wahpeton, job evaluations of departments heads are usually held by committee chairs and or designated council members. Three city employees — the public works director, finance director and police chief — report directly to the city council. Evaluations of the three positions were held earlier this year.

“I believe we had the second-biggest street construction project, the Third Avenue project, in our town’s history,” Lambrecht said. “I believe it went darn good in 2018. I’d just like to see a different approach.”

Mayor Dale said he would take the idea under consideration.

Lambrecht is a former chairman of the Public Works and Safety Committee. His statement comes as Wahpeton leaders continue to examine the public works department’s operations.

In April, Dale introduced a proposal which would reorganize city employees. Several public works positions would be eliminated or affected.

“I don’t want to lose anybody,” the mayor said previously. “There are places that (employees) can shift. It might not be the same pay, but it will better match what they are doing now.”

Save the dates

The plan and a review of the proposed public works operations manager position are expected to be discussed during a 12 p.m. Monday, July 8 meeting at Wahpeton City Hall.

Wahpeton City Hall and the Leach Public Library will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of the Fourth of July.

The next city council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, July 15 at City Hall, 1900 Fourth St. N. in Wahpeton.

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