The Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Monday discussed a summary of the Philip's Pest Control contract compliance review.
Hancock County Administrator Eddie Favre said a review was conducted at the request of the city of Waveland.
According to the report, on April 3, the county requested information from Philip's Pest Control regarding compliance with the terms of the county's existing mosquito control contract.
The information requested included: Inventory of vehicles and GPS data for the contract; efficacy testing reports for past two years; explaining why only one type of mosquito is shown; identify state law that requires trapping from March through October; location for trap testing; documentation that mosquitoes have been properly sampled from each zone for West Nile for the past two years; documentation that samples have been sent to the Mississippi Department of Health; documentation of chemicals purchased to support miles sprayed, acreage treated, and miles treated for standing water claims submitted on monthly reports; proof of calibration and droplet testing of the application equipment used for truck #10 and #12.
Favre said the contractor sent in information identifying four vehicles. However, Favre said, the county only received GPS data/vehicle tracking-when-spraying reports from January 16, 2019 to April 12, 2019 for two vehicles.
Favre said that the contractor also stated in the report that the GPS only allows 90 days of backlog.
Favre said there was some "trouble trying to balance the GPS tracking reports with the monthly reports that we get in each month."
According to the report, the GPS tracking report for March 2019 indicates 33 days and 2,401 miles. The monthly activity report reflects 19 days and 3,401 mileage.
Favre said the efficacy testing should be done annually.
"The purpose of efficacy testing is to determine the efficiency or effectiveness of the chemical being used to spray the mosquitoes," Favre said. "The testing is supposed to be done on the actual sampling of the mosquitoes that are here in Hancock County. We have no report of that, even though it's required."
With regards to an explanation as to why there is only one species of mosquito shown, the contractor responded in the report that "Jackson currently only tests samples for the Culex species and 99.9 percent of all mosquitoes found in our nets are of the same species."
Favre said the previous contractor noted in 2015 and 2016 that there was about 29 percent and 18 percent, respectively, of the species Aedes.
In response to trapping, the contractor responded in the report that, "the Mississippi Department of Health currently only tests trapped mosquitoes through these months (March to October). For the months of November, December, January, and February, it is not typically warm enough for mosquito activity, so trapping was kept to a minimal."
The total amount of chemicals purchased from the date of the contract (2016) through April was 234 gallons, Favre said.
"Based on the manufacturer's product information sheet, that would provide coverage, diluted, to almost 400,000 acres," Favre said. "During that same time period, reports show that we've treated two million acres. Based on the information we have, we're not sure whether or not there's been a sufficient amount of chemicals purchased to actually treat the amount of acreage."
Favre said that he recommends submitting the report to the contractor and asking if there's any more information that could be submitted before the next meeting in response to the county's findings.
"At that point, we can sit down, finalize this report and see which direction we need to go," Favre said. "If there's something that's incorrect, inaccurate, misleading in this report, we'd like to find the documentation to correct it if there is anything and go from there."
Philip's Pest Control owner Philip Moran was in attendance Monday and requested an executive session with the board.
Board attorney Gary Yarborough said the only basis the board has to go into executive is to discuss litigation and that Moran is not personnel, but rather a contractor.
"There's a real simple explanation that I'd like to explain to you all," Moran said. "That would clarify what he was talking about earlier." Yarborough said that Moran is welcome to respond in writing.
"I haven't heard litigation," Yarborough said. "At this point, we're sending a request for information. If you want to respond now, that's fine. If you want to respond in writing, that's fine. I don't think it's proper to go in there and discuss it in executive session."
The board did not enter into executive session.
Moran said the next report will "explain and clarify the discrepancies in the mileage."
A full copy of the compliance review can be viewed on the Echo's website at www.seacoastecho.com.
In other action:
Favre told the board that he received an estimate for repairs to Possum Walk Trail. Last year, the trail was damaged in a fire. It is now closed to the public. Favre said the estimate for repairs is about $158,480. The boardwalk replacement is about $72,800. The second part of the estimate deals with ongoing maintenance, which has nothing to do with the fire damage, Favre said. That estimate is about $85,680.
LaFontaine and Supervisor Scotty Adam both said they would rather repair both problems at the trail at once. The board also discussed using GOMESA funds and said the project could be done during this fiscal year.