LA GRANDE — The Union County Vector Control District soon will be able to upgrade its arsenal for preventing the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile disease.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a measure Tuesday that will raise close to $1.3 million for the Union County Vector Control District over the next four years. Funds from the levy will go toward mosquito control services.

Chris Law, manager of the Union County Vector Control District, told The Observer earlier this month that passage of the levy would help his department upgrade the services it provides, including aerial applications with drones. Law said that using unmanned aircraft can treat large areas much more quickly. This would give district the potential to treat more acres.

The measure will cost Union County property owners 16 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, according to a statement on ballots for the May 19 primary election. This means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $16 a year for the levy.

Passage of Measure 31-100 renews an operating levy that has been in place since 2008. A four-year operating levy of the same rate was first approved by voters in May of 2008 and was renewed by voters in 2012 and 2016, according to the Union County election ballot.

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