Two levies providing funding for the fight against invasive noxious weeds and mosquitoes in Union County passed by decisive margins Tuesday night.
Measure 31-87, which will raise about $175,000 each of the next five years for the control of noxious weeds, won 4,593-3,477. The five-year levy, which takes effect July 1, will cost voters about 12 cents per $1,000 of property value, meaning the owner of a $100,000 house will pay $12 a year for the levy.
Measure 31-88, which will raise between $226,829 and $233,702 annually over the next four years to fight mosquitoes, easily won 6,108-1,943 The measure, which also takes effect July 1, will cost property owners 16 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $16 a year for the levy.
The mosquito levy will be a continuation of similar four-year levies passed by Union County voters in 2008 and 2012, said Chris Law, district manager of Union County Vector Control. Law was encouraged by the support Measure 31-88 received.
“I’m glad to know that the people of Union County appreciate what we do,” Law said.
He said that almost all the mosquito work done by the vector control is funded by the levies voters have approved.
The passage of Measure 31-87 will have a dramatic impact on efforts to fight noxious weeds in Union County, said Dan Sharratt, treasurer of the Union County Noxious Weed Levy Political Action Committee.
“It should make a huge difference,” Sharratt said.
He noted that the county will now be able to hire a supervisor for noxious control efforts. Among the supervisor’s responsibilities will be working with landowners to help them develop plans for removing noxious weeds.
The county will also be able to spend more on biological and chemical means for controlling noxious weeds. Weeds that will be focused upon include yellow star thistle, which is toxic to horses.