Gladwin County to Let Voters Decide to Reenact Gypsy Moth Suppression Program

After some areas in the state saw more Gypsy Moth caterpillars this summer, the discussion grew for how to suppress the population.

Gm4Gladwin County wants to take steps to suppress their populations, and they’re letting voters decide to reenact the county’s Gypsy Moth Suppression Program through a millage.

“Gladwin County has had an effort against Gypsy Moths going back to the state funding from the 90s,” said County Administrator Mark Justin. “We had a millage pass in the 90s that puts the money in a fund that we worked off of for several years. When that fund dried up, the mitigation efforts dried up and that was 8-10 years ago so there hasn’t been any mitigation efforts since that time.”

The millage the county is asking for is .75 mill per $1,000 of state taxable value.

For a property with a taxable value of $100,000, that would be $75 a year for homeowners.

“That would raise approximately $785,000 per year,” said Justin. “That would put enough money into the fund for us to aggressively go out and eradicate the Gypsy Moth.”

If passed, the county’s plan is to spray for Gypsy Moth caterpillars in the spring, then have employees from the county count egg sacs at residences in the fall.

“We load that data into our GIS system, which is a mapping program for the county, and we build a map on where the infestation is greatest,” said Justin. “Then there’s a public notice that goes out to the land owners. If they don’t want their property sprayed, we mark that on the GIS map so the people doing the spraying know exact where to spray and not to spray.”

The county says the product sprayed does not harm wildlife, and only affects Gypsy Moth caterpillars.

The program would begin in spring 2022, if passed.

“Depending on how much we spend every year, the funds will remain in the account dedicated to gypsy moths until they’re run out,” said Justin. “That will certainly go beyond three years.”

Categories: Election 2021, November 2021 Election