GRAFTON, Mass. – A late summer marked by Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus scares has turned a Town Meeting warrant item requesting the town enact mosquito controls into a hot-button issue.
To further its request, the Grafton Health Department will hold two informational meetings on Oct. 10 at the South Grafton Community House. The meetings are slated for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will feature Timothy Deschamps, executive director of the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project, and Dr. Sam Telford, professor of biomedical sciences and infectious disease research at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
Grafton Town Meeting was last asked to join the Northborough-based Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project, which conducts tests of the local mosquito population and sprays when necessary, in 2007. That request, like two others before it, failed to gain the approval of voters, many of whom expressed concern about the health of honey bee hives in town.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health set Grafton's EEE risk level at high earlier this month after a Westborough man died of EEE, prompting the school department and local sports leagues to curtail outdoor activities at dusk.
The town will vote on the matter at the Oct. 15 Town Meeting.