GRAFTON, Mass. — The article to reinstate the town of Grafton into the Central Mass. Mosquito Control program,was defeated last night at Town Meeting by 10 votes.
Town Moderator Ray Mead took a head count, which came in at 95 voting “no” and 85 voting “yes.” Passage required a simple majority vote.
This is the second time in five years that the town voted not to rejoin the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project, the Northborough-based state-supported agency that conducts spraying, standing water cleanup, and education on mosquito born disease. This vote was much closer than in 2007 due to the record breaking amount of West Nile Virus and EEE in Massachusetts and the country.
Dr. Sam Telford, an expert on mosquitoes and insect-bourne infectious disease at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said the chemicals used in the spraying, Sumithrin, have been tested to be safe to humans and that the chemicals break down quickly reducing harm to “friendly insects” and plants.
Dick Dion, a beekeeper and cancer survivor was not convinced. He said that he could not believe the spray is not harmful given the health problems he lived through over the years.
Another resident, who lived near a swamp, said she voted against the project in 2007 but is for it this time.
“The mosquitoes are out of control,” she said.