Marion County Healthcare Foundation helps county officials in mosquito spray control
MARION, S.C. – Marion County officials received some relief to help the public being overwhelmed by large mosquitoes spawned by standing water as a result of Hurricane Florence. Marion County Healthcare Foundation donated a $137,764 check to Marion County Council Thursday to fund mosquito control.
The county didn’t have a mosquito control spray program due to lack of funding. Only the city of Marion had a program through a private contractor and has been spraying every night since the storm.
Harper called it a program that is going to benefit all of Marion County.
“We got the equipment ordered and that should be here by the first of next week,” he said. “We will begin spraying for mosquitoes by the end of next week.”
Harper said the grant will allow county officials to purchase three Clarke Grizzly ULV mosquito spray units.
“This is a new program for us so it’s going to be a learning experience to see how long it takes us to get over the county,” he said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the citizens of Marion County.”
Harper said officials received hundreds of calls for a problem experienced throughout the region. The plan for the program is to spray throughout the season, he said.
Sen. Kent Williams called it a blessing.
“Most calls that we received daily were about mosquitoes and everybody throughout the county was impacted,” he said. “We just want to thank the Marion County Healthcare Foundation for stepping up to the plate and providing the funds.”
Harper said the purchase of the equipment will make the county eligible for funding for the chemicals needed to continue the spray program.
Marion County Council Chairman Buddy Collins said members were thankful for the generosity.
“A lot of what we do could not be done without the Marion County Healthcare Foundation,” he said. “We’re going to work hard to get this thing started and serve all the people of Marion County.”
Marion County Healthcare Foundation Chairwoman Janie Johnson said the grant committee quickly responded to the issue.
“We are glad to do that and I think it’s a good thing,” she said.
Marion County Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Pete Mazzaroni said he received a lot of calls after the storm.
“We knew we were going to need to step-up and do something,” he said. “Unanimously among the board we all agreed to step-up as a foundation to support Marion County.”
Mazzaroni said the response to the mosquito infestation is in line with the foundation’s mission to provide innovative grants for unmet needs.
“And clearly we all know the health impact that mosquitoes pose,” he said. “We are more than happy to do this.”