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Hamiltonban to review vegetation,
 West Nile issues

Richard D. L. Fulton

(6/18) The Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors will be reviewing the current nuisance regulations concerning trees and other growth to determine if more regulations are needed.

Board Chairman Robert L. Gordon told the board at their June 4 meeting that complaint had been received by the township concerning overgrown brush and trees, especially when such growth potentially blocks line-of-site at roadway intersections.

Gordon also indicted the board should take a look at situations that could contribute to mosquito habitat that could lead to the spread of West Nile Virus.

The board approved a motion at the June meeting to review the ordinance, in the chairman’s words, “possibly to add information regarding West Nile Virus (related situations) and tree and vegetation overgrowth.”

Regarding vegetation blocking roadway line-of-site, Gordon said the township had received recent complaints especially from school bus drivers, noting that, through additions to the nuisance ordinance, “we can fix it.”

Supervisor Harry Rood noted, “There’s a lot of big trees right on the right-of-way” of roads that overhang into the line-of-site, potentially creating a dangerous situation when a vehicle has to see past them to pull out safely onto another roadway.

There is presently nothing in existing township ordinances which address vegetative growth that interferes with highway safety.

There is also nothing in the current regulations that address issues relating to the potential spread of West Nile Virus, a disease spread predominantly by mosquitos, an insect that relies heavily on standing water or quiet pools to breed.

Debris, such as tires or any container that can hold rain water for any period of time, are frequently used by mosquitos as breeding hot spots.

Coleen N. Reamer: vice-chairman of the board of supervisors, told the News-Journal that the existing nuisance ordinance addressing removal of abandoned or stockpiled tires from properties, but only as an unsightly debris issue, not because of the West Nile threat.

She said the township will be considering adopting regulations to address eliminating potential mosquito breeding threats based on “state recommendation for language that could be put in to reduce the standing water.”

Tests conducted in May across the state found West Nile infected mosquitos in Adams (Straban Township) and Erie counties.

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