Baton Rouge --- Through its Office of Public Health, the Department of Health is reviewing 36 grant applications for funding for mosquito abatement programs. The opportunity for these grants was limited to parishes that do not currently have abatement districts or that did not begin one until after January 1, 2002.
“With last year’s outbreak of West Nile virus, mayors, police jurors and other parish leaders contacted us seeking assistance,” said LDH Secretary David W. Hood. “We then sought federal funding that could be used to help parishes begin abatement programs. These funds that we are now making available were provided by the CDC, and are meant to serve as start-up funds for parish-run mosquito abatement activities.”
This funding is a one-time grant opportunity. According to the CDC, there are no plans to provide additional funding for this type of grant next year.
DHH’s Office of Public Health is making available a total of $500,000 for the grants. Parishes had to apply for the funds by this past May 28. The 36 parishes applying are Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bossier, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberville, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Union, Vernon, West Carroll, West Feliciana, Washington, West Baton Rouge and Winn. The grants awarded to each parish range from $2,700 to $15,300.
To apply for a grant, parishes had to submit a letter of intent by May 28, 2003. The parish then had to sign a contract with the Office of Public Health by June 9, 2003 agreeing to meet certain requirements by May 31, 2004. These requirements include drafting an official parish resolution to show commitment from the parish in implementing and maintaining the program; providing a detailed plan for the parish abatement program; giving a detailed budget for the program; and defining the required 25 percent match in funds each parish must provide.
The parish will have until May 31, 2004 to meet the requirements, after which the grant will be paid in a lump sum.
For more information about the program, please contact Albert Mancuso at the Office of Public Health, (225) 763-5553.