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Miami-Dade County Faces A $10 Million Tab For Mosquito Control

Allan Cespedes, a manager at Orkin Pest Control in Miami, demonstrates how his company sprays foliage to control Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Kate Stein
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The total cost of mosquito control in Miami-Dade County became a bit clearer Tuesday, as officials released a preliminary look at the county’s 2016-2017 budget.




A memo from County Mayor CarlosGiménezsays the county will likely spend about $10 million dollars on mosquito control in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.That's about five times the $1.5 million the county had allocated for mosquito control in its 2015-2016 budget.


The county could also spend $10 million on mosquito control next year too, according to Mike Hernandez director of communications for Miami-Dade County.


"We just prepare," said Hernandez. "In the event there needs to be money spent, we just spend that money to protect the community."

Hernandez said the county is seeking state and federal funds to cover its high mosquito control costs but that might prove to be a difficult task.

So far, FloridaGov. Rick Scott has promised Miami-Dade County $5 million to help cover mosquito control costs. And Congress came back into session Tuesday, withZikafunding a top priority following calls from lawmakers throughout Florida and across the country.

But late in the day Tuesday, the Senate failed again to pass an initial $1.1 billion Zika prevention package, largely because it included partisan provisions related to Planned Parenthood funding. This failure means that both parties have to go back to the drawing board to figure out a compromise formula that will open the way for extra funding to fight Zika.

A previous version of this story wrongly stated that the Miami-Dade Couty had allocated $1.8 billion for mosquito control in its 2015-2016 budget. The correct amount, according to Miami-Dade County Budget Office, is $1.5 million.

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.