Dukes County suspends pest program


Dukes County will suspend its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program at the end of June.

The county will move forward with a public bidding process to determine the scope of services and prices to offer Island towns and residents for rodent control, and other pest services.

In a letter to local selectmen and town managers, county manager Martina Thornton wrote that county program, a one-man department operated by full time county employee T.J. Hegarty, cannot operate with proportional appropriations from only the Island’s two smallest towns assured .

“This is due to the fact that at their annual town meetings only Aquinnah and Chilmark approved participation in the Dukes County Integrated Pest Management Program the way it was proposed by the county, which combined funding would not be sufficient to run the program for these two towns alone,” Ms. Thornton wrote in the letter.

Ms. Thornton said she plans to have the bidding process complete by August 1, so interested towns can contract for pest control services before the end of the summer.

The county IPM program offered rodent control services to municipal buildings at no cost, and to schools, commercial buildings, and residences at a heavily subsidized rate.

In recent years, taxpayers funded most of the program through annual appropriations at town meetings.