State Senator Patty Ritchie today (March 27) announced agreement with the Assembly to include $150,000 in the new state budget to help Oswego County’s battle with the EEE virus.
Senator Ritchie requested the state funds to help the county with the costs of spraying to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes, to provide tens of thousands of larvicide treatments for use by private landowners, and to create a low-cost horse vaccination program.
“Since last summer, I have been working with Oswego County officials to find ways to prevent any further loss of life, including hosting a Roundtable of public health experts to identify the best methods for defeating EEE,” Senator Ritchie said. “Today’s announcement follows through on several of the ideas that resulted from that forum.”
The funding agreement was announced by a joint Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee, on which Senator Ritchie serves, and comes just days after Senator Ritchie met with Oswego County officials for an update on preparations for this year’s mosquito season.
Senator Ritchie organized that meeting to ensure county and state officials were following through on their pledge toward better cooperation and a renewed commitment to preventing any further EEE fatalities.
“One of the most important conclusions of my EEE Roundtable, which brought state and local health leaders into one room to discuss ways to better combat EEE, was that officials needed to ignore county line—much as mosquitoes do—when drawing up plans of attack,” Senator Ritchie said.
“I am pleased that they have followed through and have been working to better coordinate their efforts across the region, because that is the best way to defeat EEE and protect public health, and I will continue to monitor their progress and assist in any way I can to help prevent another tragedy.”