I asked RDOS staff in late June, 2010, to develop a pilot rat control program for the greater West Bench. It will take some time to get the wheels rolling on this, but this is what I envision at this stage:
- A brochure will be sent to all greater West Bench residents containing information about rat prevention and instructions for taking part in the RDOS rat control program.
- Residents who want to participate will contact the RDOS and the RDOS will send a pest control contractor for an initial assessment.
- Based on the assessment, the RDOS and resident will authorize the rat control action.
- The resident will be billed some deductible (e.g., $40, assuming total costs of the treatment exceeds $40).
- The pest control contractor will bill the RDOS for the remainder of the treatment cost.
This is a "pilot" rat control program because the RDOS has received no authorization from you, as voters, to offer a new service. We will fund the pilot this year from our rather limited contingency funds and, depending on the outcome of the pilot, add a rat control question to the ballot in the next general election or referendum. We need your permission if we are to make rat control an official RDOS service in Area F.
The purpose of the deductible payable by the resident it simply to provide residents with incentive to undertake their own rat prevention and control. The program (as it is envisioned above) is not a blank cheque drawn on the taxpayer's account. However, the program does recognize that rats are a community problem that requires coordinated, community-level action.
As always, I am looking for feedback on this proposal. RDOS staff is currently discussing terms with pest control contractors and we should have some news on this soon. The $40 deductible mentioned above is just a wild guess at this point. We will determine a number based on information from the costs provided by the pest control contractor.