Ventura County property owners by a wide margin have approved a $4-per-home hike in their annual mosquito-control assessment, officials said Tuesday.
Nearly 71% of property owners who returned ballots, mailed to their homes, gave their approval, said Robert Gallagher, county director of Environmental Health. The measure needed only majority support for enactment.
The increase will raise an estimated $857,000 the first year to make up a funding shortfall in the program. Assessments should drop slightly in 2005-06, said William C. Stratton, a department manager.
Public awareness about the need to control mosquitoes has increased significantly in recent weeks as the potentially deadly West Nile virus has made news, Stratton said.
"This vote shows property owners are aware of the importance of this program."
Vector control workers routinely monitor and eliminate mosquitoes at 1,400 sites across the county.