Fulton County was awarded a check Sept. 3 in the amount of $12,002 from the Governor's Emergency Fund to help combat the West Niles virus.
Gov. Huckabee authorized the release of $1 million to be divided among 75 counties for the emergency control of mosquitoes to prevent further spread of the virus.
The funds are made available to Intergovernmental Cooperative Councils, with checks mailed to each county judge for disbursement.
W.R. Bud Harper, director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said the state did not anticipate additional funds to be available in 2003. He said it was essential for counties to develop an ongoing mosquito abatement program and use any funds from the grant to purchase larvicide for next year.
Harper suggested the counties partner with the State Plant Board, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Department of Health to develop a program.
The funds from the grant are to be used for purchasing chemical larvicide for control of mosquitoes, and for education of the public on mosquito abatement procedures. It can be used to purchase equipment for hand or backpack application to spread the larvicide.
It was further stipulated in a letter from Harper the money is not to be used for the purchase of adulticides (adult mosquitoes), adulticiding equipment, or personnel costs. Receipts for all expenditures need to be maintained for the purpose of future audits, Harper explained.
Judge Curren Everett said he and county Extension agent Clay Cochran have met to discuss how the money should be spent within the state guidelines.
Cochran said the county is looking at products that are safe to use with natural occurring bacteria. He explained that no money has been spent yet, but when it is the chemicals will be safe for water, humans and the environment.