Administration open to compensation for rodent expenses

Administration open to compensation for rodent expenses

PAWTUCKET – Members of Mayor Donald Grebien’s administration say they appreciate City Councilor Mark Wildenhain’s creative suggestion to offer some sort of tax incentive to residents who enter into expensive contracts for rodent control.

In a memo to the council up for discussion this week, Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo said he also appreciates Wildenhain for calling him directly to speak at length about “this important quality of life matter.”

While there are currently no such programs, he said, the city will research options and explore opportunities to identify potential funding sources that don’t place an additional burden on taxpayers. Grant funding is a priority of the council, he noted, “and we will exhaust every alternative that we can.”

Zelazo said the administration also appreciates the council’s partnership on continuing to support the city’s efforts to eliminate rodents in partnership with the Zoning Department. He noted how Wildenhain and former Councilor John Barry III requested to bring in outside vendors to help with the effort last year, and said the council continues to support these “unbudgeted efforts.”

The council had also previously asked what the delay was in rehiring outside companies to help with the battle against rodents this year. Councilor Tim Rudd had suggested that the council would have approved funding back in March to bring the companies back. Wildenhain also asked at a July 8 council meeting whether the city had re-baited traps that were put out last year as had been suggested.

Zelazo responded this week by saying that the city once again complied with “longstanding practice” of paying return visits to bait boxes with in-house inspectors. Regular rodent control didn’t take a break, he said. The city regularly responds to residents who want abatement done at their property, or notice a property that could use help, he said.

Twice over the past year the city brought in outside vendors, working with the council to go “over and above what we typically do,” Zelazo added. After hearing from Wildenhain, outside vendors were brought back in the spring to do a second round of rodent abatement, he said.