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June 25, 2014

Issue is stings, not Central

A mosquito breeding ground in O'Fallon is a serious problem for nearby residents, but we're not sure that the city going to court to prevent a school bus company from donating the property to the Central School District is a serious attempt to solve it.

The city argues that the mosquitoes are a health hazard and that the property shouldn't be transferred until the parking lot is paved and standing water issues gone. However, the mosquitoes have been a problem "forever," according to St. Clair County Board member Dennis Renner -- or at least since 2008, when the city told bus company First Student to pave the parking lot. If the problem is so bad, why has the city let the situation drag on for six years?

This court action to block the property transfer is probably more about the city's strained working relationship with Central than mosquito control. But court cases often worsen problems rather than provide quick solutions. The city might do better to step back and let the school district take over the property.

Central leaders surely understand that if they accept the land, they also accept responsibility for eradicating the health hazard the mosquitoes create.

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