Councilwoman Schipske Brings Volunteers to Sweep Down Gutters Because Residents
Worried Standing Water Might Breed Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Virus
Long Beach, CA – September 5, 2013 – Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and a group of volunteers are heading for El Dorado Park Estates this morning to sweep down gutters on Marna, Claremore and Ring streets because of resident concerns that standing water in the gutter may be a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus.
“Even though the temperature has run into the high 90 degrees these past few weeks and gutters should be bone dry, residents on these streets are concerned that run off from sprinklers is pooling in their gutters and may be a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus,” explains Schipske, who has responded to several complaints via email and letter and urged residents to stop allowing water to run into the street until funding can be allocated to replace the curbs, to cut tree roots and to replace asphalt.
“Fixing Marna Avenue was estimated by Public Works as costing $375,000,” Schipske notes. “Each councilmember was only allotted $500,000 and so I asked the residents at a series of public meetings to prioritize where to spend the funds in the district. Several block locations were selected ahead of Marna Avenue – Fanwood, Lees, Keynote and Lanai and were repaired. There are many other locations on the list as well and as funds become available, they will be fixed.”
Schipske has held numerous meetings with the Public Works department on how best to deal with the standing water problems in her district. For several years she was able to convince the Water Department to use its vacuum truck to suck up standing water after heavy rains. “They stopped doing that because they sold their truck.”
“Public Works is looking at the possibility of installing French/trench drains in several locations to remove the standing water as a less expensive option,” says Schipske, adding that she is making sure Vector Control sprays the area for mosquitoes even though it is unlikely that the water in the gutter allows breeding.
“I was faced with a tremendous backlog of unrepaired infrastructure when I took office seven years ago,” Schipske points out. “Once funding became available, we began an aggressive program to go through neighborhoods and repair sidewalks, curbs and streets and trim trees. We have made remarkable progress but more needs to be done.” Schipske has posted all repairs on her city website: www.lbdistrict5.com.
Schipske’s volunteers are taking a “break” from cleaning up the alleys in the 5th District to tackle the standing water issue. The alley clean up was started several summers ago and focuses on removing debris, dumped items and overgrown weeds.