Residents of a Detroit suburb who have standing water or swimming pools on their properties will be subject to fines, the town’s mayor announced last week.
Concerned with the Zika virus outbreak and a potential spread of Yellow Fever, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, Jim Fouts, has decreed that anyone whose home harbors breeding grounds for mosquitoes can be ticketed by the city.
“I’m worried about Zika, I’m worried about West Nile, I’m worried about Chikungunya and I think we have to begin to look at the potential for Yellow Fever sweeping the United States within the next year or two,” Fouts told WWJ radio host Charlie Langton last week. “Yellow Fever is even more serious — 20 to 50 percent of the people who contract Yellow Fever die.”
However, chances of contracting Yellow Fever are remote, with the CDC describing incidence in the US as “very rare,” and ABC affiliate WXYZ reporting the disease hasn’t hit North America in over a century.
Fouts, who has served as mayor for nine years, defended the “extraordinary measures” claiming they were vital to prevent deaths, such as those seen during the outbreak of West Nile in 2002.
“I felt that we needed to take extraordinary measures to make sure that we don’t fall into the serious situation we had about a decade ago or so.”
In addition to throwing $90,000 at the mosquito problem, Fouts has mandated city inspectors go around issuing warnings and tickets to residents who have standing water or pools on their property.
“If they do not respond in time then they could face a fine of anywhere from $100 to $1,000,” Fouts said.
CBS Denver described the mayor’s revenue extraction scheme as a “pro-active approach,” however citizens were quick to point out the city’s own problems with standing water.
“They better inspect their ditches and their dirt streets that hold water and the more ditches they keep digging out through here instead of worrying about people’s pools,” 30-year Warren resident Sharon Haight said.
“Well I guess he will be ticketing half of the city, me and just about every house on our street has a pool of some sort,” said another resident on the “Warren Residents for Accountable Government” Facebook page. “What about city center, I was there this weekend, you know how much standing water was on their property!!! He is getting outrageous!”
“Oh my life you have to [be] kidding me,” said resident Annette Messinna Cumpf. “So let me get this right if you have a swimming pool you could get a ticket. I didn’t know it was illegal to have a pool in the city?? Fouts is a nut job we cannot let him get another term. I wish I had a pool I would love to take this one to court.”