Pilot hired for county mosquito plane
A pilot from Beaumont has been hired to helm Orange County’s Cessna Ag Wagon to spray for mosquitoes and serve as the craft’s mechanic.
Patrick Borke (pronounced Burke) is an experienced pilot who will help officials map out the plane’s selected routes, Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe told county commissioners Monday.
Borke will also assist in ground surveillance to determine active areas.
“Those numbers tell us where we need to go and where we need to be,” Beebe said.
The mosquito control office still needs to select a loading system for the plane’s chemicals, and find a state-licensed operator for it, he said.
Beebe said a ballpark date to begin spraying might be October, but that’s just an estimate.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done that falls outside of our department,” he said.
The FAA must review mapping selections, as mosquito planes are restricted from spraying in designated wetlands and protected areas, he said.
Cessna introduced its Ag Wagon line in 1965, according to Cessna.com.
In other business Monday, commissioners approved Kellog, Brown and Root to do repair work on the courthouse’s exterior for a little more than $100,000.
KBR also provides living and dining quarters for U.S. troops in Iraq, among other services.
Also Monday, commissioners:
• Approved $1,500 to Claybar Funeral Home to pay for indigent burial expenses.
• Transferred $15,000 from a contingency fund to the transportation department for bus repairs.