CONVENT — The St. James Parish Council agreed on 6-0 votes to hold several public hearings on proposals to create a new mosquito eradication program and to reduce fees on residential solid waste collection services.

Officials allocated money in the parish’s 2013 fiscal year budget in December to create the nuisance mosquito program and are now ready to hold public hearings on the fees associated with it, Councilman Alvin St. Pierre said during Wednesday’s Parish Council meeting.

The parish, which already has a mosquito surveillance program used to determine the number of insects with diseases such as West Nile virus, plans to use trucks spraying larvicide and adulticide to kill nuisance mosquitoes, according to the proposed ordinance.

Both treatment forms will be conducted “on a regular basis” within the parish as well as in Gramercy and Lutcher, the ordinance says.

The parish may also employ aircraft spray applications “in extreme conditions,” the proposed ordinance says.

The parish will fund the program with a proposed charge of $3 per month per water meter connection, the ordinance says.

In a separate 6-0 vote, the Parish Council agreed to consider a proposed ordinance reducing its residential solid waste collection fee from $6.75 to $5.30 per month per household.

This reduction is part of a new five-year contract with Waste Management of Louisiana that will provide $225,000 in savings and help cover the nuisance mosquito program’s annual $308,000 cost.

The parish is also providing $101,000 from its general fund to assist with the nuisance mosquito program, officials have said.

Councilmen Terry McCreary, Jason Amato, Ralph Patin, Jimmy Brazan, Ken Brass and St. Pierre voted to approve both ordinance introduction measures. Councilman Charles Ketchens did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

Public hearings to amend the parish’s code of ordinances to provide for the new mosquito spraying program are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. May 15 at the Parish Courthouse in Vacherie, and at 6:15 p.m. June 5 at the Parish Courthouse in Convent.

The single public hearing for the reduction of solid waste collection fees is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. May 15 at the Parish Courthouse in Vacherie.