Tyrrell commissioners hear about beavers and mosquitoes

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Tyrrell County has a beaver problem.

“We’ve got to deal with the issue,” said David Clegg, Tyrrell County manager.

Beaver dams in ditches block water flow and flood properties. People destroy the dams, but beavers build them back in two to three days.

Beavers have two or three dams around a Tyrrell County water tower. The ground around the tower is so saturated that the superstructure needed to paint the tower will sink.

A conversation about beavers took place at the February 2 meeting of the Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners.

Beavers are the largest rodent in North America. Adults weigh between 35 and 50 pounds and are two to three feet long. To that length is added a hairless, flat tail, 10 to 18 inches long. The tail is used for swimming, warnings, storing fat and support. Four large yellow incisor teeth are used for cutting bark and trees. Beavers are described as clumsy on land and quick in water. Beavers eat the inner bark of trees and aquatic vegetation, reports the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

One nuisance and health threat will be reduced from June through November.

Tyrrell County will embark on its own mosquito control program, Clegg announced at the meeting. “Everything just sorta happened,” said the county manager.

Until now, the county has asked the Town of Columbia to attack spot issues with the town’s mosquito control equipment.

Thanks to Pitt County that will change. Pitt is giving Tyrrell County a variable flow machine that can be mounted on the back of a county pick-up truck. Coming with the equipment are 30 gallons of chemicals – a year’s worth, said Clegg. Pitt is also sending larvicide. The Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District is also participating in the vector control project.

Clegg told the board the county program will “spray by count, where traps tell us to go.”

The program expense of $15,000 to $20,000 will appear as a line item in the maintenance budget. He said a part-time person will be needed to operate the program.

A contract with Coastal Home Care will deliver personal care to nine at-risk adults age 60 years and over. The program runs through Sept. 1, 2021. Funding at $15,000 comes from Albemarle Commission Area Agency on Aging.

Clegg reported to the board that 88.73% of Tyrrell County property taxes were paid on time. The outstanding amount is $384,251. The board acknowledged the report and authorized the advertising of tax liens.

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