West New York updates residents on efforts to combat Spotted Lanternfly infestation

The announcement followed previous criticism by residents that the town wasn't doing enough

West New York officials have provided another update to residents as to how they’re handling the Spotted Lanternfly infestation in town and across the county.

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners defended the actions the town has taken taken to address the invasive species at a meeting in early September.

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Resident Rianna Bryceland previously told the board that the Spotted Lanternflies were out of control at the Versailles Apartments in West New York at 6600 Boulevard East. She said the insects swarm on the front and back of the building, on the promenade, and at the pool, and alleged that the town and Weehawken are not doing enough to get rid of the pests.

Ginger Thatcher, another resident of the Versailles Apartments, echoed Bryceland regarding the Spotted Lanternfly infestation. Thatcher added that the problem is not just at their apartment but all over West New York, and urged the town take action as trees on the street and elsewhere were dying due to the Spotted Lanternflies.

In response, Rodriguez responded that the town is already in communication with county officials. He said he would get back to them as to when the town will have further updates as to combating the Spotted Lanternflies, which he described as an issue across the tri-state area.

At the end of the board meeting on Wednesday, September 28, Rodriguez noted that county officials were in attendance to discuss the issue if it arose again. Although it did not, he introduced Gregory Williams Superintendent of Mosquito Control at the Hudson Regional Health Commission to address residents’ previous concerns over Spotted Lanternflies.

“I want to thank Mr. Greg Williams from the county who came on the line today to address anyone concerning Lanternflies and what we’re doing to address the issue,” Rodriguez said. “I know nobody asked any questions, but I just want to be very clear on the record that clearly the town of West New York is working hand in hand closely with our county and state as it pertains to addressing the Lanternfly issue in our area.”

Williams said he appreciated the public’s patience as the town and county work to address the Spotted Lanternfly issue in the area. While the Mosquito Control was focused on mosquitos recently, they have also been trying to deal with the Spotted Lanternflies.

“I know it’s been frustrating dealing with the Lanternflies,” Williams said. “We are Mosquito Control and that’s been our primary priority during the season, especially since it’s been a very West Nile season. But our crew is fully up and running with the Lanternfly problem. We’ll be getting to everyone’s complaints as quickly as possible.”

Rodriguez thanked Williams for working with the town. He added: “Thank you Greg for your collaboration. I appreciate it.”

The board then adjourned for the night. The next Board of Commissioners meet will be held on October 19 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, go to westnewyorknj.org. In the meantime, the best way residents can help to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternflies is to stomp them out.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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