Nassau lawmakers renew push for rat infestation crackdown
There's a renewed push from some lawmakers to get more funding to get rid of rodent problems that are affecting some Nassau communities.
Legislator John Ferretti says road work and construction are shaking up rat nests and the rodents are moving to county sumps and people's yards.
Officials say residents in Levittown, East Meadow and Salisbury are calling to say that they're seeing more rats than ever.
"I run for the hills. They're brazen, they're not afraid of me. They run right across the driveway," says Helen Melittinis, of Salisbury.
Ferretti says he is introducing a bill that would allocate $450,000 from the current county's budget and give it to the county's Department of Health so it can come to homes and exterminate rats.
"This is a program that would actually empower the Nassau County Department of Health to enter residents' private property if they request it, and place traps in their property. So we haven't had a program like that in over 20 years," Ferretti says.
County officials say for now, if you call about a rat problem the Department of Health will come and give you some tips like closing a garbage lid or picking up some trash, but if the bill passes the department will be able to lay rat traps to catch the rodents.
County spokespeople say the Legislature will vote on the rat extermination bill on Oct. 29 and that Executive Laura Curran's budget proposal will support the Health Department's efforts.