West Nile Virus: County funds Chollas Creek renovation project - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

West Nile Virus: County funds Chollas Creek renovation project

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A potential breeding ground for West Nile Virus mosquitoes at Chollas Creek is slated for destruction if Planning Commission officials on Thursday vote to fund a plan to renovate part of the the creek. 

Officials are expected to approve $292,000 in county 'vector control funds' for the creek renovation project - significantly lowering the threat of the West Nile Virus by eliminating a major breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

The renovation project is one step in a long-range plan to connect the creek with the community surrounding it. 

The threat of the virus in the Chollas Creek Community in southeastern San Diego has become more serious over the years as the concrete channel lining of the stream bed has degraded and instead of flowing, the water stagnates. 

Longtime Chollas Creek resident Carmen Blas, along with her grandchildren, said the number of mosquitoes in their community grew alarmingly high last year. 

"Last year was bad, very, very bad. Sometimes I worry if it is going to harm us," she said. 

If the funds are approved, the creek would be renovated, the concrete lining would be removed and the channel bottom re-graded to eliminate the stagnant water. 

Leslie Reynolds is the executive director of Groundwork San Diego - Chollas Creek, a non-profit dedicated to restoring the creek and improving the community. She said the long-range vision is to turn the biologically rich area into an accessible resource for all residents - especially children. 

This long-term regional park project will ideally be realized over the coming decade. As for the creek renovation project, once the funding is officially approved, work will get underway. 

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