In the wake of an uptick in complaints from residents about rat infestations last year in scattered sites throughout the village, North Riverside Interim Village Administrator Sue Scarpiniti is seeking to expand the village’s contractual health inspection services to include animal control as well.

“The village has reached out to seek competitive pricing for a combined health inspection/animal control program,” said Scarpiniti in an email. “We are looking for licensed health inspectors who also have experience overseeing a comprehensive pest control program within our commercial districts.”

The village presently contracts with a firm called LEHP Management to perform health inspections at businesses that sell and prepare food, and last year sought out the services of First Illinois Systems to perform rat abatement in residential neighborhoods on an as-needed basis.

However, Scarpiniti said she would like to take a more comprehensive approach to rat control after realizing that a scattershot approach to rodent control wouldn’t work long term.

 “We had someone look at the commercial areas, identify areas of weakness that the village needed to concentrate on that would feed into the animal control type of program and work out some recommendations,” Scarpiniti said.

The village board will get a look at a formal proposal for the new combined health inspection/pest control plan soon as part of the budget planning process, according to Scarpiniti. 

“I plan to present my recommendations to the village board within the next few months with hopes that the program can be implemented by late spring/early summer,” Scarpiniti said. “Right now I am researching options and obtaining numbers for budgetary purposes.”