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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Rats begone, it is hoped, in Bradenton Beach

The persistent rodent problem that has plagued Bradenton Beach City Hall should be resolved by Sept. 10.

Nuisance Wildlife Relocation of Palmetto will be fumigating the building that day and cleaning up the rat detritus that has persisted for months.

Total cost to rid the building of vermin: $9,485. That includes the cleanup program next week and $1,500-plus for trapping and sealing the building.

"We could hear them scratching in the walls," said City Clerk Nora Idso, "and several of us were getting sick due to the smell." She added that there is upwards of two inches of ... well, rat byproduct ... in places in the crawl space above the ceiling.

And the "body count?" Idso said "there were 16 confirmed kills, but there's no telling how many crawled away. That was 16 rats carried out in body bags."

City hall will be closed Sept. 10 for the final battle.