A recent article in The Sun regarding rats in Pawcatuck Village accurately conveys what is being said in the Stonington Community Forum but does not conform to the current situation in certain respects. For example, the Town of Stonington and Ledge Light Health District did not pay for the extermination services or removal of debris from 1 Millan Terrace. The cost of these services was paid for by the property owner once it was determined that he had the ability to pay.And the order to abate was issued by LLHD to the property owner as the responsible party under the Connecticut Public Health Code 19-13-B21, which states in part that the “owner of the premises” shall keep it free from “accumulations” which may invite the “breeding or collections of flies, mosquitoes or rodents.” On a second point, we concur that a “Band-Aid” approach will not work. That is why we are trying to educate the public, through mailings and public meetings, that all property owners affected by the problem must work together to resolve it. Rats travel. There is no point in stopping them at one home if they can go next door. So the neighborhood must collaborate on baiting, trapping, and eliminating sources of food and water. They must also help us to find the source. Finally, we are aware that some homeowners may not have the financial ability to pay for the professional service needed to comply with the “Abatement of Nuisance” order issued by LLHD. If that is the case, they can apply to the Human Services Department for assistance. No one likes rats. No one wants them in their home or neighborhood. But if we work together to address the problem, we will solve it. With that in mind, on recommendation of Selectman Michael Spellman, we will continue our community outreach to eliminate the problem. Rob SimmonsStonington The writer is first selectman of Stonington.