Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2013, 9:34 pm
Grant application for lead abatement coming before Moline council
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By Dawn Neuses, firstname.lastname@example.org
MOLINE -- City officials want to continue efforts to make homes safer for children.
Tonight, Moline aldermen will review a staff request to seek a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Lead Hazard Control program that would cover 152 homes in Moline, Rock Island, East Moline and Sterling.
Moline is the grant's lead applicant. If awarded, Moline would administer the program, said K.J. Whitely, Moline's lead program manager.
Since 2005, Moline and Rock Island have spent $4 million to abate lead in 287 homes, working with the Rock Island County Health Department, Project NOW and Rock Island Economic Growth Corp.The money came in two grants awarded in 2005 and 2009.
Ms. Whitley said this will be the first time East Moline and Sterling are joining in the application.She said the list of 152 homes "does not even begin to address all of the houses in the community with lead, and we are trying to target homes with children under the age of 6 who live there or visit."
TheIllinois Department of Public Health has designated Rock Island County as a "high risk" area for childhood lead poisoning, she said.
"Moline and Rock Island are high-risk ZIP codes within the county," she said. "In Moline and Rock Island, 92 percent of the housing stock was built prior to 1980 and 50 percent prior to 1950. The age of the housing stock is a strong indicator for the presence of lead hazards."
The condition of older housing in some areas -- coupled with unemployment and difficult socioeconomic conditions -- have made some neighborhoods an unhealthy place for people to raise a family, Ms. Whitley said.
On average, she said $11,200 is spent to abate lead in a home. Work usually includes replacing or sealing the lead in windows, doors, baseboards and wood floors.
She said children can come into contact with lead dust on the ground, peeling paint and even soil. "Kids like it because it is sweet."
Most families have to be relocated during the lead abatement, she said, and the grants would assist with those costs, too.
The consortium wants to apply for an additional $200,000 Healthy Homes supplement grant. If received, that money would be used by the county health department on education about lead, asthma, mold and other health dangers, she said.
The consortium is requesting the maximum grant award from HUD, which would be used to help low- to moderate-income families, Ms. Whitley said.
The grant requires a 10 percent match. Council documents state the match would come from other grant funds and in-kind services from partners in the consortium.
The Moline committee-of-the-whole meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of city hall, 610 16th St. The city council meeting follows immediately.
Agendas are available at city hall or at moline.il.us.