Seminars to Assist Property Owners Create Lead-Safe Housing

HUD Grant Addresses Lead Issues in 190 City Units
     Property owners in Cornhill and West Utica can learn if they’re eligible and get assistance in applying for $2 million dollars that has been awarded the City of Utica at one of three seminars to be held this month, County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Utica Mayor David Roefaro announced jointly, today.

     The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th from 6-9 PM at the Parkway Ski Chalet and Tuesday, June 16th from 6-9 PM at Mohawk Valley Community College Room IT 225 and Tuesday, June 23rd from 6-9 PM at the Parkway Ski Chalet. The seminars are part of the Oneida County Health Department’s Lead Primary Prevention Program and the City of Utica’s Lead Safe Utica 2008 programin conjunction with Gro-West, Inc.andare designed to acquaint owners of both rental properties and owner occupied units with the grant process that provides funding to assist in the costs of needed repairs to the houses located in targeted areas in the City of Utica in order to make them lead-safe. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the funds in February in order to rehabilitate as many as 190 units in the city over the next three years. 
     In addition to targeting older housing stock in Cornhill and West Utica, priority will be given to houses with a history of lead poisoning and those housing children under 6 years or pregnant women, according to the County Executive.
     “This approach should dramatically reduce the incidence of lead poisoning in our community’s children that causes such devastating impacts including brain damage, loss of IQ, symptoms of Attention Deficiency Disorder (ADD), aggression, hyperactivity and subsequent school failure,” Picente said. He added, “Reducing these children’s exposure to lead will save Oneida County taxpayers millions of dollars in years to come by cutting the costs currently spent on healthcare, Early Intervention, Special Education, lower scholastic achievement and higher drop out rates and other expenses later in life associated with decreased employability, Juvenile Justice and incarceration. ” 
     Utica Mayor David Roefaro stressed the positive economic impact the grant program holds for the city. “This program will strengthen the city’s tax base by increasing the value of nearly 200 properties, and provide employment opportunities for local contractors with the required EPA certification in lead-based paint training.”   
     According to Roefaro, available space for the three seminars is limited and he urges interested property owners to register as soon as possible by calling the Health Department at 266-6147 or by registering online at then clicking on “Lead Recalls and Information” and going to “Trainings and Seminars.”