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Goshen Housing Authority alerts local government board about health concern

The Goshen Housing Authority recently alerted the local redevelopment commission that a home the board owns may contain hazardous lead-based paint.

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 8:52 p.m.

GOSHEN — The Goshen Redevelopment Commission is working to correct a health concern at a home the board owns east of Shanklin Park after being cited by the Goshen Housing Authority.

Mark Brinson, Goshen’s community development director, told the redevelopment commission Tuesday, April 8, that the housing authority had alerted him about a concern related to lead-based paint at 617 S. Third St. The redevelopment commission owns the home, which is rented to a family that receives a voucher through the housing authority.

Brinson said that most of the lead paint seems to be on the home’s porch, but the paint may have been used inside as well. Dust created by aging lead paint can be a health hazard for young children causing learning disabilities, hyperactivity and behavior problems, according to the Elkhart County Health Department.

Brinson noted that the home has not been tested for lead paint, but he suspects there is lead paint in the house because of the structure’s age. Lead paint was banned in the United States in 1978.

Brinson said the property manager, which has an employee certified in lead paint abatement, evaluated the home and provided the redevelopment commission with a quote for getting rid of lead paint throughout the house.

“The total comes up to $6,000, which is a fairly substantial amount of money to invest in a house that we really have no long term plans to keep,” Brinson told the commissioners.

Brinson contacted Elkhart County’s income-based lead abatement program that helps homeowners pay for the removal of lead paint. But, Brinson said, the home does not qualify for the program because it is publicly owned.

Commissioner Vince Turner asked Brinson to check with the housing authority to see if the agency would allow the family to stay in the home until school lets out for summer.

“I don’t want to make this bigger than it is, and I’m certainly not minimizing lead paint,” Turner said. “It’s a serious issue, but I also don’t want to minimize the effects of disrupting a family this close to the end of the school year.”

Another option would be to sell the house, Brinson said. He estimated that the redevelopment commission receives about $700 in income from the rental property each month.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • The board approved a site plan and building elevations for townhouses that developer Matthews LLC plans to construct along the Millrace. The two- and three-story brick and limestone townhouses will have up to 24 units built in three phases, according to the plan. The units will have one to five bedrooms with two to four and half bathrooms plus an attached garage and a fenced-in front yard. Floor plans include 1,200-square-foot to 6,000-square-foot spaces.
  • The board executed a general warranty deed to sell a property at 214 W. Jefferson St. to LaCasa Inc.
  • The board plans to sell two properties at 118 and 120 E. Washington St. Appraisals valued the buildings individually at $97,000 or $195,000 for both properties.
  • The board is seeking proposals to sell the former Western Rubber property, which includes two parcels. The north parcel is bordered by Douglas Street on the north, 10th Street on the east, Plymouth Avenue on the south and railroad tracks to the west. The south parcel is bordered by Plymouth Avenue to the north, an alley between Ninth Street and 10th Street on the east, Jackson Street on the south and railroad tracks on the west.
  • The board approved using up to $27,600 to complete environmental sampling at properties stretching from 808 to 810 Logan St. The site is in the city’s only heavy industrial zoning district. The Logan family purchased the property from Coachman in 1981 and was previously owned by the Abshire Oil Company. The land, which includes two buildings, is listed for sale. The funds for environmental sampling will come from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assessment grant funds.
  • The board is negotiating a contract with Vander Wey and Sons Masons for $4,660 to repair bricks on a historic building at 324 S. Fifth St.
  • The board is working on a contract with Abonmarche for design consultation for a roadway reconstruction and drainage improvement project at Steury and Lincoln avenues.
  • The city’s engineering department is advertising bids for the River Race Drive construction project from Douglas Street to Jefferson Street. Bids will be due by May 5.
  • Commissioners Vince Turner and Laura Coyne volunteered to work with a developer interested in working on a project at the Hawks Furniture building.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.


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