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City scrambling to stop cuts to lead poisoning prevention program

by Diana Zoga

KMOV.com

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 20 at 11:30 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Facing federal cuts to a lead poisoning prevention program, city officials say they scrambled to come up with money to prevent cuts to a program that provides lead testing and abatement to some city residents.

Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Francis Slay's office said it has some money to keep the program, fully funded for at least another month. In that time, the office says it will look for additional funds to keep the program fully operational.

Wednesday, the city's board of Estimate and Apportionment was to decide whether to eliminate 12 positions for the Lead Remediation Program, after Housing and Urban Development funding dried up.

In a letter to the Members of the Board, the Director of Public Safety asked that the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorize the elimination of five lead abatement inspector positions, two abatement workers, one client service coordinator, a clerical supervisor, account clerk, data entry operator, and building inspector.

Eleven of the twelve positions are currently filled.

A total of 34 people work in the lead abatement unit.

The city says it received $7 million in federal grant money to fund the program for a two year period in 2004. In 2010, the city says it received no grant money and in 2011 received $3 million dollars in federal aid.
 

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