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Chautauqua County Has Two Lead Paint Problems To Address

Chautauqua County has two lead paint problems.

The federal government wants to help with one of those problems, which is the sheer number of homes with lead paint in our county. A $3 million grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development department will help remove lead paint from between 120 and 150 homes over 3.5 years.

The second problem, unfortunately, is up to county homeowners to solve — and it’s not a financial problem.

As Brent Sheldon, a Jamestown City Councilman and retired county lead risk assessor, said during a recent council meeting, the county has received this federal grant before and had problem getting landlords to participate. The difference between 2020 and previous funding cycles, Sheldon said, is that remediation isn’t as expensive as it has been in the past.

We hope that means we won’t hear the complaints we have heard over the past few years that county officials can’t get landlords to participate in lead paint abatement programs. Lead paint can affect a child’s brain and nervous system; the younger the child, the more harm lead can cause.

Those who rent homes to parents with children should do the right thing and reach out to the county to get rid of the lead paint in their homes because it’s the right and humane thing to do.

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