Enrollment in the lead abatement program for Hayden and Winkelman began several weeks ago. Homes and public structures in these towns which were constructed prior to 1978 are available for this lead abatement program, which inspects and tests structures for lead based paint, removes it, and restores the building.
I heard last week that enrollment is moving slowly. This surprised me, because lead is poisonous and children are especially sensitive to it. The dangers of lead are well known to citizens here, because lead was emitted from the smelter over the years. Exposure to lead is cumulative, so the longer we live the more the lead accumulates in our bodies.
The smelter is much cleaner now, but the lead paint in homes remains a toxic element, becoming even more dangerous as homes age or are remodeled, stirring up lead dust.
The program is overseen by Central Arizona Governments, which is a cooperative body assisting towns and cities in developing and overseeing projects in local areas. Central Arizona governments (CAG) was selected as the Administrator by ASARCO with the approval of the EPA. The Court required a government entity be used precluding private contractors as the Administrator of the project. CAG is a Council of Governments created by the State of Arizona. Money to pay for the program is a result of this settlement, so ASARCO is paying for this program although it does not oversee it.
The focus of the program is on the lead paint in buildings. No excavations will be done. Since the money is private, no Federal or State clearances are required. There is no cost to the homeowner at all. There are documents for giving permission to do the lead testing and then for the abatement itself. Both are totally free.
Removal of the lead not only improves health, but also increases the value and salability of the home. We know that mining towns have a bad reputation for housing, so certifying that the home is lead free is a real plus.
I said a couple of months ago that I would follow up on this story. I hope that homeowners will take full advantage of this free program. Renters, let your landlord know about this and make your home safe. To participate contact Central Arizona Governments. They are located at 2540 West Apache Trail #108 in Apache Junction 85120, and the phone number is 480-474-9300. The overseer of the project is Alan Urban.
On to different things, such as the fact that this Friday, Sept. 14, the ArtUS Group (local painters and pencil artists) starts its fall sessions, beginning at 9 a.m. and going until 3 p.m. The artists gather in Ray Hall of The Church of the Good Shepherd to do their work in the fellowship of other artsts. Come and visit to see if this is something you would like. The group will meet every Friday and everyone in the Copper Basin is welcome.
The Copper Thimble Quilters, artists in a different way, recently saw many of their members travel to Pinetop for a three-day quilting retreat with quilting artists from the Southwest. And I didn’t know there was such a thing as a quilting retreat! But it makes sense that people would want to share and learn from others. Let me tell you, our quilters do some of the best work I have seen.