LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Lancaster just got its largest grant ever, and city officials plan to use the money to fight lead hazards.
The city was awarded a $9.1 million lead hazard reduction grant. Matching funds make the grant worth $11.1 million.
“The impact that this is going to make in our community is going to be incredible,” said Darren Palmer, the city’s lead specialist.
Lancaster has been getting federal money since 2006 to fight lead hazards, but the latest grant is 10 times what the city has received in the past.
Officials say the money is enough to remediate 710 housing units.
“We know that 20 percent of our children tested have elevated blood lead levels,” Mayor Danene Sorace said. “That is four times the rate of Flint, Michigan.”
Sorace said the city plans to hire contractors to do the work.
The city plans to focus on areas south of King Street, where there is a large number of old homes.
Sorace has made reducing lead problems part of her strategic plan. She said the city will reach out to landlords and tenants to let them know help is available.
“50 years have gone on and we have not done enough to fix this problem,” Sorace said. “We can actually fix this problem. We can do this and be done with it.”