- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Health officials in Peoria County say the area still needs more funding to remove lead hazards from more than 200 homes on a waiting list, despite federal grants already received.

“The data tells us that Peoria County has the distinction of a high level of lead-poisoned children,” Peoria City/County Health Department administrator Greg Chance told the Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1me57IW ). He said the area is in dire need of help.

The county’s three-year federal grant for the Lead Hazard Control Project runs out in September. Peoria County officials said they plan later this week to submit an application to a new Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program for more federal funding.

Nearly $2.5 million has been used during the current grant period to complete about 210 projects on homes. That includes replacing or enclosing lead-based paints in siding, windows, trim and porches.

The 200 homes on a county waiting list post a health risk of lead-poisoning to children younger than age 6.

Chance said he’s hoping the county’s good work removing lead hazards could lead to more grant money.

“Not only is it a health improvement initiative, it’s also a neighborhood revitalization program,” he said.

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Information from: Journal Star, http://pjstar.com