“The 36 month grant for $2,885,700 has been awarded to the Winnebago County Health Department to begin on October 1st of this year for lead mitigation of 200 older houses with children aged 0 to 6 residing there”, stated Larry Swacina, Director of Environmental Health Services for the Winnebago County Health Department. “Winnebago County Health Department’s application was helped by a prior track record of successful lead mitigation. In a prior 36 month lead grant, we not only met the benchmark of doing lead abatement in 100 houses, we exceeded that benchmark by 25% and lead mitigated 125 houses for the same money budgeted to do 100 houses. Our community has zip codes (61101 thru 61104 and 61077) which are rated as among the highest in the state of Illinois for pediatric blood lead poisoning (over 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood),” added Mr. Swacina.
Mike Bacon, Winnebago County Health Department Public Health Director states, “Lead poisoning is completely preventable and that every child deserves to grow up in a home that is free of lead exposure hazards. This grant will help our community move closer to this goal.”
Mr. Swacina thanked the County and the City of Rockford for their assistance in helping our community in receiving this grant. Mr. Swacina further indicated that Winnebago County Health Department is still waiting to receive the written grant from HUD in order to begin grant project activities.