In response to Kristen Cloutier’s opinion (column, Nov. 10) on eliminating lead paint, I say we’re not doing nearly enough and what we are doing is costing this city’s taxpayers far more than it should for such mediocre results.

Read through any of the past or present abatement grants and you’ll realize that a significant amount never makes it to actual abatement of the lead paint. Instead we are forced to provide management fees, data collection, others to oversee the work and verify results, education programs and temporary housing. Due to all that, we seem to be on a slow track to actually making a difference, but boy we sure feel good — 2,500 new lead paint diagnoses in 5 years? Would it be acceptable if 2,500 children lived in places with leaky oil tanks? With asbestos contamination? Why do we sit back and allow the slow process when a better solution is at hand and free?

Lewiston has a rental registration, but it completely ignores the biggest health hazard to children — lead paint. The city council can create laws mandating notification to potential and current renters that a property contains lead paint, that lead paint abatement by the owners is required, and allow a five-year period for compliance. Provide a low interest program if needed to help the owners, but stop allowing them to present substandard housing to our citizens.

If this city believes it’s really a problem, then let’s come up with real solutions to fix it, now.

Robert Reed, Lewiston


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