City gets $500K EPA grant

Money will pay for asbestos checks

A $500,000 grant will help pay for finding out if asbestos or other hazardous materials are lurking in downtown Fort Dodge buildings.

The grant award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was announced Thursday.

“We have a good relationship with the EPA and the Department of Natural Resources,” Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development manager, said. “Apparently they think we’re doing a good job.”

Reeck said the money will help pay for environmental assessments to determine the presence of asbestos, lead-based paint and any other hazardous materials.

Asbestos is a substance that was once commonly used to insulate buildings. It has been linked to lung cancer and other lung diseases.

Reeck said some of the money will be used to do further assessments of the vacant Warden Plaza, 908 First Ave. S., which is believed to contain large amounts of both asbestos and lead-based paint. She said grant money will also be available to do assessments of other downtown buildings.

The grant award is the second one the city has received from the EPA in about a year. In 2022, the city received a $250,000 grant to remove asbestos from the former Greenleaf Care Center, 1305 N. 22nd St. On Monday, the City Council hired a contractor to do that removal work.


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