Asbestos removal eats away at Warren demolition costs - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Asbestos removal eats away at Warren demolition costs

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WARREN, Ohio - The cost of asbestos removal is eating away almost half of the state funding Warren is using to knock down condemned homes.

"It just makes it a little more challenging and unfortunately because of the additional money associated with having to satisfy those regulations, you don't have an opportunity to do as many," Enzo Cantalamessa says, city safety director.

The city now has $1.3 million in state funding that will be spent on home demolitions, but Cantalamessa says that money will only cover the cost to knock down 150 homes. He says $700,000 will be spent on asbestos removal, while the rest will go toward the wrecking ball process.

With asbestos assessments and removal fees ranging from $4,000 to $25,000 per structure, Cantalamessa says 300 condemned homes on the demo list will have to sit and wait.

Conversations are ongoing with the Ohio Attorney General's office, the Ohio EPA and federal and state representatives to see if variances could be granted to cut asbestos removal costs.

"We're hopeful that ultimately we can work through some of those challenges, but if these are the cards we're dealt, that's how we'll play the game," he says.

Senator Rob Portman used a Warren neighborhood as a backdrop to tout legislation recently approved, allowing cities and land banks to have access to $60 million allocated to the state for demolitions.

Warren is waiting to learn if those funds could become the monetary solution for problem properties.

 

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