City to Host Grant Awareness Event, “Chipper’s Party” | Govt. and politics

The Council Bluffs Community Development Department will host the “Chipper’s Party”, a family-oriented educational event to raise awareness of the town’s Lead Harm Reduction Grant Program. The Chipper’s Party will be held from 5-7 p.m. on May 9 at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave., in Meeting Room B.

Chipper, the program’s mascot, helps prevent lead poisoning at Council Bluffs, the city said in a statement. Chipper’s party will include educational activity stations, prizes, raffles, cotton candy, popcorn, coloring mural, face paint, balloons and a photo booth with Chipper. The event is free and designed for children under 6 years old. Siblings are welcome.

According to the city, children under the age of 6 are the most susceptible to lead poisoning. Lead was used in paint until 1978. Side effects of lead poisoning in children include brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth and development, learning problems and behavior and hearing and speech problems.

The city received a $2.3 million grant to remove lead paint from homes built before 1978. The program is available to eligible homeowners and renters. So far, the city’s Lead Risk Reduction Grant Program has been successful in mitigating lead risks in 11 homes in Council Bluffs.

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“We have enough funds to make improvements to about 100 homes,” Lora Flom, housing and economic development planner, said in a statement. “We hope to identify a few more qualified families at Chipper’s party, but we also hope that many families will attend and then tell their friends and neighbors about the program.”

Grants can be used to make improvements such as new windows, doors and paint. Depending on the total cost of eliminating lead hazards, there may be additional funds to correct electrical and radon problems and add smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition to the Lead Hazard Reduction Program, the Council Bluffs Community Development Department offers other Housing Assistance Grants including the Affected Property Program and the Safe Housing Program.

“This program is not just for parents or owners; grandparents, caregivers and tenants may also qualify,” Flom said.

Find Chipper’s Party on Facebook (https://fb.me/e/1rbx1Ywh9) and follow regular updates. To learn more about the lead harm reduction program, go to www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2358.

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