Housing technician Bill Bielefeldt contacted the Department of Health Services after he documented several lead paint violations on homes the city is rehabbing as part of its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Bielefeldt reported to the state the the city's effort to fix up homes was actually polluting areas around the homes.
In a letter to the city, the state confirmed that violations occurred. The city cleaned up the violations and has promised to keep better track of the contractors working on the city-owned properties.
Bielefeldt remains on unpaid leave for unspecified reasons.
Here's text of the letter, dated Oct. 1:
Racine Department of City Development
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
730 Washington Ave
Racine WI 53403
Subject: Lead Hazards and Neighborhood Stabilization Program Projects
Dear Mr. O'Connell:
Thank you for the telephone discussion this morning regarding the lead hazard concerns that
have been raised about specific Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funded projects in
Racine. From our discussion I am confident in your program's plans going forward to address
lead hazards and to coordinate with renovation and abatement contractors. For our part we will
begin working on improved guidance for NSP projects statewide that will likely benefit many
The following three brief points summarize our discussion today.
• We identified a number of issues during inspection ofNSP funded projects in Racine
over the past two weeks. Some of those issues involved lead hazards.
• You have already begun working with your contractors to address those issues and our
inspection staff are working with your staff to identify any remaining issues that may
need to be corrected.
• From our discussion we also identified a source of confusion in the guidance NSP
projects receive from the many parties involved and we have begun working with the
Department of Commerce to develop and distribute clear information and education
materials. It is our belief that this is a statewide need and not specific to the City of
The City of Racine has been one of the state's strongest partners in childhood lead poisoning
prevention for many years. From the discussion we had today and the additional work you are
doing, it is clear that will continue if only stronger. If you have additional questions please
contact me at (608) 264-9880. Thank you.
Chuck Warzecha, Director
Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
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