Board faces asbestos dilemma
Habitat home purchased from TMH will be ready by year's end, leader says
Habitat for Humanity still will have a house to sell by the end of the year, despite the Craig City Council’s decision to not donate trash service.
“It was an entirely reasonable decision on the city’s part,” project organizer Melinda Bobo said. “It would have been nice to not have to pay for it, but I understand their decision completely.”
Bobo approached the City Council earlier this month requesting they donate a trash Dumpster and dumping for an indefinite amount of time. After considering the request for two weeks, the council voted to deny it.
“We could have a problem with other nonprofits requesting the same thing,” City Manager Jim Ferree said. “I could not come up with a reason to approve this and deny others.”
But organizers have bigger issues to face right now than the denial.
They’ve discovered that a portion of the Yampa Avenue house they purchased has asbestos. Whether to remove that portion or seal it is a decision the board has yet to make, Bobo said, and it likely will have to wait until the house is firmly in Habitat for Humanity’s possession. A closing date has not been set for the transaction.
“If we have to abate the asbestos, we’d have to have additional funds for that,” Bobo said. “If we leave it, we’d have to make sure it was sealed.”
The original house was built in the early 1900s. The portion with asbestos was added in the 1950s.
Habitat for Humanity purchased the house from The Memorial Hospital for $45,000. It was one of the properties the hospital purchase when it had planned to expand along Russell Street.
TMH financed the purchase and is allowing Habitat for Humanity to pay $100 a month until the home is sold.
The purchaser will work toward the down payment and get a no-interest mortgage.
Habitat for Humanity has been awarded a $1,000 United Way grant, which will help make payments on the house. Five hundred dollars from the El Pomar Foundation will buy new furniture. The Habitat group also has raised more than $1,600 from a yard sale and continues to collect donations from boxes placed in local businesses.
“We’ve been collecting pretty steadily,” Bobo said.
When the group determines how to deal with the asbestos portion, fairly minor work will be needed to get the house ready for an occupant. The roof will be replaced, new appliances will be installed, the house will be painted, and the yard will be cleaned.
“That was one of the things we liked about purchasing a standing building,” Bobo said.
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If a resident of Craig wanted to dive into how the city is spending its money on economic development, that resident wouldn’t get very far. A new city ordinance creating a department could change that.