Village may require asbestos test prior to demolitions

Victor Colon Jr. was one of three residents that escape the early morning house fire. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)
A Kaplan Avenue home was destroyed by fire in February. The demolition was delayed because of an asbestos test requirement. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Village officials are looking to add asbestos testing requirements for demolition permits following an application submitted by a resident whose home burned down in February.

During the Village Board’s meeting last Thursday night, Peggy Richards, who escaped the fire with two other people, fought back tears as she claimed the village was targeting her with selective enforcement.

Ms. Richards said she had arranged for a contractor to demolish the Kaplan Avenue house after her bank pulled out of the project last week, but said those plans were halted after the village informed her that the house required an asbestos test prior to demolition.

On Monday, Mayor George Hubbard said he was looking into the matter with village attorney Joe Prokop and village administrator Paul Pallas and is working with Ms. Richards through the process.

He said that after the bank notified the village it had pulled out of the project, it was determined that state law requires the asbestos test.

While he agreed with public criticism that the village building department should have been aware of the requirement, he said the village is looking into why it hasn’t required asbestos tests in the past, as well as how long the state has required them for demolition projects and if the state had notified the village about the law.

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