Chaffee authority to directly tackle asbestos problem

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 153 views 

The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to get in the business of asbestos removal — indirectly, at least.

A process using foam to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne during removal — BilMar system — will be licensed to the FCRA at a cost of $20,000 for the license. The foam costs about $2,100 for a 55-gallon drum and training and licensing costs required by the state of Arkansas could cost another $1,000.

FCRA Executive Director Ivy Owen said the costs to acquire the foam system would be more than recovered from savings related to asbestos removal from buildings destroyed by fire earlier this year, and from the 235 other buildings on the 7,000-acre plus Chaffee Crossing. For example, an initial estimate of $4 million to clean up the damage from the fire will instead cost around $400,000 with the foam system — and the state might reimburse 35 percent of that cost.

“The bottom line is that we can do it (remove asbestos) as we can afford it,” Owen said.

FCRA members approved a motion to acquire the system pending an insurance and legal review.

Other FCRA action included:

• Approving donating Lend-A-Hand 40 acres to develop a low- to moderate-income housing development. The development, managed by Rausch-Coleman, will be built in 10 acre phases. A Rausch-Coleman rep said 200-240 homes would be built on the 40 acre site.

• Selling 43.1 acres for $204,000 to ERC for the development of a private subdivision. The “Reata” subdivision will be a high-end project, with lot prices ranging from $42,000 to $50,000. The sale is dependent on ERC approving the price and other minor matters related to closing such a deal.