Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 23, 2014

Isaiah 61 Project to help take down houses too

Niagara Gazette — The city’s demolition program will be sending a little less waste to the landfill.

The Niagara Falls City Council approved a measure that will allow the nonprofit housing initiative the Isaiah 61 Project to “pre-dismantle” houses set to be demolished by city contractors and use the salvaged materials in a planned reuse center.

The agency’s program coordinator, Jim Haid, told council members the dismantlement program will save money for the city, create revenue for his group and reduce the amount of waste created by demolitions at the Wednesday night council meeting.

“We can take good materials out of those (houses),” he said.

In addition, the reuse center, which will buy and sell salvaged materials for construction, will employ at least three people. The nonprofit plans to hire graduates of its training program, in which participants are taught trades skills by instructors from Orleans/Niagara BOCES while repairing vacant houses bought from the city.

“We’ve got three graduates from our program that will be running this part of the program,” Haid said. “It will create tax dollars.”

The reuse store, which will be modeled on similar programs in Buffalo, will be the first of its kind in Niagara County.

The nonprofit has bought a former fire house on Highland Avenue from the city and has been awarded a state grant to rehabilitate the building.

M&T Bank donated a truck to the agency last month that will be used in the reclamation projects.

Haid said they hope to open the reuse center in their new headquarters sometime this summer, but will open a temporary location soon.

“We want to keep the momentum going with the Isaiah 61 Project in reclaiming this city,” he said, “not only in construction but deconstruction as well.”

Seth Piccirillo, the director of the city’s Community Development department, has been working with Haid since the agency began its partnership with city hall.

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