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Asbestos, Lead-Based Paint Force Eviction of Grapevine Recovery Center in Boise

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1518 N. Fort Street, Boise - COURTESY GRAPEVINE CLUB
  • Courtesy Grapevine Club
  • 1518 N. Fort Street, Boise

Since 1952, countless men and women have walked through the doors of the Grapevine Club, a support and recovery center in the North End that holds several daily meetings for people in Twelve Step protrams.

"I was one of those lives saved," said one man, identified only as Bob. "I haven't had a drink since Nov. 22, 1985. That's when I first set foot here. This is my family. This is my home."

At the building the Grapevine Club calls home, the roof leaks and the electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems are all out of code. The owner of the building was approached by the City of Boise in late 2014 regarding the problems, and City Council decided to work with the Grapevine Club to help it either move out or find a way to raise enough funds to buy and renovate the building.

Time has run out. The Boise City Public Works Department recently conducted an inspection of the building and found both asbestos and lead-based paint, which can cause serious health effects.

"The potential for exposure ... is very concerning due to the condition of the paint and the lack of cleaning and general upkeep of the building," wrote Abigal Germaine of the Office of the Boise City Attorney.  "The Department of Public Works and the City believe that occupying the building in its current condition is potentially unsafe, especially to children and women who are pregnant. The city recommends that Grapevine vacate the building immediately."

Heeding the recommendation, the building will be closed off to any occupancy effective Friday, Feb. 17.

"We have to secure that building next week and then we'll assess on where to go next," City of Boise Communications Director Mike Journee told Boise Weekly. "We should stress that there is no concern beyond the premises."

In a formal notice to the Grapevine, the city attorney's office stated it is "currently discussing potential stabilization options going forward and will notify the Grapevine when further information is available."

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