MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee officials say the city's health department has consistently failed to clean up lead-poisoned children's homes.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Aaron Cadle of the city's Legislative Reference Bureau told the Common Council's Steering and Rules Committee on Tuesday that orders to clean up, or abate, homes with lead hazards have dropped from 77 in 2015 to 34 in 2017. Citations for those who failed to abate homes contaminated with lead fell from 46 to just one last year.

The number of lead abatements overseen by city health officials fell from 12 in 2013 to three each in 2014 and 2015 to none in 2016 and 2017.

Health Department staffers also failed to verify preliminary tests showing children had elevated levels of lead in their blood.