The Herald Bulletin

April 18, 2014

Heating assistance provided to 4,445 households

Local funding amounted to $1.5 million

By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ALEXANDRIA – Almost 5,000 households in Madison and Grant counties received assistance this past winter with their heating bills, members of the Central Indiana Community Action Program learned this week.

Jo Ann Russell, director of the Energy Assistance Program, said Tuesday that JobSource received $1,449,516 in initial funding, which provided assistance to 4,445 families.

Russell said JobSource received an additional $100,000 from the state that will help another 300 families in the two-county area.

“We received the additional funding because of the harsh winter,” she said.

The program is scheduled to end May 15.

The average assistance on winter heating bills in Madison County was $405 and in Grant County amounted to $415. The amount is based on household size and income.

Russell said if the utility bill was more than a year old JobSource couldn’t provide assistance.

Cindy Donnelly, executive director of JobSource, said the agency can’t pay to restore utility service that has been disconnected.

“We don’t know how much we will receive for the summer cooling project,” Russell said. “Because the winter has been so hard, the funding for the summer project will be less.”

State funding for the summer cooling program won’t be known until May, she said.

Russell said residents who have central air conditioning or window units probably will not be eligible for assistance.

Someone who has not received summer cooling assistance for five years could be eligible for a window air conditioner with a doctor’s certification that the unit is needed, she said.

“The window air conditioners are meant to cool one room in the summer months,” Russell said. “The program is not intended to cool an entire residence.”

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.