Utility cooling aid depleted

With daily temperatures still hovering near the century mark, utility bill cooling aid to needy people is again depleted in Central Missouri.

After utility cooling aid funds ran out last month, an extra $72,933 in cooling aid to low income people was provided to Mid Missourians by the Missouri Department of Social Services, which receives the money from the federal government.

But now all of that extra $72,933 has been given away to low income Central Missourians seeking help to pay their utility bills.

“I thought it would last us at least until the end of August, but it already is all gone,” said Angela Hirsch, community services director for Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA).

The utility aid money to the needy is provided by the federal government to the Missouri Department of Social Services, which has hired CMCA to administer the program in Mid-Missouri.

Hirsch said this summer the agency has distributed $499,503 in utility bill cooling aid to eight counties in Central Missouri. The program to help people pay their cooling utility bills started on June 1 and continues through Sept. 30 — or until funds run out.

The Central Missouri region served by CMCA includes the counties of Boone, Cole, Callaway, Audrain, Moniteau, Cooper, Howard and Osage.

Hirsch said she was told the extra $72,933 made available to Mid-Missouri a few days ago by the state will be taken from the $1.430,912 in federal heating aid money allocated for next winter to the eight-county region of Central Missouri. The heating aid period continues from Oct. 1, 2012, to May, 30, 2013.

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