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NEWS STORIES

Help With Heating Costs This WinterSubmitted: 10/29/2012
Story By Michael Crusan


- As the mercury continues a downward trend in the Northwoods, many of you might turn to the thermostat for comfort.

But if you have trouble footing the bill in this tough economy, energy assistance may be an option.

Home Energy Plus provides a benefit to eligible households throughout the October 1st to May 15th heating season.

The social services department in Oneida County handles applications and disbursement of benefits for heating assistance.

Amy Mayo is the Support Program Supervisor, "If somebody is financially eligible, they will receive the benefit. I know people are anxious to apply right away when the program starts in October, but it is not a first come, first served. If you're eligible, you will receive that benefit. We process the applications within 30 days."

It doesn't matter how you heat your home, as long as you're eligible the Home Energy Plus program helps cover some of the costs says Mayo, "So if you have just electric heat or propane heat, it would be based on what your heating source is. We also look at what your heating bills are and your usage. There's only so much we can pay towards your usage, but that factors into the benefit as well."

For a 1-person household you should earn less than $24,282 annually to be considered for this benefit.

Applications are available by contacting your county social services departments and you will also need to provide proof of income.

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The money would help improve the city's roads.

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"Freezing rain, a lot of times you can't tell that it's actually frozen. The ground is frozen," said Oneida County Emergency Management director Ken Kortenhof. "So even when you're walking on your sidewalks, stuff like that, be careful not to slip. Make sure if you have salt you can salt your sidewalks so you don't have problems there as well."

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