Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 14, 2014

Calls for heat bill help encouraged

Many seeking assistance after extremely cold temperatures

Tim Preston
The Independent

OLIVE HILL — After dealing with recent weather conditions and extremely cold temperatures, a large number of area families are seeking assistance with heating bills, according to David Carroll, executive director of the Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency.

“The phone has actually rang off the hook today,” Carroll said Thursday, noting the agency recently received nearly $100,000 to help pay bills for electricity, as well as fuel sources such as propane and wood. When spread across a five-county area, he said the money is almost certain to run out quickly. “It won’t last for more than a couple of days, probably. There are a lot of folks with a lot of need, especially with this cold weather we’ve had.”

The NKCAA is encouraging those with heating needs from the Crisis Phase of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to call for more information about funds.

“People should be prepared to wait, and they need to have the required documentation before they come in,” he said.

Applications will be accepted at all local Northeast offices beginning today. Carroll said the funding is very limited and those in need are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

If the number of phone calls is an indication of need, Carroll said he expects the funding will be expended within two or three days.

“These funds are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis,” he said, adding if an individual has already received assistance since Jan. 13, he or she may or may not be eligible for additional help. Those who have not applied for assistance before are “highly encouraged to call the Northeast office and inquire about the documentation that is required and the income limits.”

Carroll said all Northeast offices will be closed Monday for Presidents’ Day and reopen Tuesday.

For more information, call (606) 324-8617 in Boyd County; in Carter County, (606) 286-4443 for Olive Hill or (606) 474-8118 Grayson; (606) 738-6577 in Elliott County; (606) 473-9873 for Greenup County; and (606) 638-4067 for Lawrence County.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.