Thursday, March 01, 2001

Heating bill relief still available




By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With 31 days left in Project Thaw, Hamilton County and Cinergy officials are hoping more needy people apply for the $3.5 million left for heating-bill help.

        The program ends March 31 and officials worry that the county will fail to use all of the $5 million it requested from the state.

        “About $1.5 million in benefits have been approved,” said Charles Ashmore, assistant director of Human Services in Hamilton County.

        Project Thaw provides a one-time payment of up to $250 for help with heating bills. Anyone whose income is within 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline — $34,100 for a family of four; $22,500 for a couple and $16,700 for a single person — is eligible for the program.

        An estimated 75,000 local residents are eligible for the project. So far 8,300 applications have been filed in Hamilton County.

        “We would've thought it would be higher by now,” said Cinergy spokesman Dave Woodburn.

        Applications for Project Thaw are available at any of the 42 branches of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, or at the Hamilton County Department of Human Services, 222 E. Central Parkway or 237 William Howard Taft Road.

        Or residents can call Cinergy at 287-5323.

Utilities passing along higher gas rates
       



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