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Help coming soon for heating bills
Qualified individuals and families who applied earlier this winter for assistance with high heating bills may soon get relief.

Delvon Butler, community service division director for the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, says she expects the state to deposit $750,000 into the agency's bank account to continue funding the program that provides a maximum of $350 towards electric bills for residents in Glynn, Camden, McIntosh, Bryan, and Liberty counties.

At least 700 people are on a waiting list for funds from the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program, which is provided by the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority.

The community action authority received a letter from state offices last week stating more money would be dispersed.

The waiting list was closed to new applicants but, this week, the community action authority opened the list to the public again, says Butler.

"We're just waiting for (the money) to hit the account," she said. "As soon as we receive it, we'll begin contacting people on the list."

The authority will announce when the funding arrives.

The heating assistance program began last November with an initial budget of $437,000, but two weeks into the program, all the money was claimed by 1,248 people.

The assistance program gives low-income households money to help pay heating bills during the winter months.

Every year, starting Nov. 1, people aged 65 and older start applying for assistance. The program is open to the general public Dec. 2.

To participate, a family must meet an income equal to or less than 175 percent of the poverty guidelines. For a one-person household the qualifying figure is $20,257 or below, and it's $27,143 for two persons.

* Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.

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