Families Struggle With Natural Gas Price Hike and Utility Aid Cuts

5 years 9 months 2 days ago Friday, March 07 2014 Mar 7, 2014 Friday, March 07, 2014 4:03:00 PM CST March 07, 2014 in News
By: Brynne Whittaker, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri began increasing natural gas prices by an average of $39.64 a year per household on Friday. The changes affect customers in Columbia, Jefferson City, Mexico, Wentzville, Cape Girardeau and Marble Hill.

On top of that rate increase, Missouri received nearly $3 million less than last year in energy assistance funds from the federal government. Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) in Columbia runs a utility aid program that uses the assistance funds. 

"We ran out of funding the second week of February for our winter crisis assistance program," CMCA Community Services Director Angela Hirsch said.

Martin Hardin benefits from the the program, Low Income Home and Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) through CMCA. It provides assistance to the elderly, disabled and poor on utility bills so they can keep their heat on during the winter. Hardin lives with his wife and son and suffers from frequent heart attacks and strokes, making it hard to keep a steady job.   

"If you don't have a steady income and it's like, gas prices are always high, it's been at least in the last 14 years, at least 7 times, I've been without gas service," Hardin said. 

Hardin said that without CMCA, many Boone County families would struggle.

"If it wasn't for CMCA, a lot of people, and I've known a lot of people that would have been evicted,"  Hardin said.

Hirsch said the increase in natural gas prices and funding cuts makes it hard on the families she works with. 

"It's really caused us to serve fewer families than we have in years past. We've also seen a dramatic increase in costs of propane, so that increase and that cost mirrored with the cut in funding that we received meant that we served about seven percent fewer families this year than we did last year." 

Hirsch said 267 families are on the wait-list for crisis funds.  She said CMCA refers families to other resources like churches in the community for utility bill aid, but every organization is struggling with budget cuts. 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Tigers have found their new head football coach. Eli Drinkwitz from Appalachian State will lead... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 6:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Restaurant owners are heading into the holiday season ready to handle the winter customers and... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in Continuous News
FULTON — Community members can gather at the Field of Joy in Fulton’s Veteran's Park to remember departed loved ones... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 2:13:00 PM CST December 08, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Singing pine trees and dancing blue penguins are now lighting up the night throughout Binder Park in... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, December 08 2019 Dec 8, 2019 Sunday, December 08, 2019 8:00:00 AM CST December 08, 2019 in News
AUXVASSE - A suspect has been taken into custody in Auxvasse on Saturday in relation to a shots fired incident... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 9:19:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
8pm 50°
9pm 50°
10pm 50°
11pm 49°