Thursday October 20, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact:Jennifer F. Brislin
Patrick H. Neely
Democrats propose adding money to ministries, Project Warm Metro Council Democrats yesterday proposed appropriating more than $200,000 to community area ministries and Project Warm to help residents deal with the impact of significantly higher heating bills this winter.
The proposal to the year-end operating budget adjustment allots a total of $85,100 to eight area ministries, restoring them to the funding level promised by the External Agency Review in this year's budget process. The democrats' proposal also appropriates an additional $105,000 to be divided equally among the area ministries funded in the city's budget to be used exclusively to help offset home heating expenses.
That appropriation requires an equal match of private donations, which in turn will leverage matching funds from LG&E.
Supporting agencies that help homeowners deal with the energy crisis is a prudent use of surplus dollars, council members said.
"Our area ministries are often the first line of defense for residents' critical needs. Taking them to their promised levels allows them to continue the important services they already provide," said Councilman Ron Weston, D-13. "Setting money aside specifically for heating expenses in such a way that we actually triple the investment is not only a fiscally savvy move for taxpayers but a realistic approach to help residents deal with the impact of drastically higher energy costs."
The Democrats also proposed an additional $15,500 for Project Warm, which utilizes volunteers to conduct home weatherization blitzes in qualifying households.
Funds for the projects come from unexpended operating dollars and surplus revenue.
"With escalating heating costs, Project Warm is an obvious choice for appropriating surplus revenue," added Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5. "These dollars will provide effective, long-term energy conservation services for low and fixed incomes households, including special programs for seniors and people who are disabled."
The full council will vote on the amended ordinance at next Thursday's Council meeting.