HEAP Program Slashes Budget

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A frigid Ohio winter froze-up seven million dollar's-worth of energy assistance from the state this year, leaving only two-and-a-half-million to deal with the summer heat. This week's pre-season burst of 90-plus temperatures has underlined the impact of this loss of funds. Last year, there was money to distribute over 2600 air conditioning units to needy seniors in the Cleveland area. This year, less than 100 will go out. In addition about 600 fans will be distributed locally. Cleveland's Department of Aging Director Jane Fumich says there are other cooling options.

FUMICH: We would urge folks to go to places that are air conditioned, like libraries, in the afternoons and early evenings. If the city determined that it was needed, we have in the past opened recreation centers as "cooling centers" on an as-needed basis.

The rains have cooled things down in Northeast Ohio, but summer hasn't even begun.

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