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The cold temperatures that we've been experiencing will result in higher heating bills for many of us. Here are some tips that will help maintain a lower heating bill. Turn down the thermostat. Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Turn fans off as soon as they've done their jobs. Close off seldom-used rooms and close the heating vents inside. Remove rugs or furniture away from your vents. Open curtains and shades on south-facing windows during the day to allow solar radiation to warm the living space. Close curtains at night to slow down the escape of heat. You can find additional tips at www.Energy.gov.

During this time of the year there are two things which get a lot of focus at our office. One is the CANI (Community Action of Northeast Indiana) Energy Assistance program, and another is tax returns.

The Energy Assistance Program allows certain households to be put under a moratorium, so that the heating utility stays on through the winter months. Payments on utility bills are expected during the moratorium. If no payment is made there will be an extremely large bill once the spring weather arrives. Call CANI at 423-3546 or call 211 for additional information on the Energy Assistance Program. We expect clients on the moratorium to continue to request assistance from our office as needed. Clients are advised to use free tax preparation services, such as those at CANI, St Mary's Catholic Church, Allen County Public Library, and Ivy Tech Community College. The client's entire tax refund should be applied on basic needs, or assistance from our office may be denied.

When visitors come to the Township for assistance, the time it takes to process their request can vary by a great deal. When coming in for a visit bring a book to read, or something else that keeps you occupied while you wait. Bring things that can pacify your children during the visit. Explain to the children before they come that there may be short wait while you take care of your business.

Call our information line, (260) 449-7000 x312, if you need assistance. When an appointment is desired, individuals should come in on their letter day before 9:00 a.m. Letter days are determined by the first letter of the last name. Assigned letter days are as follows: Monday A-F, Tuesday G-L, Wednesday M-R, and Thursday S-Z. Letter days do not apply when requesting medical or burial assistance. Individuals should bring the following items on appointment day: a copy of the bill(s) you are seeking assistance with, verification of household income for the past sixty days, paid bill receipts for the past sixty days, receipts for items purchased in the last sixty days, your rental agreement, lease, or mortgage payment booklet or statement, government-issued unexpired picture identification such as a state id or drivers license for all adults in the household, social security cards for everyone in the household, birth certificates for all minors in the household, a copy of the most current income tax return if filed, or W2 if a return has not been filed, and bank or credit union balance statements. Have receipts grouped together by category. Additional items may be requested at the time of your appointment, so bringing in all the appropriate information could result in fewer and shorter visits with the investigator.

Combining Township Assistance and CANI Energy Assistance, along with doing the best you can individually to conserve energy should allow families to enjoy heat during the harsh winter months.

Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
www.waynetownship.org


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