2008-03-01 / News

Resident fights to get LEADS assistance

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE- A Buckeye Lake resident wants LEADS to "show him the money."

Resident George Burrows said he was told he, as a senior citizen, is qualified to receive funding to help weatherize his home and make improvements through a program sponsored by LEADS of Licking County. He said the Licking County Commissioners verified the program is funded, but when it was time to collect, Burrows said LEADS representatives told him no funding was available to him.

Monday, Licking County commissioners Tim Bubb and Mark Van Buren confirmedthey spoke to Burrows and that $89,500 was approved for LEADS senior citizen programs. However, Bubb said the commissioners were "giving LEADS a lot of scrutiny" regarding how the funding is allocated.

"I encouraged Mr. Burrows to call (LEADS) and ask what's going on," said Van Buren.

Tuesday, LEADS of Licking County CEO Kenneth Kempton said Feb. 6 LEADS completed services to Burrows' home under the Electric Partnership Program. Kempton said LEADS representatives checked Burrows' home's electric usage, and representatives installed 13 compact high efficiency light bulbs, checked the home's electric appliances for safety, and provided Burrows with information on saving energy.

"We then had him complete an application to determine his eligibility for the Home Weatherization Assistance Program and the Home Repair Program," said Kempton.

The Electric Partnership Program is funded by AEP, the Home Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the Department of Energy, and the Home Repair Program is funded through the Senior Levy and the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, said Kempton. All of these programs have eligibility requirements that must be met and an inspection is required to determine the need of each customer.

"If Mr. Burrows is eligible for these programs, LEADS will schedule an inspection in April because we have our inspectors schedule already set for the remainder of February and all of March," he said, adding that a LEADS employee will call Burrows "in the next few days," as of Feb. 26, to explain the programs and answer any questions.

Burrows said Wednesday that LEADS contacted him and confirmedhe is eligible for assistance, which he should receive by early April.

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