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Sign up at City Hall for utility relief

December 15, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

The City of Hagerstown today and Wednesday will hold a Utility Relief Application Fair at City Hall to help residents get money to pay their utility bills this winter.

Those who attend could be eligible to receive proceeds from the annual Utility Relief Benefit Concert, an event held in December to raise money for heating assistance.

This year's concert will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre. The entertainment will include opera singer William Clarence Marshall III and choirs from local schools.

City Community Affairs Director Karen Giffin said Hagerstown residents who need aid may come to the second floor of City Hall at 1 E. Franklin St. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday to get help filling out applications. Each household could be eligible to receive as much as $500 in assistance, she said.

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Residents will be notified of whether they were awarded utility relief within a week of filling out their applications, said David Jordan, executive director of the Washington County Community Action Council, the organization that oversees the disbursement of the money.

In addition to the money that will be raised this year, applicants could be eligible to receive about $17,000 that was left over from last year's concert, Jordan said.

That money wasn't disbursed because some people stopped by the Community Action Council to get help and discovered they could receive more aid from the state.

The funds can be used to pay heating or electric bills related to heat, a documented medical need to have electric service or the need to be able to run your heating appliance, such as a furnace or boiler.

To qualify for utility relief, people must meet the following criteria:

o Be a resident of the City of Hagerstown.

o Provide evidence of need, such as an unexpected medical bill, job loss or reduction of hours at work.

o Annual income must fall at or below the following amounts:

Household size of one, $37,050; two, $42,350; three $47,650; four, $52,950; five, $57,200; six, $61,650; seven, $65,650; eight, $69,900; for each additional person, add $7,830.

Residents need to bring the following items when they apply:

o If you are a renter, the lease, including the landlord's name, address and telephone number.

o If you are a homeowner, the deed, property tax bill or mortgage statement/coupon.

o A copy of your electric bill, gas bill or fuel supplier bill with account numbers.

o Picture identification for all adult members of the household.

o Social Security cards for all household members.

o Proof of income for all household members for the past 30 days, including pay stubs or unemployment statements.

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