City in line for $200,000 in Utility Assistance funds

Posted November 2, 2021 at 11:50 am

The City of Albany is awaiting the arrival of some $200,000 in federal funding under the Utility Assistance Program and have taken necessary steps to secure that funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albany City Council, during a special meeting held last Wednesday morning, October 27, with four of six members present, took action on two items that will help secure the money, which will be used to help some people who are behind on water bills due to the pandemic.

By unanimous votes on both issues, the council first voted to approve first reading of an ordinance amending the 2021-22 fiscal year budget to include the $200,000 in federal funds and on a second 4-0 vote, authorized Mayor Lyle Pierce to enter into all documents necessary under the program.

The program is being administered on behalf of the city through the Lake Cumberland Area Development District.

In a portion of the multi-page Contract for Community Development Services, it reads the grantee (city), with assistance of $200,000.00 in federal funds provided through the Kentucky Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will provide utility assistance to residents in arrears due to COVID-19.

The federal funds can be used only for specific purposes of providing utility assistance, and more specifically in the City of Albany, for residents behind on water bills as a result of the COVID pandemic.

City Clerk/Treasurer Melissa Smith said that once funding is actually received, the city would set up a separate bank account for the program funds, which will be dispersed locally by the Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency (LCCAA).

The LCCAA will be given the funding to disperse among those persons who apply for, and meet the criteria for, assistance under the program–apparently until the funding is exhausted.

More information on when the funding will actually be received and when applications for assistance under the program will begin will be forthcoming.

Also, second reading of the budget ordinance to include the Utility Assistance funds into the budget was to have been held this past Tuesday night during the council’s regular meeting. Details on that meeting will be published in next week’s Clinton County News.