In July, the City of Claremore announced the launch of its COVID Cares Act Utility Assistance Program, an initiative to assist utility residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past six months, the effort has provided more than $223,000 in funding to 704 utility customers to ensure citizens suffering financial hardships throughout the pandemic did not go without water, power or sewer and had access to the essential services needed for proper health and hygiene. Upon the program’s conclusion on December 31, 2021, city leadership began discussing how best to utilize remaining funds to aid the community.
This week the Claremore City Council approved a proposal to partner with Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) to dedicate the remaining funds to ONG for City of Claremore utility customers with delinquent accounts. The proposed funds would apply to outstanding ONG account balances for customers financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who meet the low-to-moderate income guidelines established by HUD and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. City customers who already received support through the Claremore COVID Cares Act Utility Assistance Program for city utilities are eligible for the program to address ONG accounts.
The final implementation details of this effort are being confirmed with our partners at ONG, and an update will be provided on the city’s website and social media channels within the coming weeks.
I am proud to serve a community where individuals continually seek opportunities to assist each other during trying times. I want to extend a sincere thank you and publicly recognize Community Development Director Andrew Knife Chief, our teams in the Utility Billing and Finance Departments, Andy Armstrong with Grand Gateway and Oklahoma Natural Gas for their assistance in bringing this program to fruition.
As we face another weekend of cold temperatures, I want to remind everyone of our resource, Energy Efficient Claremore. This platform provides tips to improve energy conservation, highlights local, state and federal financial assistance programs and spotlights interviews with a variety of local experts. You can access Energy Efficient Claremore on the homepage of the city’s website at claremorecity.com.
Have a wonderful weekend, Claremore. Stay warm!
All my best,
John W. Feary