These are tough times for a lot of our neighbors. Rising fuel prices, the harsh weather, a national mortgage crisis, and a sluggish economy are combining to stress plenty of family budgets. I am especially worried about our most vulnerable citizens: seniors, people with disabilities, and families with young children. Some of these households are behind on their heating bills and have either lost their utilities or are in danger of being cut off. In cold weather like this — or in hot weather this summer — that is a dangerous thing.
Using revenues from the Utility Tax Relief Fund, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the Use Tax Trust Fund, the City will allocate $400,000 in 2008 for emergency energy assistance through Heat Up St. Louis.
This allocation will require the approval of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, so I greatly appreciate the strong support for this expenditure by Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.