LINCOLN, Maine — Recent cuts to federal and state fuel-aid programs have town Treasurer Gilberte Mayo convinced that Lincoln’s heating assistance program will see more customers this winter, Mayo said Friday.
“Just in the last month since it started getting cold, we have gotten eight or 10 requests already, so I think going forward that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Mayo said. “This is going to be a hard season for everybody and I think this heating [fund] is going to need all the donations it can get.”
The total fund had about $9,797 as of Oct. 31, with seven applicants getting $2,528 in assistance. As of Friday, the largest single heating donation came from Mainely Rent to Own, which donated $500.
Christine Manley, Paul and Linda Labrecque, and Elsie Young Nowell donated $100 per person or couple. William and Kathy Lawrence donated $50, according to the list Mayo compiled.
As of Monday, the average cash price for No. 2 heating oil statewide was $3.67 per gallon, up 3 cents from the previous week, according to the Governor’s Energy Office. The statewide price ran from $3.38 to $3.91 per gallon. The price in northern Maine was $3.80 to $3.85 per gallon.
Since then-Town Manager Glenn Aho proposed and the Town Council approved the program in 2006, 98 local families have received home heating aid, town records show. The busiest year was 2009, when 31 families received $7,470 in home heating donations through the program.
The donation fund program is designed to supplement federal and state heating assistance programs for Lincoln residents who do not qualify for other aid. Anyone interested in securing aid or making a donation can call Mayo at 794-3372 or see her in the town office on Main Street.
As of February 2012, the total program donations were $5,625 for that season, including a $2,000 grant from the United Way of Eastern Maine. Of the $5,625, $4,309 went to 12 Lincoln families, or about 29 people, to help them secure about 1,100 gallons of fuel oil, Mayo said.
The program serves only Lincoln residents, with single-parent and elderly households getting first preference. The households must have less than a quarter-tank of fuel and show proof of need. No more than 100 gallons of assistance will go to a family per season, the guidelines state.