Board forms home heating group
Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen has formed a Home Heating Working Group that will look at creating solutions for Shrewsbury residents who haven't been able to keep up with their increasing energy bills.
The group was formed after newly-elected Selectman Benjamin Tartaglia requested the board devise home heating contingency plans for residents in need.
Tartaglia asked the board to take immediate action to help people cope with the skyrocketing cost of home heating oil, gasoline and increased electricity and natural gas rates.
Tartaglia said that he has spoken with residents that are still trying to catch up past bills, and he's worried that people may soon be forced to make some very difficult decisions.
"Residents will soon be making choices between gasoline, medications, food, paying electricity bills and keeping warm," he said.
The Home Heating Working Group will be headed up by Tartaglia and Selectman John Lebeaux, who form the board's subcommittee for cultural, health and human services.
The group will also include representatives from several facets of the energy industry and human services organizations.
Members include representatives from Shrewsbury Electric Light and Cable Operations, the chair of the Massachusetts Oil Heat Council, NStar Gas, Al's Oil Co., the Council on Aging and Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services as well as several other town departments including police and fire.
The work group will focus on identifying the scope and nature of the home heating problems being experienced by Shrewsbury residents, identifying options available to the town to assist residents in home heating crises during the 2008-2009 home heating season, and creating awareness of the problem and to coordinate local, state and federal resources.
All meetings of the Home Heating Working Group are open to the public. The next meeting will be held Thursday Oct. 2.
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