News briefs for Oct. 20

The Moffat County Habitat for Humanity board is moving ahead with its decision about asbestos abatement at its first project, 745 Yampa Ave.

The group received their report at the end of September, and have since received two bids on the work. President Melinda Bobo expects a third bid soon; then the board will decide which Denver-based company to hire.

"Any day we should have the third one; then we should be ready to hire a contractor," Bobo said.

She is thankful the contractors have each made their walk-through trips, while in the area for other jobs. Therefore, the companies did not charge Habitat for Humanity to make the drive.

The structure has friable asbestos, or asbestos that crumbles in one's hands, in the exterior siding of the house's rear addition. There is thermal system insulation in the pipe wrapping and spray-on insulation around an old boiler.

There are also several vinyl asbestos floor tiles that pose a concern, as do some spots in the bathrooms and the asbestos glazing on the existing windows.

"We're going to go ahead and take care of all the asbestos," Bobo said.

She's not sure how long that will take -- maybe a week, maybe a month.

"It just depends on how many people they can put on the job at the time we're ready for them to do the work," she said.

This likely will push back the group's original goal of having a family in the home by Christmas. But once the asbestos is taken care of, Bobo is ready to put volunteers to work and finish the project quickly.

"Once we get that out, we can have as many people in there and doing as much stuff as we can get them to do," she said.

If the Habitat for Humanity board gets the third bid in time for its next board meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the group will decide then who to hire.

LEAP processing applications Nov. 1

The Moffat County Department of Social Services Low Income Energy Assistance Program will be processing applications starting Nov. 1 through April 30, 2006.

LEAP is designed to help low-income households meet their winter home heating costs; it does not pay their entire costs of home heating. For most households, LEAP benefits will be paid directly to the utility company or fuel supplier.

To be eligible for benefits, households must pay heating costs to a utility company or fuel supplier or pay heating costs as part of their rent. Household income may not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The maximum monthly income for a household of one is $1,475, a household of two is $1,978 and a household of three is $2,481. Resources such as bank accounts, property and vehicles are not considered. Applicants must meet citizenship/aliens status requirements and state residency requirements.

If you are interested in receiving LEAP benefits, you must fill out a LEAP application. Households who are currently receiving other benefits administered by Social Services will be mailed an application, as well as households who received LEAP benefits the prior year. Beginning Nov. 1, you may view and print an application online at www.cdhs.state.co.us and click on the link for LEAP under the State Search section. After Nov. 1, applications may be requested by calling (866) 432-8435. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their most recent heating bill or a rent receipt and proof of income for the current or previous month. For more information regarding LEAP, or if you have questions, call (866) 432-8435.

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