Assistance expanded

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Rochelle — On Monday night, the Rochelle City Council approved an expansion of the Utility Assistance Program.

For the remainder of 2020, utility customers with income under 200 percent of the federal poverty level will be able to apply for assistance of $500. Earlier this year, the council approved a waiver of utility shut-offs due to late payments.

“We understand some of our customers are facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows said. “We’re here to help in whatever way we can.”

In 2019, 109 customers received assistance totaling $32,700. So far this year, 43 customers have received assistance totaling $12,900. Customers who have already received the previous maximum of $300 are eligible to apply for an additional $200 in assistance.

The program is funded by the sale of sale of energy credits from RMU’s green energy portfolio.  

“We’re fortunate to be in a position where we can offer this assistance,” Rochelle City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said. “I credit our team’s careful and insightful planning for being prepared to give back when it is needed most.”

To apply for the Utility Assistance Program, visit www.rmu.net or call RMU at 815-562-4155 to obtain an application.