Community Action Council Discusses Energy Assistance Delays

Published 10:30 am Friday, March 22, 2024

The Community Action Council met in Auditorium B of the Flint River Energies Building in Reynolds Georgia on March 19th. The West Central Action Council has a board made up of one third elected officials, one third business stakeholders, and a third low-income representation. Chair Jill Harrison updated the Board, stating the council had received a 96 for organizational standards during the last Statewide Board retreat, an increase from its previous rating of 76.

Patty Stinson, interim executive director and Representative addressed the Board. The board administered three grants, including LIHEAP, Weatherization, and CSBG, or Community Service Block Grant. Stinson updated the board about recent changes in the administration of LIHEAP, or Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “The LIHEAP program is going accordingly. Our agreement with Macon-Bibb Economic Opportunity Council, out of Macon, is moving accordingly. They have already started their process with insuring that the services remain in our area, 8 County area, serving individuals that are 65 and older who signed up after December.”

Stinson stated that there were two positions open in the administration of the Weatherization grant, weatherization coordinator and grants accounting clerk. For the GSBG grant, three service center specialist positions were open.

Board member Bethany Greeley, who attended virtually, questioned the timeline on the dispersal of the funds for the LIHEAP grant. Stinson stated that the grant was no longer under The Community Action Council, and Macon-Bibb would be administering it.

Greeley expressed disappointment at the lack of information. Stinson mentioned that Macon-Bibb could be contacted, and that they now had the contract with the Department of Human Services to administer the grant. Another board member who was in virtual attendance, Daniels, also had questions about the distribution of the grant. Chair Jill Harrison reassured both members that they would know as soon as the funds were distributed. “Right now, all we know is that the constituents have been called, and the March appointments have been cancelled.”

Harrison mentioned that the Community Action Council had relinquished the LIHEAP contract to Macon-Bibb on a temporary basis, with the Community Action Council taking the contract back in October 21rst of 2025.

Consveh Thompson, Executive Director, stated that many agencies were waiting on funding from the DHS. “The challenges, as far as the timeline, that is a Statewide challenge.” She mentioned they had sent a letter to the State commissioner. “This has not been a West Central Challenge. This is a Statewide challenge.”

The financial report was forthcoming due to a scheduling conflict with the CPA, with Thursday given as the date when information should be available.