Prior to the adoption of Ord. 16630 on 10/02/2000, Section 27-26 read as follows.

(a)    The HELP program is established to assist eligible families with children in paying utility bills.  

(b)    City utility customers may specify amounts they wish to contribute to the HELP program and have such amounts charged on their utility bills.  Contributions to the HELP program shall be accounted for separately.

(c)    An individual must meet the following guidelines to be eligible to receive assistance under the HELP program:

    (1)    The individual must be a City electric utility customer and the utility account must be in the individual’s name.

    (2)    The individual’s household income must be at or below 150% of the federal government’s poverty guidelines.

    (3)    The individual’s other resources must be exhausted.

    (4)    The individual must be the parent or guardian of a child who is eighteen years of age or younger, in the physical and legal custody of the individual and in school (unless the child is unable to attend school because of age or disability).

(d)    Assistance in paying utility bills is subject to the following limitations:

    (1)    The individual seeking assistance must be without utility service or the individual’s utility service must be due for disconnection.

    (2)    An individual is eligible to receive only the amount of assistance needed to avoid disconnection, for reconnection or for a deposit.  Payments for utility deposits shall be made no more than one time per household and shall be for a maximum of seventy-five dollars ($75.00).  Payments shall not be made for fees of any kind including disconnection fees and reconnection fees.  Heating and cooling bills shall have priority over other types of utility bills.

    (3)    No more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) shall be paid in assistance for any individual in any twelve (12) month period.  Assistance is available one time per twelve month period.  There is a life time limit of five times for assistance under the HELP program.

(e)    Determinations of eligibility and the amount of assistance to be granted to applicants shall be made by the director of health services or the director’s designee, whose determination shall be final.

(f)    The director of health services is authorized to establish rules and regulations implementing the HELP program.