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State accepting applications for utilities loan program

Cities like Denison will see some financial help with the passing of Senate Bill 88.
Cities like Denison will see some financial help with the passing of Senate Bill 88.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 8:18 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Cities walloped by massive utility bills from last month’s arctic blast can now apply for relief.

State Treasurer Lynn Rogers announced Friday morning that applications are now being accepted for the City Utility Low-Interest Loan Program. The Kansas House and Senate passed the bill Wednesday, and Gov. Kelly signed it that night.

It allows the more than 170 cities hit hard by the long stretch of sub-zero weather to request a low-interest loan to help cover the unexpected spike in the cost of natural gas and electricity. $100 million is available, and cities will have 10 years to repay.

“These cities do not have an option for not paying their bills, and their pending bills were putting them on the brink of bankruptcy,” Treasurer Rogers said. “Without emergency action, and this aid, the increased prices required to purchase natural gas and electricity would result in devastatingly high utility bills for consumers, threatening the financial health and physical welfare of residents, businesses, and the cities themselves.”

As 13 NEWS reported, the city of Denison was hit with a $240,000 gas bill for February - greater than their entire annual budget. State officials have called for an investigation into why the utility price spikes happened.

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