Local organizations help seniors stay cool in warm temperatures

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DECATUR- Although summer is more than a month away, warm temperatures are here, and groups that help seniors pay pricey air conditioning bills say their jobs may be harder than expected.

With the Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corporation's energy and cooling assistance programs out of money, senior citizens are looking at a blazing hot summer and hefty bills to pay.

Decatur Macon County Senior Center Director Leslie Stanberry says, "A lot of people are probably going to go without air conditioning this summer."

Having to choose between medication costs, rent and other essentials, the necessity of air conditioning will be treated as a luxury for many aging community members.

One community center is willing to help those who qualify for a payment plan with Ameren get started on the billing process.

North East Community Fund's Director Jerry Pelz said, "If there are people who have the ability to enter into a payment agreement with Ameren and there is a relatively small amount that is needed to enter into that payment agreement, and it would look like they would have the resources to continue that payment agreement we would consider helping them."

A bandage to cover a much larger wound.  Still both the Northeast Community Fund and the Senior Center in Decatur, are taking fan donations to help stabilize and ready the seniors in the community.

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