WARREN - Low- to moderate-income residents in Trumbull County can weatherize their houses, do their food shopping at a co-op and get around their homes on the federal government's dime.
Trumbull Community Action Program has received nearly $3.8 million in federal economic stimulus package dollars to improve about 430 homes across the county over the next two years. The agency also has nearly $740,000 available for other projects, like the food co-op and purchasing new vans for its transportation system.
Some of the work available under the weatherization program includes sidewall installation, basement and attic insulation and heating system repair and replacement. It allows an average investment of up to $6,500 per home for energy efficient upgrades and will be available for families earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Tribune Chronicle / Ron Selak Jr.
A workman with Groover Roofing and Siding of Girard installs a piece of aluminum wraparound on energy efficient windows at an East Liberty Street home in Girard.
The program is available for homeowners and rental units. A contribution is required from landlords who do not meet income guidelines.
Homeowners not eligible under TCAP's program still can benefit through federal tax credit programs, a complete list of which is available on Energy Star's Web site, energystart.gov.
For example, qualifying windows and doors are eligible for a credit of 30 percent of the product cost up to $1,500. The same credit applies for a number of categories, including roofing, heating and ventilation and water heaters, however, the products have to qualify under the federal guidelines.
TCAP also was given $736,000 that will be used to operate new or expand programs.
The agency plans to expand its food buying club by creating a food co-op on Palmyra Road S.W. With the store's opening, TCAP will be hiring four new staff members with the $181,000 it has received, said TCAP president James W. Abicht.
Additionally, TCAP is using $171,000 to purchase six new minivans to maintain and enhance its transportation program and subsidize rider fees, Abicht said.
Another $274,000 will be used to develop a chore program to help area senior citizens with lawn mowing, house cleaning and errand running. In conjunction, TCAP will be offering minor home repair services to senior citizens. An experienced handyman will be hired to train others in minor home repairs.
Abicht said the program will provide for nine jobs.
Another $100,000 had been previously planned for a small business revolving loan program; however, Abicht said, TCAP recently learned the money cannot be used for that purpose. Abicht said alternative uses are being developed.