Mark Taylor

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners voted Sept. 22 to reallocate $25,000 in personnel funding to the county’s Utility Assistance Program.

The Utility Assistance Program provides emergency utility bill assistance for low income households.

The program is funded by the county, 15 cities, the Wastewater Department, Water District No. 6, and various faith-based and non-profit agencies.

“Demand for the program has increased by 65 percent over this time last year,” Deborah Collins, human services director, wrote in a memo to county commissioners.  “By mid-August, nearly $142,000 of county funding has been spent, leaving an available balance in the county’s Utility Assistance Fund of just over $46,000.  At the current usage rate, it is estimated that the fund will be entirely depleted sometime in October.”

Collins said the reallocation would allow the Utility Assistance Program to serve about 250 households at $100 each.