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Heating contractors needed to assist LIHEAP customers

Wayne County officials say there's a lack of contractors to repair heating systems of those who receive assistance and could mean big trouble when problems occur

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — It's that time of year when low-income households start thinking about keeping their homes warm for the winter. They apply for assistance from the county and state, which includes repairing systems when things break down.

Wayne County Redevelopment Authority Program director Robbin Morgan says she expects her office to be very busy in the coming weeks.

"We either repair or replace their heating systems through the crisis season, so they don't go without heat. Either they're in immediate danger of not having heat, or they already don't have heat when we receive these calls starting in November," Morgan said.

The biggest challenge for the program this year is the lack of heating contractors to call to do the work. Morgan says they lost several contractors due to retirement or not enough staff to accept additional jobs with the program. So now they are in desperate need.

"We are looking for licensed HVAC professionals. As long as they have liability insurance, and the insurance that's required by the state of Pennsylvania, and an HIC number, then they can become one of our contractors that we can use for this season."

Officials at the Redevelopment Authority say they will work with contractors who are willing to help them to make sure this program stays up and running.

"And if they only wanted to work in Pike County, we're OK with that. They only want to work in Wayne County; we're OK with that. They only wanted to do oil burners or propane; we're OK with that. We just need to have a bigger pool of subcontractors in order to get this work completed," Morgan said.

Morgan says she wants to reassure customers that they will get the help they need during the crisis season. She is just not sure where the help will come from.

For more information on the program or if you're a contractor wanting to help, you can call the WCRA office at 570-253-4882 or visit its website.