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Village Administration Office to Close December 24th and 25th

Village Administration offices will be closed December 24th and 25th in observance of Christmas.

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Health Department Offers Free Flu Vaccine

Health Department Offers Free Flu Vaccine

The Licking County Health Department now has adult flu vaccine available at no charge to those who do not have health insurance. The Health Department will offer flu vaccine to adults on a daily basis, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Adults who have health insurance should bring their insurance cards when they come to receive flu vaccine. The Health Department can bill Medicare, Medicaid, Anthem Blue Cross, and some Medical Mutual plans, for the vaccine. For those without health insurance the Health Department will waive the normal $20 flu shot fee. LCHD will be collecting donations for the Food Pantry Network of Licking County at flu clinics throughout the remainder of this flu season.

Health Commissioner, Joe Ebel, stated, “We have seen an unusually high number of flu cases already this year. Getting vaccinated is your best defense and the Health Department wants to make sure that the cost of vaccination is not a barrier to protecting your health.”

Children can receive flu vaccine by appointment only at the regularly scheduled immunization clinics. To schedule an appointment, or for any questions, please call the Licking County Health Department at 740-349-6535.

Contact: Mary Beth Hagstad, (740) 349-6685, mhagstad@lickingcohealth.org

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Village Extends Big O Refuse Contract for Three Years

On March 2, 2010 the Village entered into a contract with Big O Refuse Corp for the collection and disposal of waste, recycling and yard waste for the residential households of the Village of Johnstown. Village Council has extended the contract for three years. Collection rates will increase by 3% and are locked for the life of the contract. The increase equals $.30/month for regular customers and $.25/month for seniors. This increase is similar to what other communities have negotiated.

Beginning January 1, 2013 the rates will be as follows:

Regular Households:               $14.75/mo.

Senior Rates:                           $13.25/mo.

 

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Special Village Council Meeting on November 12th at 6:00pm

There will be a special Village Council meeting held this evening. Typically this is a committee meeting held as a work session for Council. The public is welcome to attend and provide feedback. The meeting will be held in Village Council chambers, 599 S. Main Street.

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Important Winter Information from Columbia Gas

The 2011-2012 winter heating season was, truly, one for the books, as last year marked the warmest winter in the 64 years Columbia Gas of Ohio has tracked temperatures. When partnered with decade low natural gas prices, many of our customers saw home heating bills that were extremely manageable.

This was great news for those struggling in difficult economic conditions. And while early projection for the 2012-2013 winter heating season call for a return to more normal temperatures, I’m happy to share that the low natural gas prices should help keep home heating bill manageable again this winter.

While natural gas costs remain low, a number that remains far too high is households qualifying for assistance, but failing to secure help. Recent census studies indicate that nearly 32 percent of Ohioans – approximately 3.5 million – qualify for some form of energy assistance; yet fewer than half receive help. This could be for any number of reasons: They weren’t aware of available programs; their economic situation has changed and they didn’t know that they may now qualify for help; or, they are unsure where to turn for help. Our hope is that, with your assistance, we can ensure these households find the help they need this winter.

In an effort to ensure that no one goes without heat this winter, we wanted to provide you some information as the 2012-2013 winter heating season approaches.

Natural Gas Costs

Several factors have contributed to help reduce the price of natural gas to near-decade lows, including: new production from large resources of natural gas in the continental United States, near-record gas storage levels, the tame 2011-2012 winter and a mild hurricane season. These factors provide a strong indication that natural gas prices should remain stable, with minimal possibility of a spike due to a cold snap, for the 2012-2013 winter heating season.

Winter Bill Projection

During the winter heating season, 72 percent of the average customer’s bill is the cost of the commodity: natural gas. The previously mentioned good news – natural gas prices near decade lows – should help offset increased household consumption should temperatures return to more normal levels. Additionally, customers will benefit from our levelized gas distribution rate structure again this winter. Customers are no longer exposed to a volumetric gas delivery charge during winter months, when demand and consumption are at their highest levels. These factors should allow consumers to enjoy bills that are easier on their household budgets.

Assistance with Bills

While natural gas prices should remain low and stable for the foreseeable future, we still understand that many of our customers are struggling with their entire household budgets.page1image24264page1image24536

There are several programs and options to share, however the first suggestion for every situation is: Contact Columbia Gas of Ohio at the first sign you may have trouble paying your bill. The sooner we hear about an issue or problem, the more options we can provide for assistance.

Interrupting someone’s service is always the last resort for Columbia Gas, and the company will work with customers to try to ensure service is not interrupted. Customers whose service is currently shut off, or those who are at risk to be shut off, should consider these options:

Payment Plans: Any Columbia Gas of Ohio customer who feels that they might have a problem paying their winter heating bills should call 1-800-344- 4077 for assistance in enrolling in a one-sixth, one-ninth or winter heating season payment plan that can make bills easier to handle.

Winter Reconnect Order: Customers whose service if off for non-payment or who have received disconnection notices can take advantage of this service, mandated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. No matter what amount is owed, service can be restored or maintained with a payment of $175 plus a small reconnection fee. More information is available at: www.PUCO.ohio.gov, or by calling 1-800-686-7826.

Winter Crisis Program: Beginning November 1, qualified low-income customers are eligible for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program, funds that can be used to pay the $175 Winter Reconnect Order. For more information, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at 1-800-282-0880. Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus): Households at or less than 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines may be eligible to pay just 6 percent of monthly income or $10, whichever is greater, for their gas bill year-round. If you were previously a PIPP customer, a co-payment of up to your entire PIPP defaulted amount may be required for you to enroll in PIPP Plus. For more information, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at 1-800-282-0880.

Fuel Funds: Columbia Gas of Ohio customers are encouraged to contact their local Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) agency to see if monies from the Fuel Funds program are still available. These funds are designated to assist households with incomes up 175 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level and are available until they are exhausted.

Budget Payment Plan: It’s not too late for customers who are current on their bill to enroll in Columbia’s Budget Payment Plan program, which spreads winter heating costs across the entire year. Enrollment options include: Enroll online at ColumbiaGasOhio.com – click on “Manage Your Account” and log in to enroll any time. Or call 1-800-344-4077 – select option 1 from the main menu and follow the appropriate prompts for information on the budget plan.

WarmChoice®: Columbia Gas offers an energy inspection and no cost weatherization through its WarmChoice program for customers with household income at or below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. WarmChoice can reduce customer bills by an average of 30 percent. In addition, customers are left with safe gas heating equipment and a more comfortable home after weatherization is complete. For information go to ColumbiaGasOhio.com or contact the statewide referral service at 1-800-952- 3037 (WarmChoice weatherization calls only, please) to be directed to your local provider.

Home Performance Solutions: The Home Performance Solutions program offers rebates of up to 70 percent on qualified energy-efficiency improvements that can reduce a home’s annual energy consumption by 30 percent or more, saving up to $6,000 on utility bills over the life of the improvements. The program starts with a low cost home energy audit, a $500 value that costs only $50. Columbia’s rebates can be combined with Federal Energy Tax Credits, manufacturers’ rebates and other incentives to reduce overall costs even more. To schedule an energy audit or obtain more information about the program, Columbia customers should call 1-877-644- 6674.

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November 6th Licking County Election Results

Results of the election via the Licking County Board of Elections can be found by clicking the link below.

11.6.12 ELECTION RESULTS

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November 6th Council to Start At 6:45pm

Village Council will meet on November 6th at 6:45pm. This is different than the normal 7:00pm start time.

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Beggar’s Night Still on as Scheduled

With the recent weather, we have been asked about Beggar’s Night. Though not an official Village event, Beggar’s Night is still scheduled for Wed. night, 6-7:30 pm.

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2-1-1 Crisis/Hotline Available for Non-Emergency Calls

With the approaching storm, we would like remind everyone that the 2-1-1 Crisis/Hotline will be available for non-emergency calls. Please call 2-1-1 or 345-HELP (4357) as the contact to call for non-emergency information such as shelters, power outage information, etc. This can help reduce unnecessary calls to 9-1-1, Red Cross or the EMA.

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Hurricane Sandy Information

Johnstown Village staff will be on alert as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy reach central Ohio. In the event of downed trees in the street, our crews will clear the trees from the road. If you see any streets blocked by downed trees, please call the Police Dispatch Office at 740-967-9911. Stay up to date with the Weather Channel as they cover this storm.

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