Municipals offered natural gas loan program

    STATE -- While the Harlan Municipal Utilities isn’t planning to utilize it, many municipal utilities in Iowa are being offered a natural gas loan program through the Iowa Economic Development Authority to help with costs associated with last month’s unprecedented cold and the bills associated for energy purchases.
    HMU CEO Ken Weber said the polar vortex was a big enough event impacting all Iowa municipalities, that the state has set up an emergency loan program so municipal utilities can pay their bills.
    The Iowa Energy Office reports that “city-owned utilities in Iowa with smaller emergency funds and little ability to take on debt are especially strained by the pricing surge from extreme weather conditions.”
    This loan program will “provide access to low-interest loans to cover the price spikes, which in turn spreads out costs to their customers over a longer time period.”
    HMU has opted to pay its bills with reserves, and is allowing customers who call in to spread out their payments through June, 2020.

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