Tuesday, August 03, 2010

TOP STORY > >Agency lowers temperature

Leader staff writer

Lonoke County residents unable to afford cooling relief from the triple-digit temperatures could pick up free air conditioners and fans on Friday from the Central Arkansas Development Council.

The CADC in Lonoke County had 200 fans and 20 window- unit air conditioners for distribution at the Lonoke County Fairgrounds in Lonoke.

The air conditioners and fans were available to people with incomes under 200 percent of the poverty level, seniors 70 years old or older, individuals with medical disabilities or families with children under six years old. The fans and air conditioners were purchased with stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

CADC allocated Lonoke County $5,000 for 200 fans and $5,400 for 20 air conditioners. The CADC allocated Pulaski County $10,000 for 400 fans and $10,800 for 40 air conditioners. The Pulaski County office on 5401 S. University Ave., Little Rock distributed air conditioners and fans today.

Brandon Gooden of Carlisle picked up a fan at the Lonoke County Fairgrounds.

He said, “It is very helpful. I’m going to put this one to use because it’s hot.”

Donna Lee of Cabot got a fan and said, “I moved down here five weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Mich., for employment.”

She had seven interviews this week and was hopeful to be employed by next week.

“It is so hot, the heat and the humidity. I have asthma. The air conditioner does not work well in the house,” she said.

Walter Holloway of Lonoke was getting an air conditioner. He has heart disease and bad respiration.

“I need a cool, comfortable place to lie down,” he said.

“From spring through fall I’m contained to the house,” Holloway said.

He has an air conditioner in his bedroom, but it does not put out much air. He said it is gradually going out. Holloway is retired and on Social Security and is unable to purchase a new air conditioner.

“All the money is used to pay bills,” he said.

Lonoke County residents who are still needing a fan or air conditioning unit and qualify economically for assistance can fill out an application at the CADC Lonoke office, 117 SE Front St., or call 1-800-406-5562 for more information.