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Fighting the 'sleeping monster'

SEFA expecting oil issue to 'rear its ugly head'

The Rev. Peter Joyce. (click for larger version)
November 28, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — To Rev. Peter Joyce, recent weather has been a string of good luck for local residents, even with October's power-outage-causing snowstorm.

That's because it has dampened the need for heating fuel, especially oil. But he doesn't expect that to last.

"This issue is rumbling beneath the surface, and I'm afraid it will rear its head in January or February," he said. "[Oil cost] is a sleeping monster."

The issue is higher on Joyce's radar screen than it might be on some other person's because he handles the money for the Southbridge Emergency Fuel Assistance program, which provides 100 gallons of oil to people who run out and need an emergency supply. SEFA currently has just under $13,000 on hand, but with heating oil running at an average of $3.71 a gallon, that is not as much as it seems. He noted it would only cover about 36 families, and 100 gallons each won't last them long.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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