Texhoma Council of Governments will offer a limited number of services once offered to Hopkins County residents by Northeast Texas Opportunities. When NETO came under federal investigation, Hopkins County, along with other Northeast Texas Counties withdrew from the NETO service network. TCOG, located in Sherman, is under contract until January of 2016 but hopes to continue services after that date as well as expand services offered locally.
Until the end of 2015, TCOG will be the assist to those who qualify and are seeking help with their utility bills and weatherizing their home. Brenda Smith, Energy Services Program Manager for TCOG, told KSST News Tuesday afternoon that TCOG has been around for 45 years and their utility assistance and weatherization programs have been around for at least 35 years. They have been operating in Cook, Fannin, and Grayson Counties prior to their start in Hopkins County. She said TCOG is coming to the area each Thursday in various locations in the area. She noted that some are struggling with high electric bills and that as winter approaches, propane and gas payments will increase.
This week, Thursday, September 24, TCOG representatives will be at the ROC, downtown Sulphur Springs and next week in Mt Vernon at the sheriff’s department. They will return to Sulphur Springs twice in October. In October they will also be in Mt Vernon and in Paris. Smith said they are in negotiations to provide services beyond the end of the year and to secure a more permanent office site.
To schedule an appointment for assistance, call Monday through Thursday, 903-813-3541 or 903-813-3553. Smith said those calling will be given an exact location and time for their appointment. Smith said TCOG has already assisted over 100 families since mid-August and are scheduled to meet with 50 more families in the next two weeks.
TCOG served 1100 families last year in the three county areas they served.