ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Civic leaders and community members gathered for cooldownstlouis.org on Wednesday morning.
“The City of St. Louis is proposing $3 million in utility assistance,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “We made this proposal last Friday to the Board of Alderman. It will be part of our CARES Act funding, block grant funding, and cover a two-year period.”
“Heat kills more people than any other weather phenomena,” said KPLR 11 Meteorologist John Fuller. “More than flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes.”
“When you start stringing days and days hot weather together, and the temperature doesn’t drop below 80 degrees, it’s the cumulative effect that St. Louis summers can create that causes all the big problems,” said Meteorologist FOX 2 Chris Higgins.
Ameren Missouri is donating $1,000 energy-efficient air conditioners and unveiling a $3 million-dollar COVID-19 “Clean Slate” program. They are helping families pay off past due energy bills. CoolDownStLouis.org and CoolDownMissouri.org will receive $500,000 of the Clean Slate funds.
“We know the effect,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “We know when we show up on the scene, in a little apartment, where they don’t have any air conditioning the amount of medical stress that people are under. As soon as we put an air conditioner in everything changes.”
“This year we’re donating 1,000 energy-efficient air conditioners, which is really the most we’ve ever done,” said Ameren Missouri President Marty Lyons. “We’re excited to do that.”
“The heatup/cooldown St. Louis combination of working with the Ameren Corporation to give these 1,000 air conditioners is so vital as we enter our summer months,” said Michael McMillan, President & CEO Urban League Metropolitan St. Louis. “It helps clients in our community seniors, disabled and individuals out of work that don’t have any opportunity to take care of themselves and their families.”
Ameren, the Urban League, and Cooldownstlouis.org are taking proactive steps during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a lot of elderly and disabled people who can’t get to their community center or place they like to go to during the summer and visit with their friend and neighbors,” said Mike Kehoe, Missouri Lt. Governor & Honorary co-chair cooldownmissouri.org “So being able to provide air conditioners for them I think is a life changer and a life saver for these people.”
“Well I want to encourage them to hold on and hold out,” says Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., Chair emeritus Cooldownstlouis.org. “Help is on the way. Soon we will overcome this and do it together and be back to a new normal, but a normal, nevertheless.”