Gov't workers can get help with bills during shutdown

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TOLEDO - (WTVG) - Until Congress and the president reach some deal, 800,000 federal workers will not get a paycheck.

But after 18-days, bills are stacking up.

Water bills are a big hit to the budget. The average water bill is $200, but you can call the public utilities department for help.

Abby Arnold, deputy chief of staff to mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, says, "Certainly, if anyone's having trouble paying their bill for any reason, they should give us a call and we will work with them."

Your electric bill averages about $100/month but Toledo Edison says it has make-up programs and other ways to help you keep the lights on.

Columbia Gas doesn't want to turn off your heat. The utility offers nothing special for government workers; just the same promise to work with you on the bill.

Cheri Pastula with Columbia Gas says, "We treat everyone the same. We want them to have a warm home and we'll find a way to make it work."

If you have a mortgage or a car loan, Fifth-Third will post a special message to government workers on it's website by Friday with a phone number you can call.

And Huntington has announced it will waive overdraft fees on checking accounts for government workers and this week it announced a low-rate quick loan program to get you money to pay your bills.

If you need help paying you bill, call these numbers:

Columbia Gas: 1-800-344-4077
Toledo Edison: 1-888-544-4877
Toledo Department of Public Utilities: 419-245-1800
Fifth-Third Bank:
Huntington Bank: 1-888-697-4682

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