PACE in New Bedford: Hoping but not betting for another mild winter

NEW BEDFORD — After one of the mildest winters in recent years, Bruce Morell, executive director of PACE, which administers the area’s fuel assistance program, is not betting on a repeat.

“I’m always fearful that demand will outweigh what we can do,” he said of the fuel assistance program. “Last year was an odd year. Last year was very mild.

“Last year we skated through. I don’t think it’s going to be a mild winter again,” he said. “It’s very rare that you have two mild winters in a row.”

The winter of 2016 was so mild that PACE recorded a surplus of about $70,000 out of about $8.5 million in its fuel assistance program, which was returned to the state to be rolled over for use this winter season, he said.

Morell said he has read the long-range forecasts about the winter of 2016-2017, which predict more snow and colder temperatures and they just add more of the proverbial fuel for the fire.

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Josh Amaral

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