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Free meter-repair discovered late

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A Tulsa man is frustrated by a big bill from an electrician. The repair would have been free had he only waited for a city sponsored program that pays electricians to make repairs to people's homes

Joe Knight thought he had one of two choices; either go without electricity, or pay $600 to an electrician to fix his weatherhead and meter box.

"In order for me to actually get electric, I had to pay for it myself, which was quite a bit, took all my money that I saved up," Knight said.

He actually had a 3rd choice. Schedule an electrician through Operation Power Up to have the work done for free. The problem is that he didn't know about that.

Unfortunately, the city says Operation Power Up will not reimburse homeowners, even partially, who have paid their own electrician. Knight says he hasn't found any other help.

"I called FEMA, and they told me that there was no kind of assistance for Oklahoma," Knight said.

At least not for individuals, not yet.

The Urban League is gathering agencies together in a Disaster Recovery Center to help with things like food and some other home repairs.

As of now, there are no plans for help with things like rent money, utility bills, or electric repair costs.

So ironically, in this case, Knight was too early with his repairs instead of too late.

Many metro cities also participated in a pilot program that provided free repairs to meter bases. Officials say federal regulations do not allow these cities to cover the cost of the repairs after the homeowner has already paid out of pocket.

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