Propane delivery bill passes Assembly, now awaits Senate

January 26, 2018 11:41 PM

PATTERSONVILLE - In five years, Bill and Liz Austin never had a problem with supplier Ferrellgas, until recently.

"Whether, you call the Johnstown number or the local number you get somebody somewhere but never in Johnstown," Bill Austin said. 

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Bill noticed his leased tank was down to 20% on December 27th. 

He emailed the company and a representative replied back saying someone would come for a refill, January 4th. On the 3rd the Austin's tank was down to 5%.

"We would have frozen up there's no question about it," Bill said.

No one from Ferrellgas would arrive until the 11th. A week after their scheduled delivery. Bill turned that driver away and leased with another company- Superior Plus. Then unexpectedly, right in the middle of our interview:

"Can I back up?"

Another Ferrellgas driver showed up to take the empty tank but instead, he made a few calls  and then drove off without the tank. 

"These are seniors these are families they depend on these deliveries," Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said.

Santabarbara says many families aren't getting their propane deliveries.

He's proposed a bill, that's passed the Assembly, which would allow a leased tank to be filled by any company in an emergency. 

"It's a stressful time you're thinking about it everyday when is the delivery going to come and it's simply unacceptable to leave these families without heat and no options they have no options and they're stuck in that situation at the mercy of one supplier."

Karen Tararache reached out to Scott Brockomeyer- a Ferrellgas rep whose number she got from the truck driver.

"If you could give me a call back I'd like to understand from you what the situation was what happened with the Austin family," Karen Tararache said.

The Austin's are just happy they have heat and like the Assemblyman, they're urging the senate to pass the bill as soon as possible.

"You just don't see this coming until it comes," Bill said. 

The bill will also block a propane supplier from charging extra fees or penalties for filling the tank and bans companies that own the tanks from charging a penalty.  


Karen Tararache

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