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State Sen. Patricia Ritchie responds to letter seeking Falls natural gas

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RENSSELAER FALLS – The office of state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, is working with a natural gas company to install service in the village after receiving a letter from a concerned resident.

The letter, written by village resident Bonnie M. St. Denny, requests that Mrs. Ritchie assist the village in obtaining a natural gas line.

Mrs. Ritchie was not available for comment, but her spokeswoman, Sarah Compo, said Mrs. Ritchie is currently in talks with St. Lawrence Gas to determine if the company can install a natural gas line in the village.

Mrs. St. Denny said she was pleased to hear that Mrs. Ritchie read her letter and offered to help.

“It’s nice that there is someone out there willing to help,” she said. “I’ve talked with quite a few residents who would be happy to hear if and when the gas is available. It would be a great thing for the community.”

Margaret S. Hance, former village mayor, said she had tried to convince a gas company in the late 1980s to install the infrastructure.

“They [the gas company] told me it wouldn’t have been be profitable then, and so it ended right there,” she said.

Mrs. Hance, who runs her own tailoring business called Hance Originals, said she, too, would be interested in natural gas for her home and business.

Since she moved to village in 1968, Mrs. Hance said fuel oil has risen from 17 cents a gallon to $4.

“It costs me between $400 and $600 every three weeks in winter to heat my house,” she said. “It’s all terribly expensive.”

Mrs. Hance said she hopes that with the passage of time and Mrs. Ritchie’s involvement, St. Lawrence Gas might consider installing the lines.

“When I first asked for cable, they told me we might as well be on the moon,” Mrs. Hance said. “But they since came back and asked to install it. I hope the same happens here.”

St. Lawrence Gas Assistant Manager James P. Ward was not available for comment Friday.

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