JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A hearing concerning a temporary restraining order for a propane company that told a Jackson County school system they could no longer supply them propane has been continued after the company delivered fuel to the schools.
United Propane Gas trucks arrived at all 13 schools, including Section in Jackson County, to fill tanks with propane after a Jackson County judge ordered them to do so last week. The school system filed suit against UPG last week after the company told them they could no longer supply them, citing a propane shortage.
School officials said they scrambled to find propane companies who would commit to furnishing schools. Superintendent Kenneth Harding said all but six schools have commitments from other companies to keep them going.
"They delivered to every school in the county yesterday. The issue continues now, whether that's going to be a continuation or a commitment; are they going to honor all of those schools, are they going to be able to handle that load or not," said Harding.
The temporary restraining order remains in effect. UPG president Eric Small said they are under a court order and said they are obligated to honor it, despite saying they have been rationed at the pipeline.
Small said where they were once getting 30 loads a day, they are now down to four, adding this has been the most difficult year in his 65 years of business. Despite this, Small said he plans to fully comply with the court order mandating delivery.
However, when the trucks rolled in Monday, they brought invoices with them - with a price of $3.50 per gallon, more than three times the contracted price.
"The principal said 'I'm not signing that,' so I told him don't sign it. I think one person marked out the price and then signed it, but I think that's the debate going forward," Harding said.
Small said the invoice dispute is an "accounting problem." He said the company is not going to fudge on their deals and that the bills sent to the school system will get the contract price.
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