EATON — Preble County Auditor Lavon Wright recently shared information regarding the ordered removal of all Thrifty Propane liquefied petroleum trucks from commercial use throughout the state at the order of Ohio Department of Agriculture officials.
According to the order, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Weights and Measures “has received information that the liquefied petroleum meters on Liquefied Petroleum Trucks as owned by Thrifty Propane, Inc., Thrifty Propane Columbus Ohio Inc., and Thrifty Propane Northern Ohio Inc. (collectively “Thrifty Propane”) are not in compliance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1327.
“Specifically, ODA received complaints that Thrifty Propane had overcharged customers for the qµantity of propane actually sold, a violation of ORC; allegations that the seals on Thrifty Propane’s meters have been broken and or removed, a violation of ORC; and allegations that Thrifty Propane’s liquefied propane trucks are leaking and emergency shut-offs are not working in violation of National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook.”
According to the order, ODA attempted to gain cooperation with ThriftyPrepane; in order to conduct an investigation as to these complaints. On Dec. 16, 2015, ODA contacted Thrifty Propane after a complaint regarding a Marcia George and requested test reports. Despite promising to provide these test reports, none were received.
“On Jan. 27, 2016, ODA sent via certified mail Thrifty Propane a letter requesting the testing of all Thrifty Propane’s liquefied petroleum trucks and the identification of all trucks and meters used by Thrifty Propane by ODA,” the order continues. “While Thrifty Propane promised to provide this information, none was received.”
According to the Stop Use Order, “on Feb. 3, ODA sent a second letter requiring that all trucks must submit to testing beginning on Feb. 16. On Feb. 12, Carrie Benton of Thrifty Propane called to confirm that Thrifty’s trucks would submit to testing. On Feb. 16, no Thrifty Propane trucks appeared for testing. On March 2, and March 7, ODA attempted to reach Thrifty Propane by phone. Thrifty failed to answer or respond to the voicemail messages left by ODA.
As of the date of the order, April 5, no Thrifty Propane trucks had submitted to testing by ODA, according to officials. “Based on the above, despite numerous attempts to allow Thrifty Propane to submit their trucks voluntarily for testing, Thrifty Propane has refused to comply,” Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels wrote, noting that is in violation of ORC, which states no person shall “hinder or obstruct any weights and measures official in the performance of official duties.”
“Because Thrifty Propane refused to submit their liquefied propane trucks for testing to ensure compliance with the requirements of ORC these trucks cannot continue to dispense liquefied propane for commercial sale,” Daniels noted.
Daniels further ordered: “that the use of any and all Thrifty Propane liquefied propane trucks for commercial use is stopped immediately, and shall be removed from commercial use throughout the State of Ohio.”
If the trucks are tested and are found to be in compliance with ORC, as determined by the ODA, Thrifty Propane liquefied propane trucks may be placed back into commercial use, according to Daniels.
Thrifty Propane does not have a physical location in Preble County and is not one of those state tested here, however, Thrifty Propane has served customers in the area, and their trucks have operated here, according to officials.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter@emowen_RH.