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Resident calls for natural gas in Rensselaer Falls

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RENSSELAER FALLS — A Rensselaer Falls woman is hoping her state senator will help install a natural gas line in her community.

Bonnie M. St. Denny, a 47-year resident of Rensselaer Falls, said she is tired of paying the high cost of fuel oil to heat her home and is hoping state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, will champion her cause.

“It comes down to economics,” Mrs. St. Denny said.

She and her husband paid close to $4,000 from November to March, an average of $1,000 per month, last year.

“We have a big home, but that’s a lot,” she said. “It’s been steadily rising at least a dollar and $2 a gallon since 2007. That starts to add up year after year.”

Other home-heating options, she said, have also become less economical. A cord of wood used to cost $20.

“Now it is between $60 and $100,” she said.

St. Lawrence Gas, which has installed lines in nearby Heuvelton and Canton, considered lines about 10 years ago, said James P. Ward, assistant manager.

“It comes down to feasibility,” Mr. Ward said. “It can be difficult to justify the expense. We have to meet our rate of return by the fifth year.”

“We would be more than willing to look at it again,” he said.

“I can’t see why we don’t have it,” Mrs. St. Denny said. “We have high-speed Internet but we don’t have natural gas. We’re not in a deep valley or on top of a mountain. We are in a pocket that it just hasn’t got to yet.”

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