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ROANOKE GAS COMPANY BOARD APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF ROANOKE

 ROANOKE, Va., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Roanoke Gas Company this afternoon approved an agreement with the city of Roanoke which removes the possibility of the city exercising its option under the current franchise agreement to acquire the assets of the company located within the city.
 The agreement extends the current franchise agreement for 180 days from Aug. 30, 1993, on the same terms and conditions, except the acquisition option will be deleted.
 In addition, Mayor David Bowers has written Roanoke Gas Company President Frank Farmer "that City Council has no intention of exercising its right and option to acquire plant and property of Roanoke Gas Company pursuant to (the) Franchise Agreement."
 Roanoke City Council was scheduled to vote this afternoon on taking the first step toward acquiring the assets of the company within the city and some property outside the city. However, city officials initiated discussions with management on Sunday, which led to the current proposed agreement.
 The agreement was approved by Roanoke City Council this afternoon.
 "The board of directors is satisfied that Roanoke Gas Company is in a position to continue to serve its customers as an integrated gas distribution system," said Farmer. "Within a short time, this rather unpleasant chapter in the long history of Roanoke Gas Company should be over."
 Farmer expressed the company's "deep appreciation" to its customers and the general public for their support. The company received approximately 2,500 telephone calls of support in seven days, in addition to numerous letters. Several thousand signatures were collected on petitions.
 "Roanoke Gas Company's long-held commitment to customer service has paid dividends," said Farmer. "Frequently, customers made reference to the company's exemplary service."
 On Aug. 13, Roanoke Gas Company disclosed that the city of Roanoke was considering a decision to acquire the assets of the company within in the city, as well as certain assets outside the city. Such an acquisition was possible under the franchise agreement that expires Aug. 30.
 Roanoke Gas Company was founded in 1883 and serves 43,000 customers in the Roanoke Valley. The company also owns Bluefield Gas Company, serving Bluefield, W.Va. and Bluefield, Va. and Highland Propane Company, which provides propane to southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia and the Roanoke Valley.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: John W. Lambert Jr., John Lambert Associates, 703-982-1010, for Roanoke Gas Company/


CO: Roanoke Gas Company ST: Virginia IN: UTI SU:

MM -- CH007 -- 5157 08/23/93 16:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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