The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio(PUCO) has ordered Ohio Rural Natural Gas Co-Op (ORNG) to shut down, effective March 1, after a series of investigations dating back to early 2015 where the company received more than 30 safety violations, according to documents.
The documents said the company is being shut down because its facilities were operating in a manner that was hazardous to life and property, according to a 39-page opinion and order released on January 18. The company was ordered to work with its customers to find an alternative service.
However, some of the ORNG customers alleged they weren't receiving any assistance from the company. So, News 5 started digging and thanks to our investigation some ORNG customers are receiving the help they need.
Dominion Gas has confirmed to News 5 that, in accordance with the City of Mentor, brand new gas lines will be installed free of charge in the Sugarbush Dr. neighborhood as a result of the ORNG shutdown.
“I just feel relieved. This has gone on for three weeks and it’s finally like the light at the end of the tunnel," Char Lybbert told News 5's Meg Shaw.
Lybbert and her husband, who have four children, have been ORNG customers for just over a year and she said trying to find alternative service has been exhausting. But when a Dominion employee came to her door after our story she said she felt a huge weight lifted.
“Immediately, I was just like, ‘oh my word.’ I almost got a little emotional, " she said. "When you have children, you commit to providing for them so even when things are out of your control, you immediately start to feel guilty. I’m just breathing a little bit easier.”
Construction on the new gas lines are expected to start on Wednesday.