A Jackson County judge has ordered a Kentucky-based propane company to provide fuel to the entire county school system.
Jackson County school officials said they had a contract for propane with United Propane & Gas, then over a week ago the company said they could not provide the fuel, so the system filed suit. Late Thursday afternoon a judge ordered the company to deliver.
Superintendent Kenneth Harding said six schools, such as Section High School, are in dire straits. They have been able to get commitments from other propane suppliers to help the other schools.
The judge's temporary restraining order says United Propane must fulfill their requirements to all schools contracted, but specifically Section, Bryant, North Sand Mountain, Flat Rock, Macedonia and Dutton schools.
13 schools in Jackson County use propane and Harding said the system used more than 42,000 gallons last January alone. School officials said they are doing what they can to keep the children warm.
"Right now I'm having to scramble for propane every morning and I shouldn't have to do that because I signed a contract. We bid it out; they agreed to it, they made the price. They got the bid; I shouldn't have to worry about that," said Harding.
A request to United Propane for response was not answered. The judge's order is temporary; a hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
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