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Local charities benefit in a big way from fuel co-op

MORRISONVILLE Few projects have the potential of benefiting as many people as one initiated this summer by Claude A. Gobet Knights of Columbus (KoC) Council 6067 in Morrisonville. The project has resulted in over $20,000 being raised for local charities and the opportunity for over 1,000 families to save money on this winters heating bills.

A few months ago KoC member Don Recore discovered that the local fuel co-op was defunct and there were no plans to solicit bids for the upcoming heating season. Speaking about the former co-op, Recore said, It was taken over by a fuel company, and they stopped bidding it out. They were also going to stop soliciting for Hospice, so I suggested that our council do it as our main community event. Recore said several members quickly stepped forward to help. Jerry Miner, who volunteers to assist in most of his councils activities, agreed to handle the projects administration.

Recore and Miner did have one big surprise. They expected 200 or 300 applications. By the July 31 deadline they had received over 1,000 applications, representing over 932,000 gallons of fuel oil and kerosene, and almost 300 service contracts. Along with meeting the deadline, applicants were asked to make a $20 donation to either the Hospice of the North Country or the United Way. Altogether applicants contributed $19,115 to the hospice and $1,365 to the United Way.

Recore said that bid requests were sent out to all the fuel companies in the area. Two bids were submitted to the co-op organizers and the contract was awarded to the Adirondack Energy Co. of Plattsburgh and Malone. Recore said his committee would be mailing details to all co-op members this week. Adirondack Energy will also phone all members. Recore believes that Adirondack Energy has the ability to do the job.

Don Recore believes the reason only two suppliers submitted bids is that fuel pricing has changed over the past few years. Prices fluctuate much more than in the past and are largely controlled by the petroleum futures market. In the past petroleum companies bidding on co-op business could purchase insurance to protect themselves against unexpected price increases. Today, that insurance is prohibitively expensive.

Recore expects the fuel coop to be successful and he said several Morrisonville Knights of Columbus members have already volunteered to assist with next years program.

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