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January 31. 2014 8:12PM

Fred Fuller to meet with NH officials on reimbursement of oil delivery hot line

Gov. Maggie Hassan's request for Fred Fuller Oil to repay the state $20,972.44 for running an emergency customer hotline last month could be resolved as early as Monday.

Simon C. Leeming, an attorney representing Fred Fuller Oil & Propane Co., said Fred Fuller plans to meet Monday with state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Perry E. Plummer.

In an email Friday, Leeming said, "the determination" would be announced then.

Leeming declined to expand when asked whether the company would pay the amount, or possibly arrive at another agreement.

While no resolution has yet been announced, Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said the state and Fred Fuller Oil have had "positive communication" about the issue.

Hassan and Plummer launched the hotline Jan. 7 after fielding customer calls concerning heating fuel deliveries and tanks either nearing empty or running on empty amid a cold snap. Some customers were unable to get through to the Hudson-based Fred Fuller Oil, which had experienced major phone system problems.

The hotline was staffed around-the-clock for nearly six days.

In a letter to Fred Fuller Oil on Jan. 23, Plummer noted that the call center handled 3,832 incoming calls and 1,862 different cases, and made 2,745 return calls to residents as follow-ups.

"We all recognize that this was a difficult time for you and your business, and I appreciate that you recognized the tremendous assistance our dedicated employees provided to Fred Fuller Oil & Propane Co., Inc. and the customers they serve," Plummer wrote in the letter. "Although there may not be a legal obligation to reimburse the State of New Hampshire for the expense of the call center, we believe it would be appropriate for you to do so."

dtuohy@unionleader.com


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