West Toledo residents still without natural gas after 18 days

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Residents of 13 homes in the Graystone Woods development on Oakside Dr. in west Toledo have been without natural gas service for more than two weeks.

Columbia Gas shut off service to the area on May 31 after they say unsafe amounts of methane gas were detected along the foundations of the homes. The concern is that a pilot light, or other open flame, could ignite the gas.

Monday, residents appealed to Toledo City Council, saying Columbia Gas had gone too far in shutting of their service.

"I think they have a responsibility in being a partner in the solution to the problem," said Greystone Wood resident Kathy Lycourt. "Up to this point, for it to take them 18 days to get to this point, how much of a partner are they really?"

Columbia Gas representatives at the meetings suggested that Columbia would be willing to restore natural gas service to the homes once the developer has hired experts to install equipment to remove the gas.  Columbia also insists that company must certify that the homes will be safe. Columbia promised to forward a list of experts qualified to fix the problem to the developer Tuesday.

"I don't know how long it will take to put that system in place. But that day that we get the call that the system is safe, that the service is ready to be established and it has been signed off, we'll be out that day to restore service," said Chris Kozak with Columbia Gas.

Toledo City Council members suggested methane gas detectors be installed in the house, and gas could be shut off if methane exceeded acceptable levels.

"Frankly, I think it is an undue burden on them. They have been 18 days now without this and it's time we stepped up to the plate and came up with a reasonable solution," said councilman D. Michael Collins.

Representatives with Columbia Gas said they would have to consult with legal council before committing to such a plan.

In the mean time, Greystone Woods residents are without hot water or the use of gas stoves.

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