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Published: Thursday, 3/20/2003

Columbia Gas pares request for rate boost

The proposed higher natural gas prices for metro Toledo's major provider have been shaved. Columbia Gas of Ohio amended its request before the Public Utility Commission of Ohio yesterday, asking to boost its April rate 87 cents per 100 cubic feet, up 11 cents from its current rate but 13 cents less than $1 it sought last week.

A company spokesman said the change was made because natural-gas producer costs were down. But the utility decided to try to keep its rates in line with its costs rather than fold in the higher costs in its next quarterly rate proposal, to be submitted to the commission in about 10 days, the spokesman said.

Columbia Gas had an approved rate of 76 cents per 100 cubic feet in January for the February-through-April period, affecting about 70,000 Toledo area customers and 800,000 Ohio customers. The commission is expected to act on the emergency rate request next week.

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