Three Rivers Propane sold to Loose Creek firm
After 21 years in the propane business, Three Rivers Propane LLC sold its assets and operations to Lock’s Mill Propane Inc. of Loose Creek.
According to a press release, the sale will take effect on December 1st, with Three Rivers Propane customer accounts transferring to Lock’s Mill Propane on November 30th. Three Rivers and Lock’s Mill will work together to make the transition as smooth as possible, said Roger Kloeppel, chairman of the board of the Three Rivers Electric Cooperative.
Three Rivers Propane was founded in the spring of 2000 when Knoerr Propane was purchased by Three Rivers Electric Cooperative. Knoerr Propane was founded in 1944 by Linn businessman JR Knoerr, who ran the company until 1988 when Eric Thompson took over ownership and management of the company. Thompson sold the company to TREC in 2000 and continued to run the company until he retired in 2017. At that point, local business owner Gary Norment took over the helm of Three Rivers Propane.
Under her leadership at Three Rivers Propane, the business grew from 800 tanks to more than 2,000 tanks, with a second bulk handling facility and a third delivery driver / technician serving customers in Osage, Gasconade, Miller and Cole counties.
At the time Three Rivers Propane was founded, company officials said the supply of propane was a trend in the energy industry as large utility companies emerged and threatened during deregulation in the late 1990s. Electricity cooperatives were encouraged to diversify their energy portfolio and offer energy as well as electricity. Three Rivers Electric Cooperative was the last electrical cooperative in Missouri to hold shares in a propane subsidiary.
“Three Rivers Electric Cooperative has considered selling its propane subsidiary several times over the past 10 years,” said Kloeppel. “The timing never seemed right, however. Given the challenges posed by the polar vortex in February and the recent retirement of propane manager Gary Norment, we decided to gauge the interest of the local propane companies, and Lock’s Mill turned out to be very interested Buyer. “
Lock’s Mill Propane was founded in 2000 by Warren Haslag and the company has a presence in a similar field to Three Rivers Propane.
“This decision was not taken lightly and was made with the aim of continuing the valued service our customers have received over the past 21 years,” said Tom Stegeman, President of Three Rivers Electric. “We believe Locks Mill Propane is a perfect match for our loyal customers and is well positioned to meet our customers’ needs not just for the coming heating season but for the next 20 years and beyond.”