Southwest to close office | SierraSun.com
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Southwest to close office

JOHN A. BAYLESS

In a move aimed at tightening up its 1999 budget, Southwest Gas plans to close several of its smaller business offices, including the one in Truckee.

“In preparation for the ’99 budget, we have looked at a number of offices in other states,” said James Kane, Southwest Gas senior vice president of operations. “We’ve already closed five in Arizona.”

The closure will mean that customers can no longer pay bills at Southwest’s office on West River Street, but Kane said most choose to pay bills by other methods, Kane said.

“We have made it convenient in a variety of ways for our customers to pay their bills,” he said. “They don’t come into the office. In Truckee, one percent of our customer base comes into the office to pay their bills.”

Kane said Southwest plans to close the business office about Oct. 15, but the exact date has not been determined. He said some of the employees have decided to remain in Northern Nevada, while others will take positions elsewhere within the company.

Southwest District Manager Byron Elkins, who heads the Truckee office, said customers can pay bills at two locations in town, and also have the options of automatic payment or mailing in payments.

“We currently have both branches of SierraWest Bank and are examining other locations around town,” Elkins said. “We’re looking at a couple of other payment locations, but no contracts have been signed yet.”

Elkins said the repair services to Southwest’s customers will remain at the same levels.

Although four people are leaving the business office, he said the maintenance crew and the emergency response crew will still operate out of the building on West River Street.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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