Record gas prices felt beyond the pump

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May 25, 2007, News 12 First at Five

AUGUSTA,Ga---According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $3.22 per gallon. The price in Augusta is averaging $3.01 per gallon. However, the pump is not the only place the gas prices will get you.

Stuffing snack machines has never come at a higher price for Jully Barton. She is the owner of a local vending company.
Driving around town all day to make deliveries with record high gas prices is affecting her income. "It adds up real quick," she says.

With fuel pushing three dollars a gallon, she and many business owners are making customers compensate. "Our candy bars, usually vend at fifty cents, but now we've had to increase it up to sixty and i'm possibly thinking about going higher," Barton says.

Another place you may be affected by the high gas prices is at the laundromat. Since dryers run on natural gas, some laundromat owners are charging up to one dollar more to wash and dry clothes.

The city of Augusta is also feeling the pain. Augusta's fleet manager Ron Crowden says the city has been forced to increase the yearly fuel budget by over one million dollars.

In 2006, the city budgeted $ 2,460,790 for gas. This year that has increased to $ 3.783,910. He says this money covers gas purchases for all county vehicles, including deputy patrol cars. But, he says the million dollar increase in the fuel budget means some city projects may be placed on hold.

"It may be a road project that we had, it may be some other service we were going to provide, that can no longer be serviced or provided to the citzens, so you're robbing Peter to pay Paul," Crowden says.

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