High gas prices impacting county budgets

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - All of us are still feeling the pain at the pump, as prices remain above $4 a gallon, at most locations around the Tennessee Valley. As you at home are adjusting your budget, county commissioners across the Valley are adjusting theirs.

WAFF found out the Madison County Commission used more than 870,000 gallons of gas last year. With the current prices, budget cuts will need to be made.

“This is going to be a day of reckoning coming down the road, we know that. When you burn 871,000 gallons, that’s a lot of fuel,” said Commissioner Phil Vandiver.

Members of the Madison County Commission are in charge of filling up hundreds of vehicles with fuel, in order to perform services to help you, the taxpayers. They have to fill up more than 100 sheriff deputy patrol cars, garbage trucks, big haul pick-up trucks, tractors and trucks used to take care of the roads, in addition to cars used up the water department, and several other agencies.

“The price of gas has gone up what, a dollar, a dollar and a half in the last six weeks from the first of the year. That’s a significant amount to anyone’s budget,” said Vandiver.

County leaders don’t pay the price you and I pay at the pump, but their price fluctuates the same.

“The rack rate we have to figure out every day when it comes. Those prices are changing as crude oil goes up, so does our fuel go up every day for the county,” said Vandiver.

Using 871,000 gallons a year to fill up the trucks, means the commission could end up paying more than $1 million more than they expected, which could result in budget cuts.

“So many departments will start looking at this in the next few months and say okay, we’re not going to have enough money in that budget fund, where can we move it around,” said Vandiver.

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