Gasoline prices and usage by city employees was a lengthy topic for discussion at a recent meeting of the Lynch City Council. Financial officer Bill Dean prepared a gas log for council members showing the gas usage by each agency of the city.
“I took the gas logs and broke them down — turned them into mileage and dollars to show mileage per gallon for you to get an idea,” said Dean.
Councilman Stanley Sturgill asked where gasoline is now being purchased for city usage.
“We’re getting our gas from the Miner’s Market right now,” said Dean. “It just went up recently to about $3.72 per gallon.”
Sturgill commented that gasoline in Cumberland is $3.52 per gallon and asked why the city is not using tanks at city hall to store gasoline for city usage.
“After we ran out from our tanks, it was cheaper to buy it at the Miner’s Market,” said Mayor Johnny Adams.
Councilwoman Anne Carr said if the price difference is only about 5 cents per gallon, from going all the way to Cumberland, she felt local merchants should be used.
“The Miner’s Market is one of a very few local industries in our town,” said Carr. “But 20 cents per gallon difference is a pretty big chunk.”
Sturgill said if gasoline can be purchased at a cheaper rate, he felt it should be done to help the city’s finances.
“We shouldn’t be the ones punished because the Miner’s Market can’t get their gasoline anywhere cheaper,” said Sturgill. “That’s the way I feel. It’s a whole lot cheaper across the mountain in Virginia than it even is in Cumberland. Me personally, I think we ought to look into what it is going to cost to have gasoline brought up here in bulk and put in our own tanks so we can pump it ourselves.”
Carr asked that Raymond Doss (Fuelco Inc.) be contacted to get an estimate on the cost of filling the tanks at city hall.
“The issue here is you will have a big bill of $6,000 to $7,000 to fill both tanks,” said Dean. “Depending on the usage, that might last 2-3 months. It would be cheaper, but if you still controlled the cost, you might pay more per gallon and use less gas and you wouldn’t have that $7,000 bill when you run out — you’ve got to come up with $7,000. You can’t depend on them to finance our gas usage all the time. They have been doing us a favor to be honest with you. They own the tanks we have here at city hall also.”
Councilman Winston Yeary said whether you get the gasoline directly from Doss or at the Miner’s Market, it all comes from the same place — Fuelco.
“If you get it at the Miner’s Market you can control your usage more,” said Yeary.
Dean noted that the city’s diesel fuel is being purchased from Fuelco at this time.
“It all comes down to you want to save money, but sometimes you can’t,” said Adams. “We can go back to Doss. We just got caught in a pinch and it was just easier for us to go up to the Miner’s Market and pay a $200 bill than it was to call and get $8,000 worth of gas that we knew we couldn’t pay him for for a while. We’ll do what is most economical for the city.”
Carr asked Dean to prepare a gasoline cost projection by their October meeting. Councilman Carl Collins asked the mayor to speak with the Miner’s Market about giving a discount price for gasoline used for the city. All council members agreed.
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