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Business as Usual for Oxford City Departments Despite High Gas Prices

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


Image via AAA

While gas prices have dropped ever so slightly over the last two days, gas is still close to, or at, $4 a gallon at most gas stations in Oxford.

The rise in gas affects everyone individually, but it also affects the city at large with most of its service departments using large amounts of gas – like the fire, police and solid waste departments, and several others.

“We are having daily conversations with our department heads to identify ways we can limit our gas use while meeting our residents’ expectations and providing needed services,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill “We are also looking at ways to assist our employees who commute to work from other counties.”

Oxford’s Chief Operating Officer Bart Robinson said the city uses a “considerable” amount of fuel; however, the rise in gas prices affects other supplies as well, such as asphalt, pipe and other materials.

“At this time, we have adjusted some operations by adjusting some vehicle run times in some departments,” he said. “However, we understand it’s critical to perform the services our citizens expect and need.”

Robinson said while internal discussions among city officials continue daily, no major adjustments on any city services have been made.

Budget overages for this fiscal year are expected, he said.

“Recently, we discussed the reality of budget overages with department heads,” he said. “We explained we may have to make adjustments in the future, but we are committed to ensuring each department has what they need to get their jobs done.”

The average price for a gallon of regular gas dropped from $4.32 nationally a week ago to $4.29 as of Thursday.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 3.6 million bbl to 241 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.96 million b/d to 8.94 million b/d.

AAA reported Thursday that the drop in gas demand is contributing to price decreases, but the recent reversal in oil prices is creating greater downward pressure on pump prices. If the oil price continues to decline, pump prices will likely follow suit.

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