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City budgets adjusting to account for gas price hike

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 01:42:17-04

WACO, Texas  — There are many services dependent on the City of Waco to keep them running, but the recent spike in prices caught the city by surprise.

"No one knew how high it was going to get," Director of General Services Kelly Holecek said. "The first thing we did was put all eyes on those fuel costs."

The fiscal year started in October with gas at $2.47. The city is now paying an average of $4.44.

"I feel that we're very fortunate that we made it through most of the fiscal year before we saw these increases on the fuel that we have trucked into us," Holecek said.

Waco's budget committee sets aside a specific amount for the fuel each year, but even as that money is quickly draining Holecek said it won't impact city services.

"There's no expectation that we will be pulling anything off the street," she said. "They are going to be gassed up and we're going to keep putting gas in those tanks. We will have to be looking at other funding sources where we can move money."

But not every agency is as fortunate. Over in the Brazos Valley, the Volunteer Fire Department started its fiscal year with $25,000 set aside for fuel. Now it has just $3,000 left.

"We're trying to use our booster trucks, our pickup trucks to go on medical calls, stuff like that just to help cut our costs down," Chief Joe Warren said. "But sometimes you're not able to do that."

The department is now working to cut costs wherever it can.

"We have to cut back our training back on some of the pump operations in driving class due to the cost of fuel," Chief Warren said.

With experts predicting gas prices won't be going down anytime soon, cities are also keeping a close watch at the pump.