GENEVA CO., Ala. (WDHN)—Consumers aren’t the only ones being affected by rising gas prices.
Geneva County officials say they along with governmental agencies across the wiregrass state and nation
are overwhelmed by the doubling and in some cases near tripling of fuel expenditures.
As we’ll hear, it’s being described as the budget-buster that could ultimately affect road work and even law enforcement patrols.
One year ago, Geneva County engineer Justin Barfield says diesel fuel cost more than two dollars a gallon.
That same gallon goes for around five dollars with more than three months left in the 2022 fiscal year budget, Barfield says you don’t have to be a mathematician to quickly realize the county’s fuel budget is running at a deficit.
” ya, it’s everybody you go from paying two dollars a year or two ago to now four dollars, it’s doubled and tripled in the course of a year or two,” according to Barfield.
Mike Gurspan says “here at the Geneva County road and bridge department the price of restocking these fuel tanks has more than doubled in less than a year and that’s really affected the overall budget.”
Sheriff Tony Helms says it’s business as usual, his deputies respond to calls. With a limited staff, they must
cover more than 300 square miles. Sheriff Helms like Barfield has to crunch the numbers and make every mile count from a cost perspective. But, law enforcement response is public safety and can mean the difference between life and death.
Sheriff Tony Helms says “our hope is that the price will go down. And that somebody can get the price to go down. Cause we don’t want to limit our services, we certainly don’t want to limit them.”
Barfield adds “It’ll be an extra probably 200-thousand fuel cost that could have gone toward the material, buy rock, by pipe and do other county maintenance work.”
In August, the county commission will work on its fiscal 2023 year budget which begins October, First.
Officials expect a lot more dollars to be allocated for fuel.