The Woodward News


August 24, 2005

Rising fuel costs damaging budgets.

Rising prices at the gas pump are doing a lot more than just causing problems for motorists.

Area law enforcement, public schools of large and small student population, and county-city crews are all suffering from the added weight of gasoline prices in the range of $2.45 a gallon or higher.

“Prices are going to have a negative affect on the school travel this year . . . we are going to curtail travel not dealing with school activities already on the calendar and the many trips rewarding students for good behavior and grades will also have to be seriously considered,” said Mack Morse, superintendent of Shattuck Public Schools.

The added cost of fuel prices has not really been a large concern for many until as of late when gas prices increased 54 percent in the month of August alone. Gasoline prices are expected to remain well above $2 per gallon through 2006 according to the United States Department of Energy’s Short-term Energy Outlook.

“Gas prices have taken a big bite out of us this year, we are expecting to spend $60,000 to $70,000 on fuel for this year’s school term,” said Terry Groce, Woodward Public Schools transportation director.

“We really can’t do anything about bus routes but as far as trips for pleasure such as trips to the zoo or the Omniplex for our grade school students, these trips may have to be slowed down for the year until prices decrease or our budget can be worked on,” Groce said.

One thing helping all schools not only in the area but across the state is the relief on gas taxes that public schools are exempt from. However, even without having to pay taxes on gasoline most schools if they were to buy fuel today would still be paying $2.11 per gallon compared to $1.44 at this time last year.

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