City of Lufkin Will Have to Make Changes if Gas Prices Continue to Rise

When the sirens are on firefighters and policemen are focused on safety... not gas prices.

But, high gas prices are affecting everyone, including city budgets.

Last year, The City of Lufkin was paying a discounted rate of $2.13 for regular and $2.38 for diesel. The city budgeted more for gas costs this year, $2.65 for regular and $2.45 for diesel. But the prices are now $2.79 for regular and $2.44 for diesel.

For now, the city is ok. Fire trucks, and police cars have to run.

Pete Pruitt, the fire chief, said, "What our annual budget is for the emergency division is $85,000, and we are still in the black.  We have a fleet of 25 vehicles, most very large gas or diesel guzzling apparatus."

But if gas prices continue to rise, there will have to be cutbacks in other city departments.

Paul Parker, the city manager, said, "Some departments can cut back in material, some can cut back in personnel and vacancies... Each department is responsible for making those cuts within its budget."

And, with 4 months still left in this year's budget cycle, careful spending will have to continue.