Gas Prices For Public Servants

Mentioning gas prices is a sure way to get many East Texans revved up.

"I think it's outrageous but there's nothing we can do about it," Lufkin resident Angie Colwell said.

"I think it's extremely high at the moment," added Lufkin resident Robert Bird.

But there's one thing about gas that surprises some even more than the cost: Government agencies such as police and fire departments, pay less for gas than the average citizen.

"I don't think it should be that way I think that everyone should be equal and pay equally," Colwell said.

"It should be the same for everybody. Pass the discount around," Bird told us.

This week gas in Lufkin averages $3.19 a gallon for regular unleaded and $3.89 a gallon for diesel. But the city of Lufkin pays significantly less. This week they pay $2.90 a gallon for regular unleaded and $3.55 a gallon for diesel. City officials want to make it clear that the special prices are only for employees while on the job.

Lufkin Assistant City Manager Keith Wright said, "That's just based on the volume that we purchase. Where as you as an individual will purchase a small amount, we purchase tens of thousands of gallons a year. That's how we can get that better deal."

Each year the city of Lufkin bids for fuel. Lufkin's current fuel bid contract was made last year with Polk.

"What the city bids is a certain amount above what is called rack price. The rack price is established by each of the different refineries where it is purchased by the distributor," Wright told us.

The city then pays a few cents above rack price under a contract with the distributor. That's why they say it evens out in the long run.