LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The conflict in Ukraine is having a major impact on gas prices, which are quickly approaching record highs.
The national average Monday was one cent below the highest it’s ever been, and that’s hurting those who drive for a living.
Additionally, the price influx is putting a wrench in city budgets.
Prices are up $1.25 a gallon from this time last year, that’s an increase of nearly 40%.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for every daily driver, but it’s even more costly when you have hundreds of vehicles.
“We have about 500 or so,” said Lansing Director of Public Service Andy Kilpatrick. “Everything from small parking scooters or motorcycles all the way up to our snowplows, trash trucks and everything else. We go through a lot of fuel, somewhere in the 1.8 million to 2 million range. If that increases another 10%, it could cost anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000, depending how long it lasts.”
Kilpatrick says the city has been looking for new police cars, and these prices are changing what they have their eye on.
“As opposed to buying full-sized pickups, do we go down to mid-size or smaller now with better fuel economy?” Kilpatrick said. “Those are the questions we have to ask.”
This is also a problem for those like Nicole Matthews, who drives for a living. She got a job at Toramina’s Pizza in Lansing last week doing deliveries.
Matthews says the timing for this steep rise couldn’t be worse.
“I’m a single mother so even before I come to work I have to take my kids to school and then come to work,” Matthews said. “Then while I’m at work I’m delivering pizzas to East Lansing, Dewitt, Haslett and stuff like that so gas- I wish it was cheaper.”
Matthews hopes customers keep that in mind when ordering out.
“Be a little more mindful of the drivers when it comes out to tipping,” Matthews said. “It could help us out a lot especially if we’re doing more than like a 5-mile radius.”
As far as the city goes, the budget proposal for the next fiscal year is due at the end of the month.
Kilpatrick says they do build in a buffer in the gas budget, but also says if trends continue to stay like this, it could mean cuts in other places.