WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 08, 2010, 01:40 PM

Cities forced to plan ahead for fuel prices

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - If you are looking for a bargain during the holidays, you likely won't find one at the gas pump. Gas is at $2.75 to $2.85 a gallon at many places in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Diesel is between $3 and $3.25 a gallon. The price spike is expected to stick around for awhile. It is forcing cities to plan ahead.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

As a snow plow truck driver for the city of Moorhead, Tim Schmidt has witnessed no shortage of work so far this winter. There is snow and plenty of it. Plowing is a necessity and all that means a little more horsepower.

TIM SCHMIDTCity of Moorhead Driver: “When we get bigger snows, the heavier it pushes and the more fuel we have to use.”

And with city plows and garbage trucks sucking a lot of diesel fuel this time of year, the city budgets just over a million dollars a year. Because the fuel market is so volatile, excess money is requested to cover the crazy spikes.

CHAD MARTINDir. City of Moorhead Operations: “3-years ago we got stuck with almost 4 dollar a gallon gas and that was tough because everything runs on fuel. Cops, sanitation, street department, but we are running 3 dollars a gallon for diesel we are exempt from federal taxes.”

And with prices soaring to 3-dollars a gallon around the country, cities and consumers are preparing to feel the pinch of Grinch. Fire, police, and even the Moorhead School District use and pay for fuel at the city pumps.