Pain in the gas: Rising fuel prices brings pump pain to city, county operations

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

By Olivia Johnson

Fuel prices are averaging $4.30 a gallon in Georgia, setting a new all-time high in the state, according to AAA.

The rise in gas prices has not only impacted LaGrange residents but also has city and county governments closely watching their spending.

“Rising gas prices has created hardship for many families and businesses,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “They also have caused the cost or providing city services to increase. It has definitely made life more difficult for residents, but it looks like they are adjusting and cutting expenses elsewhere. This is not the best of times, but I’m sure we will get through it.” 

Through the hardships of rising gas prices and the cost of living, many LaGrange residents are taking a hard look at what’s essential to everyday life and making adjustments accordingly.

“We certainly have been watching our fuel consumption,” said Troup County Manager Eric Mosley. “Troup County government utilizes tax dollars to primarily fund paying for roads, bridges, fuel and vehicles. However, we are certainly doing our best to limit the trips that we take and being much more deliberate about what we do.”

To help curb the cost and gas consumption of city services, Troup County has started using virtual resources wherever possible. This change aims to take some of the stress and worry about the affordability of traveling.

“We have invested over the past couple of years on virtual technology and trying to take opportunities virtually rather than driving out to meet,” Mosley said. “We’re doing that everywhere from the sheriff’s office to our court systems as well as in other meeting spaces. We hope that by doing that, we can lessen our consumption and therefore, lessen our cost.”

Mosley encourages residents to be more deliberate about their gas consumption.

“If you’ve got a trip to the grocery store, do it along with other things while out,” he said. 

Thornton said the COVID-19 pandemic has taught people how to adapt.

“The only thing we can do is use less,” he said. “I think that during Covid any many of us found that we have most things we need in LaGrange and while we may want to travel to other cities, we don’t really have to. With gas prices so high, it gives us a chance to enjoy the unexpected benefits of staying close to home.”