Everyone is spending more on gas these days - even the city of Lubbock. So far this year the city has spent more than $4 million on gas. NewsChannel 11 wanted to break down that number to see just how much per gallon the city is paying.
More than 2,000 city vehicles fill up with gas at one of two city stations and they are only paying $3.77 per gallon, about 20 cents less than the rest of the city. "We have a contract with Rip Griffin for our bulk fuel. They deliver it to our two fuel sites plus they deliver it to a few of our smaller sites, but our bulk fuel sites are the ones the city owns and operates," Assistant City Manager Mark Yearwood.
Last year, the city spent a little more than $6 million on gas, and this year they have already spent more than $4 million, with three months still left to go in the budget year.
Yearwood says if city departments go over in their fuel budget, it is their responsibility. "If they have a budget for fuel and they go over they also have an office supplies account as just an example. They need to make a decision do they need fuel or do they need office supplies," he said.
Some city employees say they could save gas if there were more than two locations to choose from, because sometimes there are long lines. "Even if there is a line ahead of me it's better for me to wait then to leave and come back - even if I lose 30 or 40 minutes. I just wait," said city employee Hector Estrada.
Yearwood said they are considering adding another gas site but, despite the city's gas discount, it will most likely go over the fuel budget. They say they are constantly looking for new ways to save. "One of the initiatives is to look at our fleet and see if we can reduce the size of the vehicles and maybe put the different departments into the ones that are smaller and more fuel efficient," said Yearwood.
The city manager urges city employees to try to conserve gas as much as possible. "I think we do. My department does. We try not to make unnecessary trips," said city employee Fred Perez.
Some other driving tips the city manager gave city employees are to avoid unnecessary idling and to check tire pressure daily.
Next year's budget will be discussed in the next few city council meetings.