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Diesel costs confront local entities

By Staff | Jun 11, 2008

It isn’t just the price you pay personally at the pump. The cost of gas, and particularly diesel, are making it increasingly difficult for local governments to live within their budgets.

At the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education meeting Monday night, Superintendent Dick Magnuson said the district spent over $10,000 on fuel in May. He attributed that cost to a few more miles and diesel at over $4 a gallon.

One thing that isn’t helping the matter is that football districts are changing to include Sibley, Sergeant Bluff, Sioux City Heelan, and LeMars, MOC, Spencer, Sheldon, and Storm Lake, most on the far western edge of the Class 3A District 1.

Emmet County faces a similar problem.

Tuesday County Engineer Roger Patocka presented fuel bids which were already outdated since they were based on May 15 quotes by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

For the current budget year, Patocka had budgeted $205,000 for Secondary Roads while $296,000 has been spent.

For next year, the county had budgeted $265,000 for gas and diesel. Fuel and gas bids received at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting were $371,372.40 while propane bids were $14,625. However, with $4 gas and $5 diesel on the horizon, Patocka said fuel could total far more.

“We could easily be at $500,000 for gas and diesel,” Patocka said. He said the budget will have to be amended to make up the difference.