Harrison County Tries To Cut Costs To Save on Fuel Costs

HARRISON COUNTY (WLOX) -- Everyone is feeling pain at the pump, including county governments. Leaders in one county have been taking a proactive approach, to try to offset skyrocketing fuel costs.

"Right now we're paying because of the gas contract with our supplier, $3.79 per gallon, and our diesel os $4.01 per gallon, which is cheaper than the public," said Connie Rockco, Harrison County Supervisor, District 5.

Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco says the county is definitely feeling the pinch at the gas pump, but buying gas in bulk is actually saving them money.

"We buy in such large qualities, they get a better deal than someone at the gas pump."

This is just one way the county is slashing its cost at the pumps. Supervisor Rockco says certain dump trucks have been working overtime since Katrina, hauling dirt, equipment and asphalt along with other everyday work, but they only get five miles to the gallon. Plans are underway to change that.

"If we can increase that mileage and use propane, which would be cheaper, then we'll come out cheaper for the tax payer which will be better in the long run," Rockco said.

Also in an effort to cut back the cost of fuel, the county is also planning to change some county workers' schedules to four 10-hour work days. That will apply only to the Sand Beach Department and Road Department, beginning June 1.

"That will cut back on the gas for the employees going back and forth to work," Rockco said.

The high cost of fuel is causing a big deficit in county budgets, but Rockco say she and fellow supervisors are working aggressively to make sure that cost is one they won't have to pass on to taxpayers.

According to AAA, diesel prices ring in at $4.24 a gallon and regular unleaded is $3.62. One year ago, diesel was $2.92 and regular unleaded was $2.99.