Fuel Costs Expected To Put City Agencies Over Budget

Many state and city agencies did not budget for the steadily rising fuel costs.  Already, several agencies in Tyler's Vehicle Services Department expect to exceed their fuel budgets.

Everyday, maintenance vehicles and police and fire units roll in to fill up at Vehicle Services. However, each time one of those vehicles fills up, the city inches closer to a fuel budget problem.
For the current fiscal year, the city allocated $791,000 for the fuel budget. With five months to go in the fiscal year, the projected amount is $850,000 to $875,000, an increase of up to 10 percent.

The Head of Tyler Vehicle Services, George Baker, says in April, he predicted a 15 percent total increase in fuel costs.
That increase is now at 41 percent, and rising. The difference means the city would exceed its current fuel budget by late August or early September.
"My last projection was a couple of weeks ago," he says. "We're looking to exceed that if fuel prices don't come down, by at least $50,000 or $60,000."

Baker says he may ask the city to adjust the budget. Whether that adjustment will lead to a tax increase, is up to city officials, not Baker. He says he doesn't expect it to reach that level.

"We can stem the tide, we can make it, without you know, we're not going to raise taxes, but I just hope that it doesn't continue to rise."

Proposals to decrease fuel costs to the city include a plan to increase the number of Tyler's alternatively fueled vehicles.

Story by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com