Carlisle Schools Get Big Gas Bill

A small 1-A school district in East Texas opened its Centerpoint gas bill this month, to see numbers never seen before. Carlisle I.S.D. is in the southwest corner of Rusk County, located in the town of Price. With only 560 students in the entire district, the business manager for Carlisle is used to paying a few hundred dollars for the district's gas use, but this month, Melody Hudson was quite surprised.

"I thought oh my gosh! And we weren't here most of the month of December," says Hudson.

The school's use of gas was up more than 500 percent from November to December. The school was even closed down part of the month for Christmas break. In perspective, Carlisle received a 550 dollar gas bill for the month of November. For December's use, the bill was $2,969.64.

"They told me we were in line with our usage from prior years our history, and also informed me that gas prices would be going down," Hudson says.

However, another call to Centerpoint revealed that another bill is on the way for around $2800. That's something that Hudson says isn't possible, considering mild weather and that the students were out of school for 11 days. Now, Hudson is trying to find money to cover the surprise.

"I would have to amend the budget and then I would go and see if I could find money not used in another part of the budget.  There's got to be more reasons than just gas prices going up," she says.

For a small school with a tight budget, Hudson hopes there are no more gas bill surprises.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.