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Local governments budget for high fuel costs

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These amounts are still up for discussion since the experts cannot seem to agree on what fuel prices are likely to do in the coming year, he said.

He pointed out some experts indicate a 10 to 12 percent increase in fuel prices over the next calendar year, while some say prices could drop by 5 percent. He did say that each 1 percent change either costs the city $8,500 or saves that amount if the price of fuel declines.

The estimate is subject to change and will be discussed with the City Council during the budget process so we can agree on our best consensus of the appropriate fuel budget for next year, Lee said.

Lee presented the initial budget proposal to the city council Tuesday night prior to their regular schedule meeting.

Wilson County Finance Director Aaron Maynard noted the county is presently creating its status quo budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, but said last year the county had to add about $22,500 to the Wilson County Emergency Management Agencys fuel budget.

Originally, Maynard said WEMA was budgeted $59,000 for diesel fuel but the high cost of diesel compared to regular gasoline in the past year forced the department to add some extra funds.

Weve put another $22,500 in that line, but only $12,000 of it was new money, Maynard said.

The other $10,500 was moved from other areas of WEMAs budget to get the department through the end of the year.

The countys largest consumer of gasoline is the Wilson County Sheriffs Department, which Maynard said was budgeted for $306,000 in gasoline. Maynard indicated the Sheriffs Department has not met its projected fuel expenditures this year.

Wilson County Roads Commission is also a large consumer of fuel for the county, but Maynard said they have not exceeded their budget at this time.

While the budget process is just beginning, Maynard said they will have to look at fuel prices and the possibility of increasing their fuel budgets.

Deputy Director of Wilson County Schools Mickey Hall said the system budgeted approximately $1 million last year on fuel. He said the fluctuating prices are most likely to cause an increase in their fuel budget next year.

We will probably project some increases next year, but weve been fortunate so far, he said.

Hall said the school system has altered bus routes to reduce miles driven and gallons of diesel used by the school transportation department.

Im going to be looking at fuel prices and the gallons we use to make projections for next year, Hall said.

Mt. Juliet actually came in under budget last year with their fuel projections, according to Finance Director John Rossmaier.

The current years budget anticipated the prices that are just now being reflected at the pump, Rossmaier said.

He pointed out the savings from lower than expected fuel expenditures is being used to replace some of the Mt. Juliet Police Departments vehicle fleet. He could not say how much the city was budgeting for fuel in the next fiscal year as they have just begun the budget process.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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