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Pain at the pumps

Local people feeling effects of $4-per-gallon gas

May 23, 2008
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald
In less than a day, gas prices jumped 11 cents at some local stations, bringing many above $4 a gallon and leaving residents feeling the pinch on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday.

The price for regular unleaded at Cumberland Farms on North Main Street in Gloversville rose 11 cents to $4.07 Thursday.

Assistant Manager Sue Florian said a number of customers expressed their discontent over the price.

“There were some not very nice comments,” she said. “Just people complaining.”

At the Stewart’s Shop on East Fulton Street in Gloversville, regular unleaded went for $4.09 a gallon this morning.

Senior Clerk Amy Pettit said she has heard many rumblings from customers.

“They’ve been asking when it would go up over $4,” she said. “What we call the ‘breakfast club’ was in here this morning talking about it, saying how over in Iraq they want to lower prices there and raise them here.”

At the Stewart’s Shop on Route 30 in Perth, Gabe Weaver, who said she works in Perth, pumped $4.03 regular unleaded into her sport utility vehicle.

“We were going to go to Speculator [for Memorial Day], but I saw the $4 prices and I guess now we’ll be staying home this year,” she said.

Rich Tesiero of Perth was also filling his truck at the Route 30 Stewart’s.

“I think it’s outrageous,” he said. “I can’t even afford to fill my truck up.”

Mike Baird of Gloversville agreed.

“It’s insane,” he said. “I just wonder how they [oil executives] sleep at night.”

Marketing Manager Eric Stigberg at AAA Northway in Amsterdam said local prices are higher than the national average by about 20 cents.

While some people will decide to stay home this holiday weekend, many will still travel, Stigberg said.

“We’re forecasting a slight decrease in the amount of people traveling,” he said. “Typically, high gas prices don’t keep people from traveling, but what it does do is make them change their plans.”

Some of those changes, Stigberg said, include staying closer to home, staying a less-expensive hotels or eating at less-expensive restaurants.

While Stigberg said prices usually drop following the Memorial Day holiday, that may not be true this year.

“A lot of analysts are predicting the bubble is ready to burst [and prices will drop],” Stigberg said. “We keep saying that, but here we are at $4 a gallon. ... [The scary part is] we still have the summer to go.”

For those who enjoy camping during the summer, towing boats or driving RVs means a sharp decrease in gas mileage. That isn’t stopping people from doing what they enjoy, said Alpin Haus President Andy Heck.

Alpin Haus sells RVs, trailers and boats, among other things, at several local locations. Business has been good despite high gas prices, Heck said.

There have been some changes, though, Heck said.

Gas prices are directly correlated to a trend of sticking closer to home, Heck said.

“People aren’t going as far and are doing more regional trips,” he said.

Instead of Florida or the Grand Canyon, Heck said, RVers are going to Cape Cod or the Adirondacks.

“They’re exploring different options so they can still enjoy the lifestyle,” he said.

Gloversville Transit Manager Al Schutz said gas prices reverberate through many other aspects of transit.

“It’s what I call collateral damage,” he said. “It’s not just the price of gas — oil, lubricants, tires, parts, they all go up in price too.”

Schutz said he hopes fares for bus rides on Gloversville Transit will hold steady but cautioned he could not be sure.

“We’re trying to hold off as best we can,” he said. “Believe me, I’m hoping. We all are. But if my back’s against the wall, I have to do what I have to do.”



Kayleigh Karutis covers rural Fulton County. She can be reached at ruralnews@leaderherald.com.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Brianne Vecchio of Gloversville fills her gas tank at the Cumberland Farms on North Main Street in the city Thursday.

 
 

 

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