No Money in Budget for Fuel

By: Amanda Humes
By: Amanda Humes

Every-day motorists aren't the only ones digging deep to cover the high cost of gas. Many counties are feeling the pinch and having to adjust their budgets to keep vehicles on the road.

The Brazos County Sheriff's Department has a little over $5,000 left in its budget for gasoline this fiscal year. But that won't be nearly enough to last the department through the summer.

" We did have a spike in gas prices last year, but we felt like that was a temporary thing and it was going to come back down and of course it hasn't so we knew this situation was coming," said Chief Deputy Jim Mann.

Mann says the department actually voluntarily cut $30,000 out of this year's budget to help the county save money, but it looks like it will now need that money back.

County Judge Randy Sims says there are no other options and therefore the department will receive the additional money.

" They're not using anymore gasoline fuel, but it's costing them a lot more. So with that in mind we're reaching into some of our reserves to keep them running," said Judge Sims.

County Commissioners have approved a budget amendment that will add $15,000 for gas to the sheriff's department’s budget. That won't last until the new budget begins in October, but it's a start.

" We're probably going to need another 10 to 15 thousand before the fiscal year is over with, but we're hoping that gas prices will come back down," said Mann.

There is hope in sight because gas prices are on the decline, with many gas stations offering slightly below $2 a gallon. Other county offices are close to exceeding their gas allotment money as well and commissioners may have to dip into the county's savings to help them out as well.

Walker County's Sheriff's department has also asked for more money because it too is running out of gas money.

Bryan and College Station government officials say they should be able to make it through the summer with their existing budget.


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