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Monday, May 2, 2016

Pinch at the pump

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Buddy Williams, of Mt. Vernon, stopped yesterday at a local gas station in Monett to fill up his car. Williams is one of the few people who is currently weathering the gas price crisis fairly well. Others aren't so lucky as the rising cost of gasoline prices cuts deeply into their food and entertainment budgets. [Times Photo by Melonie Roberts]
Jeff Palmer is careful to only fill his vehicle with $10 of gasoline.

"I only get enough gas to get where I need to go," said Palmer, a Pierce City resident. "I wish I had gotten gas yesterday. The price jumped 10 cents overnight."

Palmer is one of many area residents who are having to pinch pennies in order to keep the gas tank even partially filled.

"I can't afford to fill up," said Rebecca Maddocks, of Purdy. "As the mother of six kids, we've had to cut our food and household supplies budget."

Maddocks is currently working a part-time job that pays minimum wage.

"We only travel back and forth to work," Maddocks said. "For us, it's just the bare necessities."

Now retired, Buddy Williams, of Mt. Vernon, doesn't have the expenses related to a daily commute.

"I have enough I can afford to go when I want to go," he said. "The price isn't impacting other activities, yet."

Brian Schmidt is not as lucky.

"It's hurting me," he said. "Gas runs me $50 to $60 per day."

Schmidt is the sole proprietor of Sharp Sharpening in Webb City. He travels as far as Springfield, Lebanon and Nevada in Missouri and Vinita and Tulsa in Oklahoma.

"For the first time since I bought my business three years ago, I've had to raise prices. If gas goes up to $5 a gallon, I'll have to raise them even more."

David Draper, of Purdy, is also feeling the pinch at the pump with a not-so-economical Toyota.

"This has hurt us very much," Draper said. "We have had to cut back on everything; travel, food, entertainment. If prices continue to go up, we'll have to find places to cut even more."

Draper car-pools with a co-worker to their jobs at Tyson Foods, but that is not a consistent arrangement.

"Forget vacation this year," he said. "I can't afford it."

Tim Miftari, co-owner of Sunrise Restaurants in both Monett and Cassville, is practical in his philosophy.

"What are you going to do?" he asked. "You have to go to work. I'm driving a smaller car; it gets better gas mileage. But there will be no vacation this year."

Jimmy Riggs, a Goodman resident who drives a mini van, stopped to put a few dollars worth of gasoline in his vehicle at Casey's General Store on Highway 60.

"This is expensive," he said. "It used to take $50 to fill the tank. Now, it's $80 to $100."

Riggs does take extra precautions with his vehicle, ensuring the air pressure in his tires is correct, the spark plugs changed frequently and fuel additive used on a regular basis.

"That helps," he said. "But we have still cut down on shopping, food and medical care."

Jesse Cooper, of Purdy, has his own ideas of what is driving the cost of gasoline.

"You take the politics out of it, you'd take the price out of it, too," he said. "There is no reason for gas prices to be like this.

"These prices are terrible," Cooper continued. "I can't fill this truck up at one time, so I get just a bit at a time.

"I have a motor home in the yard just rotting down," he continued. "It only gets about five miles a gallon."

Cooper just recently returned from a trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"Prices of gas all the way down there and back were about $3.69," he said. "I might take another vacation in July if the gas prices go down."

Presently, the outlook for prices dropping is slim. Various pundits and experts are predicting prices will skyrocket into the $5-per-gallon range. Others predict prices falling as much as 50 cents per gallon by June.

According to Casey's manager, Amanda Rust, gas prices can be expected to fluctuate according to two driving forces: the competition and what suppliers demand.

"The high prices are not really affecting sales," Rust said. "We are comparative to what we sold last year.

"Most people are really listening to the news, and they come in here saying gas will be over $5 a gallon by the end of summer," Rust said. " We may see that in larger cities, but I hope we don't see it in Monett."

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Watch out running your gas tank on empty. It will burn up your fuel pump costing big dollars to replace.

-- Posted by wizard071 on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 5:01 PM

1: Avoid ethanol fuel (-10% MPG) FACT!

2: Use synthetic oil (+7% MPG ALL driving situations, oil changed every 10K)

3: Drive a route allowing your automatic to shift into overdrive (45+ MPH for my vehicle)

4: Anticipate lengths of road where you can coast in an automatic (you can coast OVER a hill top as well)

5: Drive 5 MPH below posted speed limits if safe to do so (1MPH over 60 MPH = -2% MPG)

6: Drive a manual transmission vehicle (my Saturn SL2 4 cyl. got 29 MPG City/39.7 Hwy @ 72 MPH)& a manual trans will save on brake wear!

-- Posted by oldGUY60 on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 8:25 PM

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