Cities struggle to fuel vehicle fleets

A driver puts fuel in his car.
A driver puts fuel in his car.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The high cost of gasoline and diesel fuel is putting a squeeze on some city budgets. The city of North Mankato's fuel budget is projected to be $64,000 in the red by the end of the year.

City Administrator, Wendell Sande, said officials expected rising fuel costs, but not an increase of this magnitude.

"We allowed for 25 percent. This will be substantially more than that. Our average cost for diesel fuel in 2007 was $2.38 a gallon. Our most recent purchase was $4.09," Sande said.

Sande said the city had to adjust other parts of the budget to continue fueling North Mankato's fleet of 70 police, fire and public works vehicles.

City workers have been asked to reduce idling time and to use alternatives to diesel-powered vehicles if possible.

Sande said the 2009 budgeting process begins this month.

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