Region 8 school sees big increase in fuel cost - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Region 8 school sees big increase in fuel cost

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) –According to "AAA", the national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.54, that's up forty-two cents from last month at this time.  Here in Arkansas we're paying fifty cents more now than we did a month ago.  This morning, the Nettleton School District spent about $22,000 7,500 gallons of fuel.  That's about a $2,000 jump from less than a month ago.

"It takes more money to operate the buses the cost that we didn't plan for at the start of the year obviously has to come out of something else," said Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Transportation Carroll Thetford.  He said they budgeted $90,000 for fuel this year and they've already spent $84,000.  They'll probably have to make two more big purchases before the end of the school year.  That could push the budget over by as much as $40,000.

21 buses go out on routes every single day and while they only fill up about once a week, when they do fill up they hold a lot of fuel.  Each of the buses holds between 60 and 100 gallons of diesel.

"Right now we're about $630 to $635 a day running routes," said Rickey Glenn, Transportation Director at Nettleton Public Schools.

Spring is a very busy season for school districts.

"This time of year you have boys and girls soccer, you have boys and girls track, you have softball and baseball, and then all the clubs and activities do all of their things in the spring too," said Thetford.

They will have to look at their budget over the next few weeks and move some money around.

"The effect it will have on us, at this point and time, we will continue to go on the trips and everything it will just cost us more money to do that," said Thetford.

"A trip to Little Rock will cost us $225 there and back just for fuel alone," said Glenn.

Thetford said they don't plan to cancel any planned trips but those trips will cost them more.

"When we travel, the gas costs us about .60 and .70 cents more per gallon when we buy at the pump," said Thetford.

There are no plans to change bus routes this year either.  Thetford said if they do change anything, those changes will happen at the beginning of the school year next year.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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