Rising diesel prices may affect emergency services in small towns

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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MONETTE, Ark. (KAIT) - As of Monday, March 14, diesel prices are starting to reach the five-dollar threshold in the price per gallon.

Officials in small Northeast Arkansas towns are growing more concerned as fueling emergency vehicles becomes more costly.

Monette Mayor Bob Blankenship said the town has already $1,000 more in fuel expenses within the past two months.

“It has not doubled yet,” Mayor Blankenship said, “but it is jumping not only on our emergency equipment but on our everyday use equipment.”

The mayor added he wants to work around the price inflation without making cuts to the budget that could drastically affect operations of the police and fire departments.

However, if the prices start to strain the town’s budget, the mayor said he would look into making minor cuts to the water and sanitation department or reducing the amount of police patrol.

Monette, Lake City, and Caraway are in mutual agreement to assist in large structural fires or major disaster events, but the mayor thinks they can use “manpower and leave equipment at home” if they have to save on fuel.

Mayor Blankenship said he has also considered buying diesel in bulk for service vehicles to use in order to save money.

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