Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 26, 2014

Recent jump in pump prices here has some on a crusade

Somerset —

Another increase in gas prices, another plea from city councilors and community members for an answer to a problem they say has persisted for years. 
“Folks, we’re in a crisis,” said Somerset resident Mickey Williams, of Fairway Lane, Somer-set, during Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting. “We’ve talked and we’ve talked and we’ve talked ... But we are actually in a crisis here.” 
Williams is just one of many local people who have been vocal about what they say are unfair gas prices in the area. Somerset City Councilor John Ricky Minton has also led the charge and called for answers from local distributors as to the disparity between Pulaski’s gas prices and gas prices in other areas. 
“We’ve got to do something,” Williams said on Monday. “We’ve said this over, and over, and over, and over.”
Their concerns raised to such a fever pitch that a “meeting of the minds” was staged in August with local gas station owner Charlie Patel, Williams, Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler and Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock. Councilors Minton and Donna Hunley also attended.
But while the meeting helped fire up a dialogue about who or what is behind the disparity in gas prices, things had fallen relatively quiet over the last several months. 
But that was until Monday, when local gas prices made a jump to $3.59 per gallon, a full 20 cents higher than in London and 14 cents higher than the state average. 
Williams invited each of the councilors to what he coined a “gas price summit,” and said he would also invite county officials to the meeting as well — although he noted he was unable to get on the agenda for Tuesday’s Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting, as he was told he hadn’t given them a full 24-hour notice. 

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