OT (PA) Rising Fuel Cuts into City Paving Projects

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Rising fuel prices to cut into city paving projects

By Kevin Donlin Citizens' Voice Staff Writer March 11, 2000

In response to rapidly rising fuel costs, Mayor Tom McGroarty announced Friday he was preparing a fuel reduction plan which includes a reevaluation of the city's street paving plans.

Because oil is one of the main components of blacktop, McGroarty said the prospective costs of following its paving schedule could cost the city twice what it cost last year.

"We could not have predicted this increase in fuel prices, but now we must be prepared for the higher bills we can expect and take whatever measures possible to conserve fuel," McGroarty said in a press release.

Last year, the city spent approximately $140,000 on fuel. But with the possibility that fuel prices could double last year's prices, McGroarty said "such a dramatic and unforeseen increase would result in budgetary cuts."

Motorists have been feeling the crunch at the pumps for almost a year now, as the cost of gasoline has risen to approximately $1.48 per gallon.

One such budgetary casualty could be street paving. McGroarty indicated blacktop currently costs between $35 and $40 per ton. With the fears that prices could double, McGroarty said the city must now take a second look at this year's paving schedule and determine where the priorities lie.

In a memo to city officials, McGroarty outlines a host of streets throughout the city which he would like to address this year.

"It is my hope that PennDOT will work on fixing the upper portion of their roads in North End, especially North River Street (from North to the General Hospital) and North Main Street (from Elm to Johnson)," McGroarty wrote.

"It is also my intention to negotiate with the utilities, Pennsylvania American Water Company and PG Energy, to pave streets and waive permit fees, as we have done very successfully in the past," he added.

McGroarty also sent out a management letter outlining several "common sense" ways of conserving fuel.

The mayor asked employees to use smaller, less fuel consuming vehicles where appropriate and to use diesel powered vehicles before gasoline powered vehicles.

Employees have also been directed to turn off vehicles rather than allowing them to idle.

Copyright )2000, The Citizens' Voice, Inc


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 11, 2000


Dee, thanks for this posting. I've forwarded it to a friend who has contacts in our city administration. Just before roll over I read an item on the forum relating to fuel pumps and possible failure due to Y2K problems, passed it on to the same person who in turn brought it to the attention of TPTB locally. They hadn't even thought about it but acted to see that all emergency vehicles were filled before New Year's. It wasn't necessary, but it was a prudent action, and it showed concern and awareness of potential problems and pro-active rather than reactive mentality. The Forum is a very important resource for a number of people, and although we don't always see the benefit of what's posted it's there.

-- another government hack (keepwatching_2000@yahoo.com), March 11, 2000.

Oil is about 5% of asphalt. The price here is up abuut 60%. Higher paving costs means more potholes and fewer new streets. It will drive up the cost of new housing and slow the suburban spread.

-- John (littmannj@aol.com), March 12, 2000.

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