High fuel prices put crunch on governments

Image by flickr user ladybugbktImage by 20080709gas.jpg Gas prices have been putting the draining on municipal budgets. Unchecked, the high prices could lead to a cutback in services.

After adding about a million dollars to the year's budget to cover the higher price of gas, Mount Pleasant (amongst others) has started looking for ways to save gas. For starters, they're changing to more fuel efficient Chevy Impalas from Ford Crown Victorias for their police cruisers.

Live 5 News reports:
Also whether you're an officer or city worker, from now until September they will be prohibited from using the car's air conditioning from 9pm to 9am. Starting in October and ending in May, they won't be allowed to use the car's air conditioning at all.

When driving city-owned cars, workers have been told not to leave the car running for more than several minutes. The county administrator says they have already cut the budget drastically and this is the next logical step before being forced to cut city services.

The town hopes it can save some $150,000, triming roughly 15 percent of the fuel increase.

The station also reports that Georgetown County has asked county workers to top out at 55 mph, to offset an expected $400,000 increase in fuel cost.

The pro-55 mph speed limit Web site Drive 55 tipped us off to the EPA's list of fuel-saving tips.

Stop using the AC and you could increase fuel efficiency by 21 percent, drop from 70 to 55 mph and save 25 percent, inflate our tiers and save 6 percent, or accelerate more slowly and save up to 20 percent. The list continues.