High Gas Prices aren’t Slowing Down City Operations

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:27 PM MDT
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Consumers are still feeling a pinch in their wallets when it comes to buying gas, but there has been some relief as gas prices are starting to decline. But what do higher gas prices mean for the City of Rapid City? Where the fuel costs for 2022 were budgeted back in September of 2021.

Although prices are still high with the National Average being 4-dollars and 24 cents a gallon according to Tripple-A. The city isn’t feeling the impact of those prices just yet.

Darrell Shoemaker, Communications Manager for the City said in 2021 the City spent 2.3 million dollars on gas alone and budgeted 2.6 million dollars for 2022. He says that gas is a necessity for essential operations like sanitation trucks, snowplows, and Rapid transit buses.

And said no matter the price of gas, the City won’t be halting these operations. But if costs start to exceed the budget, a department would go before the city council for a supplemental appropriation. Which happens when a particular spending item is higher than budgeted.

Darrell Shoemaker, Rapid City Communications Manager: “And again, you wouldn’t limit the sanitation routes, you wouldn’t limit the collection routes for trash collection, you wouldn’t limit the public transportation transit so all of those would be the big-ticket items. but they are what we call essential services. They are a part of the quality of living for Rapid City and essential living for Rapid City. ”

And He said at the top of the list, and the most essential of operations is the Police and Fire Departments.

Darrell Shoemaker, Rapid City Communications Manager: “Probably the most service when we talked about the others is Fire and Police, and no thought process is being entertained to cut back on police patrol or not responding to emergencies and fires. Those are essential costs at the top of the list. So you know you’re not going to curb police patrol because of fuel costs.”

Shoemaker said that the city budget typically starts in the spring and must be finalized by the end of September.

Looking ahead, he anticipates that the departments might put in increases for fuel costs in the future.

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