It's a mad dash to the pump at Lansing's Central Garage, where the city's 750 vehicles go to refuel.
"Last year at this time, gas was $1.85 a gallon-- and we buy wholesale. Right now, it's $1.33 a gallon, so it's a 52 cent savings," says Lansing facilities manager Marty Riel.
The cheap gas is allowing the city to do some unexpected saving. They're saving roughly $8,000 a month more than they were last year. City finance director Jerry Ambrose admits that amount isn't much when compared to the $200 million budget, but it's nothing to balk at, either.
"Every little bit helps," says Ambrose. "It's $8,000 a month, or $100,000 a year. That certainly is better than what we've been expecting."
The savings will be added back into the city's rainy day, or "Reserves," fund, and will likely be put towards underfunded projects-- not back into taxpayers' pockets.
"Is [this money] going to significantly enable a tax cut? Enable us to do things we haven't been doing? No," he says.
These savings may be nice for now, but neither Riel nor Ambrose think the savings will continue. But for now, they're saving on something that's been a strain on the budget for the last year or so.
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