Gas Prices Impact Local Economy
Published January 7th, 2015
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- New data shows it will now cost drivers less to fill up than it did a week ago.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Alachua County is now below $2.30. Many places in the United States are seeing prices closer to $2.00; the lowest since 2009.
Lower gas prices is welcoming news for those like Joseph Chubb who makes a living delivering pizza and often has to pay fuel costs out of pocket.
"I'm obviously getting more of a bigger cut of my pay," Chubb said. "I'm not having to dump about two-thirds of my weekly tips into gas."
Even a dollar difference in price is going a long way, providing additional money to be spent in restaurants and other local spots.
"Our dine-in has been better than ever," said Jeff O'Brien, owner of Gumby's Pizza. "Our delivery has been better than ever and I project more of that in 2015."
Cheaper gas is driving business elsewhere.
Jeff Smith, general manager of Walker Furniture in downtown Gainesville, credits the lowering gas prices in part to an increase in customers walking through the front doors at his store.
"As prices go down, people's attitudes seem to be a little more upbeat," Smith said.
But, it's not just everyday drivers are saving.
Dave Cerlanek, Director of Alachua County Public Works, says the dropping fuel prices have saved the department nearly $32,000 in the past 2 months.
It's money saved on fuel that Cerlanek says can now be used on other projects.
"The County Commission can choose to reallocate those funds that were previously allocated to gas to other of its priorities," Cerlanek said
No plans have been released on what will be done with the savings. The Alachua County County Commission can vote to reallocate
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