Agencies Learn to Cope with Rising Gas Prices

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JEFFERSON CITY - Some Missouri state departments and local businesses said Monday they are feeling the effects of high gas prices and making changes to cope with them.  The Missouri Department of Tourism, MoDOT, and local school districts all said they are suffering from the high gas prices.

Missouri's average price for gasoline today was $3.56, still 15 cents cheaper than the national average.

MoDOT's spokesperson Sally Oxenhandler said over the past 11 months, MoDOT has seen an increase in gas prices and that increase has forced the department to make some cuts.

"We've had to cut some operations," said Oxenhandler.  "No one's lost their jobs, merely some responsibilites have been reassigned."

Missouri has one of the lowest gas-tax rates in the country but the increased prices are hurting tourism.

Missouri Department of Tourism Director Katie Steele Danner said she still thinks Missouri is a premier place to vacation.  But she said she cannot deny how the gas prices are hurting tourism business.

"People are traveling less," said Steele Danner.  "We can't overlook that these gas prices are changing people's minds on whether or not to travel and if they do travel, how far they end up wanting to go."

One year ago Monday, the average gas price in Jefferson City was $3.31. Prices now run around $3.49.  For information on the cheapest gas in your area, please click here.