City Gas Prices

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia said Tuesday that even though it pays less for gas than citizens, it may need to cut money from programs to pay for gas if prices keep rising.

"Services to the city will have to be reviewed by the department heads and a decision made if they have to scale back or not or if we'll dip into reserves or take away from other programs, funding from other programs. It'll have to come from somewhere," said Marilyn Starke, the city's purchasing agent.

The city has a contract with Brownfield Oil Company for gas. Prices are determined by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), which comes out with oil prices every day for contract buyers.

The city paid $2.94 a gallon for unleaded gasoline on Tuesday. Consumers paid up to $3.39 a gallon at the pump.

In order to get lower gas prices, the city has to buy the fuel in bulk.

"If we buy a minimum of 7,000 gallons, which that would be a typical minimum for delivery to the Grissom Building, the OPIS price is $2.94," said Starke.

The city's current contract runs through September 30, 2011.