Like many residents, the Clay County Commissioners are trying to figure out how to combat rising fuel costs.
The commissioners met in a special meeting Tuesday morning to listen to concerns and attempt to find possible solutions.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton addressed the commissioners, informing them that the Clay County Sheriff's Department has gone through a little more than half of their fuel budget for 2008.
"When we submitted our proposed budget back in August, gas was about $2.60 a gallon," Heaton said. "We planned ahead for an increase in gas prices, but I don't think anyone expected this big of a jump so soon."
Heaton said with gas at $4 a gallon right now, the department will probably begin to fall short on their fuel budget in September.
"However, if prices continue to rise, our budget will last an even shorter amount of time," he said. "We have made some modifications to our response to calls, but we are in no way neglecting the public."
The commissioners discussed potential ways of combating the ever-rising cost of gas, but were unable to find any clear solutions during the meeting.
"Gas has never been this high before and some are predicting it to get up to five or six dollars a gallon," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "We may be in a position where we have no choice and have to do something we never have before."
While the commissioners we not able to find a feasible solution, Heaton said his department is already working to cut back on fuel usage.
"We always have made the deputies pay for gas they use when off-duty," he said. "But we have started to have two men in a vehicle to help save a little bit."
The commissioners will now look into other alternatives, such as trying to find special deals at gas stations, and will hold a work session on June 5, at 10 a.m., to discuss their findings.
They also opened quotes to replace Bridge 121, which is on Lower Bloomington Road, with a tank car.
BLS Contractors, Bowling Green, had the lowest quote at $56,900, which the commissioners accepted subject to legal approval from Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil.
Since the replacement is considered a public works project, they have to review the laws to ensure the price cap level allows them to accept quotes. If the cost is above the cap, the process will have to be restarted for bids, not quotes, to be submitted.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Monday, June 9, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Court of the Clay County Courthouse.