Thursday, June 26, 2008

U.S. Cities Cut Services

Surging fuel prices are forcing cities across the United States to cut back on services and dip into cash reserves to keep their fleets on the road, according to a survey released on Friday.

Ninety percent of the 132 mayors surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that climbing fuel prices have had a significant impact on city budgets and operations.

The average retail price of diesel used in city buses and garbage trucks has shot up 65 percent over the past year. Gasoline prices jumped about 35 percent over the same period, as many local governments are feeling the pinch of the wider nationwide economic slowdown.

"It's just a snowball. It all hits at once. So, governments, mayors are having to make tough choices," said Mayor Douglas Palmer of Trenton, New Jersey.

"Everything is on the table except for a reduction in public safety."

from Reuters