Drivers see changes at the pumps -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drivers see changes at the pumps

May 20, 2005

Albany-- Just in time for the summer travel season, there's a pleasant surprise at the gas pump. Earlier this spring, the government predicted the national average for regular unleaded would hit $2.35 a gallon by late May. Drivers are happy that didn't happen.

For about 12 years, Denver Boyd has been selling watermelons on the side of the road from Florida to Georgia. Over the years, prices have gone up and down. "The watermelons on us, they went up twice this past week, went up on us," says Boyd.

He compares those watermelons to the prices of gas as you drive around town looking for the best deal. "This one right here is about the same thing. And of course this one right here is heavier than that. This one here is about 28, 30 lbs," says Boyd about his watermelons.

They're heavy melons, like heavy prices at the pump. They're even heavier for premium fuel. He has to base his prices on those heavy fuel costs. "People say well why are you so high on your watermelons? Well, you have to take into consideration, you have fuel. When it goes up, the price of watermelon has to go up," says Boyd.

But now he may have to reduce them. In Albany, people are seeing gas prices at $1.99 and even $1.98 after seeing 2's for so long. It's a big surprise for many. "I haven't even paid it any attention. To be honest I did not pay it any attention," says Lutricia Thomas.

"It got a little scary there for a while when it started creeping up and creeping up and you know summer's here and we see it going down a little bit," says Leighann Fallin. Every little bit counts these days. Cleve Kearson remembers when a gallon of gas was only a few cents. "Oh, I used to buy it back when gas was only 17 cents a gallon, that's what's best for me," says Kearson.

Although gas isn't that cheap, it is going in what many say is the right direction. That's down. "I just hope to see it come down a little bit more definitely," says Fallin. As the heat goes up, Boyd will be selling more watermelons before heading farther south to restock.

"It's a long way from here to Plant City and Imokalee, twelve hours one way," says Boyd. So he'll be filling up on cheaper gas here in Albany before he hits the road.

Citgo gas station manager Tom Gieryic says the cheaper prices at the pump reflect a decrease in costs from their suppliers. Prices in Albany are still about ten cents higher than some of the surrounding areas. Right now, the average price of regular unleaded in Georgia is $2.02. It hit a record of nearly $2.20 on April 11th.