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Thursday, March 20th, 2008 -- 2:03 PM

Area schools are feeling the pinch of $4.00 per gallon diesel fuel.

School chiefs at both Granton and Neillsville schools say their transportation budgets are tight this year. Granton has a fleet of four buses; Neillsville has just over 20.

"We do try to project a little bit of an increase each year, but I was way off this year," explains Neillsville superintendent John Gaier, "I didn't think it would be a dollar more."

Last January, the school paid about $2.26 per gallon; this January, the price was up to $3.36 and still trending higher.

Ah, for the good old days? like 5 years ago.

"In January of 2003, we were paying $1.38," Gaier recalls.

Granton superintendent Rick Rehm says their fleet gets between 5 to 7 miles per gallon.

The district has been trying to utilize a smaller, gas-fueled bus for extra trips.

"It's only a nineteen passenger bus," Rehm notes, "If we have smaller trips, we always use that bus. It gets 11 to 12 miles per gallon and runs on gas as opposed to diesel fuel."

Schools don't pay federal taxes on fuel and there's a proposal to eliminate the state gas tax, too.

On The Web:
[url=http://www.wisconsingasprices.com/]Wisconsin Gas Prices[/url]

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