AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW) – School districts are feeling the impact of rising fuel prices as the price of diesel reached a record high in Ohio Thursday.
The average cost of a gallon of diesel increased by more than a dollar from one month ago, to $4.96 statewide, according to AAA.
“We’ll see that increase certainly. 20, 30, 40 cents means a lot,” Avon Lake City Schools Director of Operations Ned Lauver said.
He said the district’s school buses use thousands of gallons of fuel each month, but, like many districts, it buys in bulk to fill an 8,000 gallon tank, so it doesn’t immediately feel the sporadic changes in fuel prices.
“We can weather some temporary increases in gas prices a little bit differently than the average household,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Akron Public Schools said it’s monitoring the fluctuating prices but not facing any immediate shortfall in fuel supplies or its fuel budget.
Lauver said increasing transportation costs and inflation are also driving up the costs of replacement parts for school buses.
“Certainly those costs are being passed along to us, just as they’re being passed along to households and just like the average household, you try to find efficiencies where you can,” Lauver said.
He said Avon Lake is working to save money through other energy efficiencies, such as lighting.
It’s also gradually phasing out diesel buses and replacing them with more efficient gasoline-powered buses, which currently make up about half of the district’s bus fleet.
“You’re helping to make up for some of those things you can’t predict like rising or falling fuel costs,” Lauver said.
He said the district will keep busing students, despite the increasing costs.
“That’s our business, is getting kids to school and having students be educated, so it’s kind of the cost of doing business for us,” Lauver said.