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Area residents sound off on gasoline prices

January 09, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD and RICHARD F. BELISLE

pepperb@herald-mail.com
waynesboro@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE - While Tri-State area residents had different opinions on whether they think gasoline prices are fair, most seemed resigned to pay whatever price shows up at the pump, according to those asked Saturday.

But at least one person - Michael Pond, 58, of Shepherdstown, W.Va. - thinks Americans should pay more for gas.

"I'm probably the only one you're going to talk to who will say that," he said.

Higher gas prices already are having a positive effect, Pond said.

"You're starting to see people buy small cars," he said.

Others asked Saturday questioned why prices vary between Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, or even from town to town.

Bev Murphy, 30, of Hagerstown, said she doesn't think gas prices are fair in Washington County, considering she has family members in Martinsburg, W.Va., who pay $1.71 per gallon for gas.

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"Why can't they be the same price here?" she said. "I'll say I blame the administration in our nation's capital."

Bonnie Cox, 41, of Hagerstown, also said that prices aren't fair.

"That's politics," she said.

Dave Pryor, 49, of Hagerstown, felt differently. He said prices are fair.

"Everything else is going up in price," he said. "We'd all like lower prices, but it's just a fact of life that things keep going up."

John Budesky, 32, of Maugansville, who is the City of Hagerstown's director of administrative services, shared a similar sentiment.

"I think certainly, we'd like to see them a little more reasonable," he said. But as long as "the market is bearing the cost, people are going to be willing to pay it."

"It's cheaper here than it is in Maryland," said Lauren Voglesong, 21, a student at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown. "It doesn't get me as far as it used to, but I'm lucky. I drive a Honda Civic."

Barbara Smith, 65, of Hagerstown, said she thinks gas prices in Washington County "could be lower. I think they're higher here than in the places nearby from what I've read."

"I got gas this morning and it seemed fair compared to what it had been," said Lisa Faulkner, 37, of Boonsboro

Tara Clark, 31, of Clear Spring, agreed.

"What is it, $1.79? Compared to what it was, yes, but no, prices aren't fair," she said.

Stjephan Sostaric, 52, of Berkeley Springs, was filling up his 2000 Range Rover at Sheetz in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. He said it gets 15 miles per gallon.

"I think the price is still high," he said. "It should be lower now that the price per barrel has dropped. It seems when the world price goes up, it goes up at the pump immediately, but when the world price goes down, it takes awhile to show up at the pump."

Chris Kelley, 35, of Hagerstown, said he would need more information before he could determine whether gas prices are fair or not.

"It is interesting that it is different in different states and in different counties," he said.

Jim Balton, 38, of Hagerstown, said he didn't know enough about the cost differences, either, and could not provide a definite opinion.

"They seem to be coming down," he said. "I don't know what's involved with the cost - it's a whole gray area."

"Overall, we're lucky we're not paying $3 or $4 like they pay in Europe," said Crawford Horne, 33, of Great Cacapon, W.Va.

Julie Heckman, 43, of Mercersburg, Pa., was gassing up her Oldsmobile van in Greencastle, Pa. She wondered why prices fluctuate so much between different towns.

"I pay $1.77 in Mercersburg and $1.73 here," she said.

Joe Tharp, 23, of Waynesboro, Pa., was putting gas in his big Dodge V-8 pickup truck. He said it gets about 11 miles per gallon, but he needs the truck for his lawn-mowing and snow-removal businesses.

"What are you going to do," Tharp said. "I've got to make a living."

Trey Coble, 18, of Greencastle, said prices are lower than they were a few months ago.

"I still think they're too high," he said.

David Peacock, 42, of Greencastle, was gassing up his Mini Cooper.

"I thought they were going back down," he said. "I'm surprised that they're back up. I think they'll stay up until Iraq calms down."

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