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Jones County Seeks Help for Soaring Gas Prices

9:51 AM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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Gas prices in Jones County are about 10- to 12- cents more than in Bibb County. Now, commissioners in Jones are looking outside the community for help. 

Jones County retailers sell low-sulfur fuel that causes less pollution, but drives up the price. 

"They say that the prices are up because we're closer to Atlanta which is ridiculous. Atlanta is so far away," says Angela Moss, who lives in Gray.

Commissioner Tommy Robinson has contacted 11 surrounding counties as possible allies to join this ongoing battle. 

"Hopefully we can form a much stronger voice that will be heard," he says.

The Environmental Protection Division lists Jones County as one of 45 counties that contributes to Atlanta's poor air quality. 

That means stations in Jones have to sell a special blend of gas that also costs more, which Robinson says puts the county at a competitive disadvantage.

Robinson says his "all or nothing" plan is an attempt to either have Jones County--and other allies--removed from the EPD's list or have the requirement extended for the entire state.

"If these fuel additives are so good for Jones County and so good for the Atlanta area, why not the whole state?"

He says of the 11 counties contacted, Putnam and Chattooga are joining the fight.

Some retailers in Jones County agree.

"Maybe it's 12 cents cheaper, people go over there. He'll buy groceries and some more stuff and buy gas, too. That's why he won't stop by here," says Shyam Breh of Creekside Grocery and Gas off the Gray Hwy.

Robinson says, "Your sales tax revenue that you would have gotten leaves and goes to other counties."

The EPD might take Jones County off the list by June, but that's not fast enough for Robinson and some residents of Gray. 

"The way the economy is, it's hard on people. You see, they need to look at that. We help each other out," says Moss who fills up her tank in Bibb County.

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