Small towns struggle with fuel prices

Sunday, July 6th 2008, 10:58 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

CARNEY, Okla. - Rising gas prices are crippling rural Oklahoma towns.

In Carney, population 700, law enforcement and school officials are looking to cut back their services to offset the price of fuel.

"We're scaling back a lot of our runs and obviously a lot of our officer backup we do out in the county," Police and Fire Chief Greg Wilson said.

Wilson said he's had to eliminate one patrol because of gas prices. Since the cut back, he's seen a spike in crime, especially in copper thefts.

"It gets frustrating not to be  able to come back and tell the person what we're working and this is where we're at on a single item," Wilson said "People out there living paycheck to paycheck which happen to be those victims, it's pretty hard to come up with $350 to put a catalytic converter back in your car."

The rising fuel costs also are affecting the town's schools.

"Child nutrition is up by $5,000 and it's affecting everything," Carney Public Schools Superintendent Dewayne Osborn said.

Osborne said he doesn't want to cut school programs.

"We don't want that; we're going to fight with all our might for that not to happen," he said.