Record Gas Prices Hurting America's Towns
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Americans are always talking about gas prices and for good reason.The national price is hovering around $3.90 and filling our tanks is crushing the finances of families, businesses, cities and small towns around the country. (March 27)

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[LOCATION: ILLINOIS--MARCH 27, 2012] [SOURCE: AP] [NAT-BREAK: ST.CHARLES, IL--MARCH 27, 2012] [VOICE-OVER]GAS PRICES, AMERICA IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT GAS PRICESBUT FOR GOOD REASON, THE NATIONAL PRICE IS HOVERING AROUND $3.90 AND FILLING OUR TANKS IS CRUSHING THE FINANCES OF FAMILIES, BUSINESS, CITIES AND SMALL TOWNS AROUND THE COUNTRY.[STAND-UP: ROBERT RAY / ASSOCIATED PRESS]"Here in the Chicago area, gas prices have hit an all time high, again. the average price is 4.67 a gallon and here in the suburb of St. Charles that cost is spinning the heads of local government."[VOICE-OVER]ON THE FOX RIVER IN ILLINOIS, ST. CHARLES HAS BATTLED THE ECONOMY LIKE SO MANY TOWNS ACROSS THE COUNTRY...THINGS HERE ARE IMPROVING BUT WHEN GAS PRICES SPIKED NEARLY 20 CENTS JUST LAST WEEK, MAJOR CONCERN CAME BACK INTO THE PICTURE[SOT: CHRISTOPHER AISTON / DIR. ECON. DEVELOPMENT / ST. CHARLES, IL]"Well naturally we have public works, police, fire. so, we are at risk of not meeting budget because of expenditures and we buy gas like everyone else, we are out on the open market. That is the cost of doing municipal business and we obviously will be exceeding our projections."[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]SO WILL THESE GUYS, AT THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT THE PAST FEW YEARS HAS ALREADY BEEN A HARD FIGHT WITH AN OVERALL WEAK ECONOMY THESE LOCAL HERO'S HAVE BEEN FORCED TO EXPERIENCE LAYOFFSAND NOW, WITH FUEL HERE AT RECORD HIGHS, IT COSTS NEARLY 400 DOLLARS TO FILL UP EACH TRUCK[SOT: JOE SCHELSTREET / ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF / ST. CHARLES, IL]"When our costs escalate in regards to fuel, which we can't control, then we have to cut a different item to balance that out, there is not additional moneys made available."[VOICE-OVER]AND THAT IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR SMALL BUSINESSED TALIC OPENED UP THIS SMALL PIZZA SHOP 5 YEARS AGO, JUST BEFORE THE GREAT RECESSIONIN THE PAST WEEK HE DECIDED TO RAISE HIS PRICES BY NEARLY 10 PERCENT FOR THE FIRST TIME[SOT: ED TALIC / ANTONIOS PIZZA]"People are coming in less and less, our deliveries are hurting. it's just killing us."[SOT: CHRISTOPHER AISTON / DIR. ECON. DEVELOPMENT / ST. CHARLES, IL]"If people can't afford to buy what they normally buy then that will effect our sales tax."[VOICE-OVER]AND THAT WILL EFFECT EVERYONES BOTTOM LINE HERE AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, A TUE EXAMPLE OF THE DAMAGING RIPPLE OF HIGH GAS PRICESROBERT RAY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, ST. CHARLES, ILLINOIS