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Steep gas prices force local businesses to find ways to save

gas prices wisconsin
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 18:28:53-04

MILWAUKEE — Record high gas prices have forced local businesses to find ways to save and cover costs.

Trucks at 24 HR Towing and Recovery in Milwaukee run on diesel, which currently has an average price of $5.25 a gallon in Wisconsin, according to AAA.

"It went up a little bit for the customers, not too much more. We are eating most of the cost. We don't know how much longer we'll be able to do that though if gas prices keep going up," said Ryan Doberstein, a dispatcher at 24 HR Towing and Recovery.

The company said fuel costs have doubled and are close to tripling.

RELATED COVERAGE: Gas prices hit new high in Southeast Wisconsin

In the meantime, they are being more strategic when dispatching workers.

"If I have one driver clearing in a certain part of the city, I try to put him to the closest next call that's in the city instead of bringing somebody from the other side of town to do a call," Doberstein said.

Sometimes that move can mean people are waiting a little longer than usual.

As of Monday, AAA reported the highest average cost of regular gas in a Wisconsin metro area was $5.13 in Kenosha County. The next highest average was in the Milwaukee-Waukesha area at $5.10

This time last year the average price in Milwaukee and Waukesha was $2.95.

The lowest average cost for gas in Wisconsin currently is in La Crosse at $4.44.

"I've really just been trying to really maximize our performance and be efficient as far as our route and our route density," said Anthony Mowrey, owner and operator of Milwaukee Lawn Care.

Mowrey started the business two years ago and never imagined gas would reach record highs. He said a lot of their equipment needs mid-grade fuel which is more expensive.

Still, Mowrey said he is trying to keep pricing consistent and low knowing that customers face the same economic challenges.

"I'm pretty sure they're hurting as well so we've really been trying to keep that price low," Mowrey said. "We're going to hold out as long as we can."

Both Mowrey and Doberstein said any price increases would help cover costs and not make much profit.

Like everyone else, they are just waiting to see what happens next.

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