Garfield, Pitkin County commissioners do lunch |

Garfield, Pitkin County commissioners do lunch

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Garfield and Pitkin county commissioners met for a wide-ranging, informal talk over lunch with each other Thursday.

Topics covered things like budgeting, affordable housing, and the best ways to track new developments with laws and regulations. At one point, Pitkin County commissioners asked whether Garfield County commissioners had heard complaints from citizens about discrepancies in the price of natural gas deliveries to homes between one area and another.

“We had a citizen request to look at price differential of propane to home delivery ” is there price gouging, is there anything we can do?” said Pitkin County Commissioner Rachel Richards. “Have you heard from your residents about it, especially in these tough economic times?”

The answer was no. But the price of auto gasoline has been a topic of discussion in Garfield County.

Pitkin County Commissioner Jack Hatfield asked if Garfield County commissioners have any interest in trying to get involved with Sen. Al White’s hearings on gas prices. White recently held a forum in Rifle to address complaints about gas prices in the area between Parachute and Glenwood Springs being consistently higher than nearly everywhere else in Colorado.

“I can buy diesel in Glenwood Springs for $2.59, go to New Castle and get $2.17, or to Grand Junction for $1.88 cents,” said County Commissioner John Martin. “It’s the same product coming from the same distributor. It’s the free market and where you can make money.”

“When the economic situation improves we’re going to go right back up,” Hatfield said of the price of gas. “Even the thought of more demand in the past couple days raised prices.”

Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt said pockets of expensive places to buy gas can be seen in resort areas where there are “captive audiences” and where the wealthy are consumers. She said local officials could give information to state officials but probably couldn’t mess with the free market and force people to sell gas for less.

“I’m not sure that we can dictate what price people are going to set for a product in their company,” she said.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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