Survey shows competitive gasoline rates in Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Let the debate begin.
Salisbury City Council wondered aloud recently how prices for gasoline in Salisbury compared with other cities.
“As soon as you became concerned,” Doug Paris told council members Tuesday, “gas prices started dropping.”
Council members laughed, knowing they wielded no influence and could take no credit for falling gas prices, which have come down steadily in recent weeks with the price of oil dropping.
A comparative survey conducted by city staff over three different days concluded that Salisbury is “very competitive” in the lowest price per gallon being offered and in average price.
“Given these statistics,” the staff report concluded, “it seems that Salisbury is placed well in terms of retail price competitiveness in comparison to other cities.”
Paris, assistant to City Manager David Treme, compared gas prices in Salisbury to Statesville, Raleigh, Greensboro, Concord, Winston-Salem and Charlotte.
The surveys were conducted Oct. 27, Oct. 30 and Nov. 3 (Monday).
On Oct. 27, Salisbury’s lowest price for gas was the highest among all the cities surveyed at $2.68 a gallon. The cheapest found that day was $2.38 in Statesville. A gallon cost $2.55 in Raleigh.
“This indicator is not a good measure of the overall community market, as it can be set by one retailer,” the staff report said for Oct. 27. “A more complete indicator of how Salisbury compares with neighboring communities is the ‘average price’ per gallon.”
In average price for Oct. 27, the report said Salisbury “is middle of the pack at $2.75 per gallon.”
Other average prices that day were Statesville, $2.67; Concord, $2.74; Greensboro, $2.75; Winston-Salem, $2.81; Charlotte, $2.82; and Raleigh, $2.83.
When the survey was done Oct. 30, Salisbury had the second lowest price at $2.48 a gallon. Statesville was the lowest at $2.38 a gallon. Concord had the highest that day at $2.55 for its cheapest price per gallon.
Again, Salisbury’s average price on Oct. 30 was middle of the pack at $2.65. Statesville had the lowest average at $2.58; Raleigh, the highest average at $2.69.
For Monday, the staff report said again that Salisbury had the second lowest price at $2.34 a gallon, though one Salisburian tells the Post gas was selling that day for $2.21 a gallon at the new Murphy Oil station near Wal-Mart.
The average price for gas in Salisbury Monday was $2.43 a gallon รณ the second best average price among the communities surveyed, according to the report. Concord had the highest average price at $2.54 a gallon Monday.
Whether you dispute these figures and conclusions or not, the good news is gas prices have dropped.
In one week, Paris noted, the average price in Salisbury dropped 32 cents per gallon.
On Wednesday, gas was selling for as low as $2.02 a gallon at some stations in Salisbury.