Nearby Cities React To City Of Somerset Gas Pumps

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A gas station run by the government doesn't just exist.

It's open for business in the bluegrass. The city of Somerset's new fuel center is using taxpayer dollars to buy gas, then offering that gas to drivers to fill their tanks. It's an untested concept that's got the attention of neighboring cities, but that doesn't mean the idea is spreading.

"The fueling station is a large expense. Monitoring the federal taxes and other things that would have to be paid, it would be a big undertaking. I'm just not certain it's something the city of Glasgow would be interested in doing," stated Mayor of Glasgow, Rhonda Trautman.

It isn't just officials in Glasgow that believe the idea of a city run fuel pump could be sitting on a slippery slope.

"We all complain about high gas prices at times, but what would the city do if milk prices go up high, or bread prices. Would the city of Bowling Green go into the business of selling milk or bread or any commodity?" said Bowling Green City Commissioner, Melinda Hill.

Like other cities in south central Kentucky, drivers in Somerset have had issues with prices they feel are too high and unpredictable. But unlike those cities, Somerset is home to an oil refinery, meaning it's easier to keep costs low.

Elected in officials in both Bowling Green and Glasgow agree, the government run pumps, could lead to job loss in their towns.

"I wouldn't want to do anything that would drive business away or give any suggestion that the government is going to step in and take over a certain market. I don't think that's what we're here to do," added Mayor Trautman.

"We do not want to compete with local businesses that provide jobs for our citizens," added Hill.

Though both cities doubt they'll be running a gas station anytime soon, they hope the new facility in Somerset has a positive impact on drivers everywhere.

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