Minnesota government agencies feel budget squeeze with higher fuel costs

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State, county and local governments across Minnesota are feeling a budget squeeze with record-setting fuel prices during the first half of 2022.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) spokesperson Anne Meyer told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, over the past five years, MnDOT has averaged about $12 million annually for fuel costs, but this year that cost will likely be $16 million when the budget cycle ends June 30.

“Now, we’re finding ourselves with a 20% increase in fuel costs which is significant,” said Meyer. “We’re constantly changing what we’re looking at, what we’re dealing with and those factors are put into the fold and so likely we’ll be asking for more money to do projects from state lawmakers.”

Meyer said the higher fuel costs are challenging, but taxpayers will get the services they paid for because MnDOT plans for contingencies in their budgeting every year.

Hennepin County told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS its budget for fuel costs is running about 25% higher this year at $1.7 million, compared to about $2.1 million a year ago.