5 On Your Side

Spring Hope On Front Lines Of Gas Price War

Posted September 8, 2006
Updated November 10, 2006

— Residents in one Nash County town are in the middle of a war -- and are thankful for it.

At least five gas stations in Spring Hope are trying to one up each other -- more accurately, it would be one down each other -- by taking gas prices to levels not seen in months.

At Skip's, a gallon of unleaded regular now goes for $2.27. A few blocks down the street, the Stop N Shop is matching that price, while it's $2.28 a gallon across the street at the Fresh Fair.

"I understand these station owners are just sort of trying to see which one could outdo the other on prices. It just pleases me. It just makes me feel good," local driver Wallace Bryant said.

The average price of a gas in the Triangle is $2.69 a gallon, while the statewide average is a penny cheaper, according to AAA.

"I told my momma, 'I need to stop right now because, by the time I get back, it may be going up again.' So, I stopped here," driver Everlene Clifton said.

Some of the gas station owners said lower overhead means lower prices.

"We're family-owned. We're not a chain, and none of us gets paid. If there's a profit, we share it; if there isn't we don't," station owner Stacy Perryman said.

Perryman maintained he's not losing money on the cheap gas, but said he's barely breaking even.

North Carolina law prohibits stores from selling gas below wholesale prices and only limits high prices during disaster declarations.

"I think the drivers need a break. That was the main reason we came down with the price, because I think all drivers need a break," Perryman said.

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