March 12, 2012


Motorists cope with rising gas prices


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Ellen Gable Hrkach fills the tank of her minivan Saturday at the Mobile gas station on Clinton Avenue, while traveling through New York state from Ottawa. Hrkach pays almost twice as much to fill her tank in Canada.

Staff Reporter

Ellen Hrkach always stops at a Cortland gas station during trips from home in Ottawa to visit family in New Jersey.
After five hours on the road Saturday, she refueled her Grand Caravan at the Mobil station on Clinton Avenue, where it cost $4.10 a gallon.
“This is actually not a bad price,” Hrkach said.
There were others filling up their vehicles in Cortland this weekend who disagreed.
But Hrkach, who paid $65 to fill her tank in Cortland, is used to shelling out almost twice as much at the pump where she lives in Canada.
“I try not to drive too much, but we still drive,” she said. “I try to use my cruise control more and I don’t speed. I find there’s a real difference when you’re speeding.”
New Yorkers are paying an average of about $3.99 for regular gasoline.
Cortland County residents this weekend said they are doing what they can to make the best of it, reluctant to change their routines too much to avoid driving.
Gas prices have reached their highest cost ever for this time of year, when prices are usually low, according to recent Associated Press reports.
Local gas prices hovered this weekend at just under $4 a gallon. Gas costs have swelled in recent weeks, and in some places exceeded $4.
The lull is not expected to last, according to oil pricing experts, who recently reported that nationwide average gas prices could rise as high as $4.25 per gallon by April.
“You’ve just gotta cut back on your driving,” said Coyde Treacy, who lives on Lake Como Road in Sempronius. “I’ve got a couple trucks at home, but I can’t afford to put them on the road.”
Some Cortland residents say they have been turning to websites like, to find the cheapest place to fill up, even if the difference is a few cents.
Jeff McLean, of McGraw, said he sticks with the Kwik Fill at Tompkins Street and McLean Road Extension, where gas is usually cheaper than elsewhere.
An avid fisherman, McLean says he has not cut back on his outings lately just because of high gas prices, but it has definitely been a burden.
“It just stops everything you wanna do,” he said.


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