Jul 16, 2009
By now most villages have received their spring fuel deliveries and are reporting lower prices.
Alice Criswell, Public Affairs Director at KYUK radio in Bethel visited several villages on the Kuskokwim River and talked to residents about fuel deliveries and what prices are suspected to be in the coming winter.
In New Napakiak Walter Riley, business manager at New Napakiak Limited, told her gas has come down about a dollar to $5.35 a gallon and hopes the fall delivery will be a little better.
In Upper Kalskag city bookkeeper Denise Reed says gas is about a dollar cheaper than last year at $5.50 but they only have enough to last until the fall delivery in October. They did not receive heating fuel in the spring and will get their full fuel delivery in October.
In Sleetmute gas is $6.10 down from $7.70 and heating fuel $5.40 down from $7.85. Henry Hill of Hill Enterprises, a major fuel supplier, said Crowley, the barge operator that delivers fuel to the area, tried to charge him the same price as last year in order to get rid of inventory. He negotiated with the company and came to terms, but neither side was very happy.
Villages are expecting their fall deliveries in October. Last year the rivers froze in October and the fall fuel deliveries didn’t happen.
One thing happening in all the villages – people are ordering wood stoves and gathering firewood along the wooded banks of the Kuskokwim.