VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — UPDATE: Tuesday night, Virginia Beach City Council voted to increase its fuel budget by more than $1 million to pay for gas for city vehicles.
This week, the average cost of a gallon of gas is 40 cents more than it was a month ago, according to AAA.
In Hampton Roads, that comes out to $4.28 a gallon. Virginia's average is $4.31 per gallon.
The cost of gas is becoming a pressing issue for city governments as leaders try to find new ways to keep up with prices at the pump.
The Virginia Beach City Council is considering increasing a gas spending limit to more than $1.35 million in a new ordinance.
In this new ordinance, city leaders may approve raising the fuel purchasing for fleet management to make sure city vehicles keep running.
“That will allow the city to maintain operations through the end of the year,” said Virginia Beach Director of Budget Management Services Kevin Chatellier.
Chatellier said the backup plan council members will vote on is using funds from the pandemic reserve. He explained if the city council approves the ordinance, then about $1 million from the pandemic reserve fund could be tapped for emergency use.
“That’s not necessarily being transferred or moved for the purchase of the fuel. It is going to be only transferred if necessary to get departments to the end of this fiscal year with their operational needs,” said Chatellier.
Chatellier said a fuel and energy fund is in place for the city’s next fiscal year budget.
“And so they [city council] actually have a dedicated budget reserve, about $5 million, and it’s a fuel and energy reserve for this very purpose," Chatellier said.
City officials are hopeful they won’t have to use money from the pandemic reserve fund.