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New Lenox Mayor: 'Go Buy Your Gas Somewhere Else'

Mayor Tim Baldermann says local gas prices have become "unacceptable" because they're often much higher than neighboring towns. He called on residents to send a message.

New Lenox residents have taken exception to higher local gas prices than neighboring communities, and Mayor Tim Baldermann is urging them to boycott stations in the village until they lower their prices. 

"We preach that we want you to spend your money in town. But the only way these guys are going to get the message is if we send the message," Baldermann said. "If they will not lower their prices, then go buy your gas somewhere else."

For a while, New Lenox gas stations have been consistently charging between 5 and 20 cents more than nearby communities. Many residents emailed Patch about the disparity, and Baldermann said he contacted gas stations to get an explanation. 

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He said he only heard back from Speedway's corporate office, and he's appreciative they met in person with him. He's not appreciative, however, of the company's response.

"They were honest. They said it's because you people pay it," Baldermann said. "They don't care what (anyone else) is charging. They compete against the other local stations."

In New Lenox on April 23, for example, that meant $4.20/gallon at and . Compare that to $4.14 at Speedways in Mokena and Frankfort, which also had cheaper gas available for $3.95/gallon. Orland Park's cheapest gas on Monday was $3.98, Manhattan's was $3.89 and Joliet Speedway locations ranged from $3.98 to $4.09, according to MapQuest and GasBuddy.com. 

Find local gas prices on Patch's Commuter Guide.

In a previous article, Speedway spokesman Shane Pochard told Patch that . And typically in New Lenox, most of the stations are charging the same price. Baldermann said at Monday's Village Board meeting that Speedway representatives told him they consider the competition to be within village boundaries and nowhere else. 

Baldermann said this issue arose a couple of years ago, and at that time he took a similar approach in playing hardball and calling for lower prices. 

"When we did this two years ago, miraculously we then had the lowest gas prices in the area," Baldermann said. "I guess we need to bark again, but more importantly the people need to bite."

Review local gas stations in the Patch business directory. 

The mayor wanted to drive home that he's in favor of shopping local, but not when it gets to a point that's "completely unacceptable."

I understand it's an open market and they can charge what they want. That's America," he said. "But our No. 1 responsibility is to the residents. Businesses: We're here for you, too, but not when you take advantage of our residents."

Marie April 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM
No one is being forced to buy gas in New Lenox or anywhere else, for that matter. Gas prices will fluctuate from community to community, taking into account the demographics, tax structure, location, infrastructure, station size, number of customers, etc. Many drivers avoid stations because they are too small, too dirty, difficult to get into and out of, not just based on gas price. The power of choice doesn't lie with a politician's bloviating, it lies with the consumer. Buyer somewhere else if you don't like the price. Sheesh.
Ken J April 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM
What's funny is I recall about a year back when New Lenox was leading the gas wars charge and was the cheapest around. Wish the mayor would pick his battles, going after local merchants whose businesses fund the tax base is a complete waste of time. How about he explains how homes in New Lenox have lost nearly 30% of their value over the last few years? (check zillow.com) Driving to another town to buy gas, the buck you might have saved was negated by the gas you used going out of your way to save!
Lonny April 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Yes, increasing supply should lower prices. But also decreasing demand will lower prices and will help in many other ways too.
Michelle Lampert-McGreal April 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM
I usually buy my gas in Manteno-Kankakee area because I am in that area frequently. We were on the Southside of Chicago today-Beverly area. They were less expensive than NL!! Mayor, we sincerely appreciate you going to bat for us on this matter!!! Thank you!
NoneYoBizness April 14, 2013 at 03:38 AM
You do realize the article was from a year ago, right? We need Mayor Balderman to announce it again, New Lenox once again, is higher priced then surrounding areas!

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