Florala mayor: Local gas prices higher because of surcharge

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FLORALA – Most local residents have noticed the differences in gas prices as they travel through the county.

In Andalusia Monday, the price per gallon for unleaded came in between $3.36 at the Cannon Store on River Falls Street to $3.49 at the Chevron on the West Bypass.

Roy Mohon, owner of the Gitty-Up-N-Go convenience stores, most of the time, the price difference comes down to distributors.

“If you look at the prices overall in Andalusia, they’re pretty close to one another,” Mohon said. “And that difference depends on who they get their gas from.”

At last week’s Florala city council meeting, Mayor Robert Williamson said he’d had concerns about gas costs in Florala’s, where the price averages 7 cents higher than anywhere in the county.

“What I was told was that there was a 7-cent surcharge added for the Chevron name,” he said.

Mohon, who also owns the Florala store, said that’s one of several reasons for the price difference.

“You also have to look at the cost of gas tax,” he said. “Florala’s is slightly higher than Andalusia’s.

“Also, the Chevron in Florala is not a Gitty-Up-N-Go. It’s a Chevron,” he said. “What that means is that I have a split-profit deal on the gas sold at that store with the distributor from Auburn. They get half; I get half. Also, Chevron gas is going to cost more than unbranded gas.”

Mohon said he purposely entered into the agreement with Chevron because it’s the No. 1 fuel brand in the country.

“Look at it this way – 65 percent of our customers are travelers,” he said. “If you’re driving from Tennessee, Ohio or wherever, you’re going to stop at a store you recognize, and that’s a Chevron.”

Mohon said the distance between Andalusia and Florala also plays a part in the price difference.

“Then, look at it this way – it’s 20 miles between Florala and Andalusia, and 3 miles to Florida. So who’s the competition? Florida,” he said. “And we all know that Alabama’s prices are cheaper than Florida’s.”