Cheaper Gas Across the Border

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

How far would you go for a break in the price of gas? Some people in Southern

Wisconsin routinely venture out of state to save, especially when prices climb.

"One dollar, 97 cents is a good price," Barb Bendickson of Beloit says.

So good people cross the border.

"A coworker said it was cheap down here so I headed down," she says.

Bendickson headed more than ten miles to save 20 cents a gallon.

"It's $2.17 where I work so it's quite a savings," she says.

She works in Wisconsin, lives in Wisconsin.

But Bendickson, like many in the border community of Beloit, shops for gas in the land of Lincoln.

Sheila Peacock says, "I do it all the time."

And gas stations two miles up the highway suffer the consequences.

Kym Gunning, manager of a station in Beloit, says, "A lot of times get angry fill up $2.00 and go down to Rockford."

A spokesperson for Triple A Wisconsin says two things fuel the difference in price.

Mike Bie of Triple A Wisconsin says, "between gas tax and markup, Wisconsin is at a disadvantage when it comes to other states."

But he says customers in border towns often fare better than elsewhere in the state.

"It's not unusual to see cities like Beloit or LaCrosse on Minnesota side having lower prices than Wisconsin average."

He says they still need to compete. This time the average price in Beloit is at least a couple of cents fewer than the state average of two dollars and twenty cents a gallon.

"We really don't advise motorists to drive to find savings because you really wouldn't be saving money at all," Bie says.

But these Wisconsin drivers who routinely venture into Illinois beg to disagree.

"One dollar, 97 cents out here; it's worth the drive. Plus if you fill up, it's worth it," Peacock says.

Wisconsin's average price of gas is about 13 cents more than last year at this time, but Triple A Wisconsin expects heavier travel this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year.

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