June 25, 2022

COLUMN: Only if you need to

As we saw the price of gasoline creep higher and higher as the year 2022 progresses, we hope it put a little more attention and need on Creston area stores.

Being about an hour and 15 minute drive from metro-Des Moines, a person could easily leave for the city after work at 5 p.m. and be back home in bed before 11 p.m., provided the trip was intentional and not flavored with spontaneity.

But no matter if it’s $2.25 or $4.80, the price of gasoline is still part of the expense of that trip. We hope people are thinking twice about how to spend their gasoline money and giving even more interest in Creston and area retailers. President Biden’s proposal this week to ask Congress to suspend at least the federal gasoline tax is very short-minded. The fed’s tax is 18 cents. We were not happy when the price of gasoline reached $4.49. So why would we feel better now having the price lowered to $4.49? States will also be encouraged to consider suspending their fuel taxes.

Suspending fuel taxes also influences the budgets for road repairs since the fuel tax revenues pay for the work. Will not having that revenue for three months also delay any road repair projects for three months or longer? We don’t have an answer to lowering fuel prices, other than have more productivity at refineries. But don’t make a bad problem worse.

We hope the price of gasoline is making Southwest Iowa people think more about retail in their own town. We heard stories of a Corning store that had a 15-minute wait in line to look at items and another 15-minute wait in line to purchase items last weekend.

We know not everything wanted for every individual or family can be purchased in Creston, but are comfortable things needed, not wanted, are available in the zip code area.

And when, or if, fuel prices get back to the $3 a gallon range, it will feel better going back to Des Moines and if you need to. But we hope by that time people have become even more accustom to shopping local.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.