New Lenox gas prices shot up to $4.25 this week, but Mayor Tim Baldermann said it's not a sign that the boycott he called for didn't work. That's because a similar increase happened in neighboring towns.
"This wasn't about the actual cost of gas," Baldermann said of the boycott. "Our issue was solely that we were being charged more than our neighbors. But if everyone's at $4.25, there's not much we can do."
On April 23, when , prices for unleaded fuel here were $4.20/gallon. Area stations were anywhere from $3.89/gallon to $4.14/gallon.
Within two days of the mayor's request for residents to buy gas elsewhere, local stations dropped their prices as low as $3.98/gallon, which in some instances was actually cheaper than neighboring towns.
But on Tuesday, six of the seven New Lenox gas stations increased prices by 27 cents. The only holdout was the on Laraway Road.
"Gas prices are way too high in general, but that's something Congress needs to address," Baldermann said. "And quite frankly I don't think they're doing a good enough job discussing that right now."
In Mokena and Frankfort, most stations increased prices to at least $4.20/gallon. All but two Homer Glen stations increased to $4.25, and the nearest Joliet stations saw significant increases (though some farther away from New Lenox remained below $4). Manhattan continues to have the lowest prices in the area at $3.84/gallon.
The owners of local gas stations couldn't be reached Tuesday to comment on the sudden increase.
Since the call for a boycott, Patch has tracked the gas prices at New Lenox stations as well as five neighboring towns.