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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."

Sandee Snyder VanOeveren April 24, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I got gas yesterday on my way back to NL from Provena/St. Joe at Sam's Club and paid 3.93.9 instead of 4.19.9 that Speedway had posted!!
nlretired April 24, 2012 at 06:31 PM
BP in Manhattan: 3.89; BP in NL: 4.19!!
Steve T. April 24, 2012 at 08:50 PM
This wonderful topic is going to be on story on Channel 2/CBS at 5pm today(4/24).
Mary Beth Lubert April 24, 2012 at 09:23 PM
If you go to gasbuddy.com and put in a town, it'll give you the prices available at all of the town's gas stations within several hours.
Maureen Broderick April 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Today the gas price at speedway and shell on Briggs is $3.98 while NL gas stations are at $4.19
Kimberly April 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Not sure when your sister last purchased gasoline, but I just filled up in Frankfort, and I paid 12 cents less per gallon, then the stations that I passed in New Lenox on my way home. Do you work for a gas station in New Lenox? Its either that or you've been out of state on vacation for the last few months.
Don Berry April 24, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Most of us from the area travel to our jobs. The "local" gas stations have to realize their competition isn't down the block, or across the street. The competition can be 20 or 30 miles away, in any direction. If the locals are intent on making a killing on the few people who do buy from them, then that's their perogative. Those of us who rack up some miles will save where they can, and the locals will lose that business.
Bob McLaughlin April 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Buy gas in New Lenox? Never again. I live here and would like to support the businesses in town but when they all charge the same amount for gas, that is not competition, it is collusion. Almost akin to price fixing. I work in Downers Grove and plan my gas purchases to coincide with passing the Speedway at 143rd and Lemont Road which is ALWAYS cheaper than here in town. BTW, I stopped taking I-355 to work in January and drive the local roads after the tollway authority raised its tolls. I average a savings of about $60.00 a month not using the tollway. I agree with the mayor. Boycott the business that don't care about us and only their bottom line.
markfromhere April 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Its about time somebody says something about this!! I agree that New Lenox residents should not buy gas here! Better yet, don't stop and buy coffee, donuts, or even a pack of gum at one of the gas/ mini marts!!!!! This is what really hurts these businesses as they make more profit on these items! If you want lower gas prices, boycott the entire store not just the pumps!!!!!!!!
NLMom April 25, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I had to laugh driving down Rt.30 tonight when I saw Speedway at $4.14 and BP at $4.17. Do they really think dropping it a few pennies is going to make us buy gas there? I did enjoy seeing their pumps empty.
Kimberly April 25, 2012 at 02:14 AM
My hope this morning was that enough New Lenox residents would read The Patch article or see Mayor Baldermann's comments on Channel 6 from Monday nights Board Meeting. Tonight my hope is that enough New Lenox residents are watching the News, just saw Mayor Baldermann on WGN-9pm broadcast. Way to way Mr. Mayor, way to stand up for the residents of New Lenox. I also purchased my gasoline in Frankfort today.
John Petrosky April 25, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I have noticed that the Speedway in Tinley at Harlem just north of I-80 is always busy at all hours. It is not unusual to wait a minute or two for an open pump! Why? The price there is anywhere from $.15-$.50/gallon cheaper than New Lenox. Like many others commenting, I no longer buy gas in New Lenox. And YES, it DOES make a difference -- even if "it's the same company". Listen closely to business reports and you'll hear about "same store sales." Corporate America does all kinds of accounting and reporting within their own companies. If enough New Lenox residents skirt the local franchises, BP, Speedway, et. al. WILL notice and the corporate offices will begin asking questions of the local operators. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors! Even if it takes a few minutes, we need to save the bucks by going elsewhere for gas!!! And then take the savings and pay a little more for a LOT more service by patronizing other local businesses....
Kimberly April 25, 2012 at 03:01 AM
**That should be Way to GO Mr. Mayor**
Richard A. Mendoza April 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM
People just don't get it...the stations are undermining the local economy...residents paying for gas and cutting back on other purchases is hurting local business...there should be an ordinance against price gouging!
Ame Liorate NL April 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Way to go Mayor! The residents of NL would have to purchase 100 MILLION GALLONS of gas at -.10 cents (cheaper in other suburbs) to save the 10 million dollars to pay for the proposed 10 million dollar police station that we do not need. And that's BEFORE any interest accumulated on the $10 mill loan. Stop this nonsense at do whatever it takes to develop a plan to create the lowest crime rates in the state. Stop wasting your staff’s time and our tax dollars on creating a state of the art jail/police station. Your ideology suggests that we will be anticipating a significant level of crime.
NLResident2 April 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, MAYOR for standing up for us! This has been going on for quite sometime now. I completely support Mayor Balderman in this issue and I applaud him for supporting the residents of New Lenox. Back in January 2012 I noticed that the New Lenox gas prices were 20 cents a gallon more than in Homer, Mokena, and Frankfort. NOT 2-3 CENTS BUT 20 CENTS A GALLON MORE and I have pictures to prove it. I will shop elsewhere and not give my money to these crooks!
NLResident2 April 25, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I would rather drive out of my way to buy gas than be a fool and be taken advantage of. It;s time NL residents stood up for themselves. Back in Jan 2012 I noticed NL gas prices were 20 cents a gallon higher than surrounding areas. I have digital pictures to prove it! At that time Jan 8 2012 @ 2:30 pm the stations in Nl were all charging 3.65 a gallon while the stations at 159th and bell, 159th and cedar, 159th and will cook were charging 3.45 a gallon!
Eugene April 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Very good points Ame. Let's throw a big fuss over pennies being gouged out of residents pockets, while we spend $10-$15 million on an "oversized", "improperly located", and "unnecessary" Taj Mahal-style jail. Feels like our coins are being protected in our front pockets, while our wallets are getting pick-pocketed from behind. Getting behind a government project costing millions of "borrowed dollars", while housing is projected to skip an entire generation before returning to normal is a much bigger ripoff than local gas stations are doing. Besides, we can all drive elsewhere to get gas, can we all move out of town as easily?
alski April 25, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Personally I think they are using the talk that was circulating around town about the tragic accident a while back having a direct effect on gas prices. I guess they felt that residents would just chalk it up to that and out of respect for lives lost just turn their heads and pay the price. If that is the case the oil companies have stooped to an all time low. Right down at the bottom of the barrel along with ambulance chasers and grave robbers.You want to get some attention and make some changes..FLASHMOBS meeting at different locations on different days with signs showing the lower prices at stations in surrounding towns. Their names and directions to them. Peaceful, organized demonstrators getting the point across to these crooks that we aren't going to pay these prices anymore.
NLResident2 April 25, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I was able to upload the NL gas gouging pics to the patch neighboorhood gallery. All pictures were taken on the same day in January 2012 and within the same hour. They clearly show a 20 cents difference in Nl gas prices. Check um out.
NLResident2 April 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I was able to upload NL gas gouging pics to the patch neighboorhood gallery. All pictures were taken on the same day in January 2012 and within the same hour. They clearly show a 20 cents difference in Nl gas prices. Check um out.
NLResident2 April 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Just click on Pics and clips tab at the top of the nlpatch page and scroll the pictures to the right until you see the gas station price pictures. Amazing.
Robert Nork April 25, 2012 at 05:33 PM
At least you have got to admit that the Mayor of New Lenox is one smart politician - Make an announcement at a Village board meeting telling everyone to go buy gas elsewhwere and all of a sudden he is a hero and gets tons of free publicity, never mind the fact that 70% of the residents of his town were already doing what he told them they should do. Oh, and by the way - he really did not do anything to actually get the gas prices lowered.
joel April 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I work in alsip and gas is always cheaper there ... i will not buy gas in New lenox until the gas gouging stops i'm on the Mayors side thanks Tim...
Rayandra April 26, 2012 at 03:40 AM
This is very helpful! Thanks Mayor. I'm definitely not buying in new Lenox again until they lower the price... Sucks that I paid 4.19 dollars the other day... I feel ripped off!
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!
Kimberly 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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