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Mitchell's gas prices higher than other locations in state

Despite a general decline in gasoline prices across South Dakota in the last three months, Mitchell residents are paying more than most residents in the state.

The Daily Republic recorded the price of regular unleaded gasoline at 15 filling stations Friday and found the average cost per gallon to be $3.372.

Mitchell's average price was about 10 cents higher than Friday's state average of $3.273, as reported by AAA, and higher than many other local averages in South Dakota, including Sioux Falls, at $3.177, Yankton, at $3.157, and Rapid City, at $3.150. Within Mitchell, prices ranged from $3.19 to $3.49.

The national average on Friday was $3.286.

AAA South Dakota Vice President Rob Angerhofer said higher prices in Mitchell could be because the city has fewer vendors than larger cities like Sioux Falls or Rapid City. Mitchell has 17 gasoline vendors, whereas Sioux Falls has 86. "When you've got more competition, that's going to drive down prices a little bit," Angerhofer said.

The slightly higher cost of getting fuel to Mitchell compared to other cities is also a factor, he added.

After the statewide average price per gallon peaked at between $3.85 and $3.90 in September, state prices have been falling, matching the national trend.

Until cold weather settles in and more people begin using oil for heat, gas prices should remain relatively low, Angerhofer said.