- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The community of Somerset, Kentucky, has come under fire for buying up a fuel storage facility and converting it into a no-frills station that sells gas a few cents lower than competitors — a move termed outright socialism by one convenience store owner.

Specifically, the city spent $200,000 to buy the facility years ago, and then another $75,000 to convert the property into a retail gas outlet, The Blaze reported.

The city-owned outlet — a no-frills station that doesn’t offer snacks or other items for sale — then started selling gas for $3.36 per gallon, a few pennies lower than other gas outlets in the community, The Associated Press reported.

“They’ve used the taxpayer money that I have paid them over these years to do this to be against us,” said one local convenience shop owner and operator, in The Blaze. “I do not see how they can’t see that as socialism.’

City officials, however, say they’re just trying to keep gas prices low, in response to to citizen complaints over the years.

“We are one community that decided we’ve got backbone and we’re not going to allow the oil companies to dictate to us what we can and cannot do,” Mayor Eddie Girdler told AP. “We don’t care if we don’t sell a drop of gasoline. Our objective is to lower the price.”

Somerset has about 11,000 residents.