NEWPORT (AP) – Motorists traveling between Bangor and Waterville know they can get a gas bargain in Newport, and word is getting out now that gas prices have shot upward.

This week, when the statewide average for regular was $3.98 per gallon, several gas stations here in Newport were selling for 30 cents less, enticing motorists off Interstate 95.

“The savings is huge,” town resident Kelly Gay said after returning from Bangor, where the price was far higher. “The worst part is, we still think $3.68 is a good price.”

Bargain-seeking motorists can thank Greg Lovley, who purchased the Valero gas station two years ago. These days, several area competitors are trying to match his prices.

Lovley shies away from publicity. He said he didn’t intend to launch gas price wars and emphasizes that he is not out to hurt competitors.

“My goal is to break even and that’s a problem,” Lovley said. “I got tired of people getting nailed. This is for the people who have supported me.”

Lovley said he doesn’t mind the competition. The more, the better. On Friday, his price was $3.72.

“Some of the stations call every morning to see what my prices are, and then they adjust them,” he said. “It was just meant for the local traffic. I just want to quietly help out my local community.”

The low prices have spread beyond Newport.

Patterson’s Store 15 miles away in Burnham also has been a low-price leader for some time. According to Gasprices.com, Patterson’s was selling regular for $3.68 on Friday.

In the next town over, in Clinton, Galusha’s sold gas for $3.79 on Thursday.

Going 15 miles west from Newport on U.S. Route 201, people in Canaan have enjoyed a little break of their own. The Canaan Superette was selling gas at $3.68 on Friday, and the nearby Canaan One Stop, which features Irving gas, was at $3.75.

“A lot of people say it’s pretty sad that $3.79 is good,” said Christina Baiko, a clerk at the One Stop, before the price dropped another 4 pennies. “But they like it.”


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