Pain in the Gas, Ever get the urge to scream at a local gas station owner?

Well, don’t. Chances are, he’s suffering from high gas prices just like you.

"I’m just barely breaking even right now," said Faisal Akram, owner of the Shell station at the top of Main Street in Irvington. Instead, Akram said in an interview last week that the only way he can make money is if you patronize his store and purchase a bottle of water or a gallon of milk.

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The exorbitant prices are affecting just about everybody, causing some residents to make life-altering decisions.

"I have completely reconsidered graduate school," said Sleepy Hollow resident Stephanie Parry, who was accepted into a master’s degree program for secondary English education at SUNY New Paltz, which is a 66-mile commute each way. Instead, she’ll take the train for another program in New York City, she said as attendants at Tornello’s Service on Route 9 in Sleepy Hollow topped her Toyota Yaris off at $46.

Tarrytown retirees Barbara and Wess Trunko have been forced to alter their habits while traveling the country in their new RV. Wess said they adjust their expenses by staying at a destination a little longer.

"To see what we’ve seen … it’s worth it," Barb said. They also make things a little easier by using the kitchen in their RV and parking at national parks. Their RV also has solar panels, which is used to run all of the facilities in their vehicle. But still, it takes $200 to fill up their dream vehicle.

Meanwhile, Irvington resident Shaunna Spink said at the new Mobil station in Tarrytown that she would be canceling her road trip this summer. Instead, she’d be flying to Europe and staying with friends.

"I drive for work and that’s about it," Spink said. And while it takes more than $100 to fill up her silver Lincoln Navigator, she stopped at $37.93.

Afroz Malek, the manager at Mobil, said it isn’t unusual for residents to stop short of filling up their tanks.

Irvington resident Claudia Shayne-Ferguson, who purchases "Plus" gasoline rather than "Regular," said she was tempted to stop short of filling up her silver Mini Cooper when she was at a station the other day in Armonk.

"In the middle of pumping, I was just stunned," said Shayne-Ferguson, who seemed a bit happier when she topped off at $60.02 at the Shell in Irvington. She is contemplating getting a hybrid, she said, but mostly for her concern about the environment.

Irvington resident Bret Reilly, filling up his Black VW Sport, said he’s personally satisfied with gas prices right now.

"I’m glad I’m driving a car that gets twice the gas mileage of other cars out there." And since he works in downtown Irvington, he only spends about $50 on gas per week.

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About the Author: Brett Freeman