A grant program that could make it easier for Wisconsin truck owners to afford anti-idling technology begins accepting applications July 1.
Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs specialist for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that it’s important for owner-operators to apply as close to the July 1 start date as possible, in order to guarantee that the 25 percent meant for individuals remains out of the hands of the larger fleets.
“The state is setting aside 25 percent of the $1 million specifically for small fleets and owner-operators,” Rajkovacz said. “Of course, the rest of the money is anticipated to be gobbled up by a few larger entities within the state.”
The program, which was made possible under Act 25 of Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2005 budget, the Commerce Department will provide grants to both fleets and owner-operators headquartered in Wisconsin to purchase and install idle-reduction technology, such as an auxiliary power unit, for 1999 or newer model-year trucks.
According to the Commerce Department, no grants will be awarded for equipment purchased before this date.
Eligible applicants will receive a reimbursement of 70 percent of the costs of idle-reduction equipment and installation, according to information on the Commerce Department’s Web site.
The program will award $1 million per year in grants through June 2011. Seventy-five percent of that money will be allocated to fleets, and 25 percent will be designated specifically for owner-operators and small-fleet owners who own and operate 50 or fewer trucks.
For more information, or to download an application on or after July 1, visit the Wisconsin Department of Commerce’s Web site at commerce.wi.gov/BD/BD-CA-Diesel-Grant-Program.html.
– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer