Sixteen million dollars in state aide will made available to help ease the state's propane emergency following a meeting Monday between Governor Scott Walker, propane industry officials and state emergency officials addressing the issue. The meeting comes as dangerously cold weather begins to settle over much of the state.
The funds will be used to help both people in need and suppliers of propane. The governor announced $7 million in funds to help support low-income residents who use propane to heat their homes. That's in addition to $1.5 million that was released last Friday.
The governor also directed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to go forward with $8 million in loan guarantee programs to make sure propane dealers can get it on the wholesale market and deliver to customers.
Over the weekend, Gov. Walker declared a State of Emergency in response to the shortage impacting about 250,000 people in Wisconsin. The governor's office says the extreme cold, a pipeline closures, and the demand for grain drying are among the reasons for the shortage.
"This is one of those rare circumstances where we had kind of an unusual series of three or four things coming together at one time," says Governor Scott Walker.
The governor's office is also calling on the federal government to review the price increases and to look at the impact propane exports has on the domestic supply.
You can also call the toll-free heat assistance number at 1-866-432-8947. You can get information on where to buy propane and how to apply for assistance toward your bill. You can also apply for heating assistance at this website: www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov
To help people impacted by the propane crisis, you can donate to the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund at www.kwwf.org/donate or by calling 608-333-0809.
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