Boehlke Bottled Gas Corp. in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, held an open house to showcase its propane-powered products and give officials the chance to tour the facility.
The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) is encouraging industry members to hold plant and facility tours, and invite members of Congress.
“Presenting both senators and representatives with a hands-on experience of how the industry functions in the states and communities they represent strengthens the industry’s ability to effectively pursue pro-growth policies in Congress,” NPGA says.
Chad Kroening, fleet and projects manager at Boehlke, is on the NPGA Governmental Affairs Committee. His involvement in the organization helps him understand the importance of educating elected officials about the industry.
“We’ve built some facilities and done some improvements since the shortage, and we just want to get out and let legislators know we are doing what we can on our end to combat that, as well,” Kroening says.
The open house was also a chance for the company to show legislators, state officials and community members that propane is not just for home heating. Attendees included members of Congress, NPGA, the Wisconsin Clean Cities Coalition and individuals from the Department of Safety and Professional Services, as well as employees.
“From [being on the Governmental Affairs Committee], I can tell what legislators think about,” says Kroening. “The first thing they say is home heating, but there is enough commercial propane being sold in Wisconsin that you have to be careful that you don’t write rules that will affect the other half of the industry.”
The company is currently adding another 60,000 gallons of storage to its facility, which will bring its total capacity to 450,000 gallons. The construction is not yet done, but attendees got to see the work in progress.
The company also showcased its autogas fleets. According to Kroening, some of the local municipalities in the area are running on propane autogas that is provided by Boehlke. Vehicles showcased include police vehicles, transport vehicles, industrial trucks and service vehicles.
“We probably sell 350,000 to 400,000 gallons of propane per year and we have three police departments, a bus and auto company, a hardware store and then our own fleet,” Kroening says. “We are going to showcase a vehicle from everybody’s fleet.”
The company also had temporary heaters, propane forklifts and other propane-powered equipment for attendees to peruse.
“These types of events are important for business owners to host because reaching out to legislators when you don’t need something gives you more access to them in case you do need them,” Kroening says. “Encouraging your employees, vendors and customers to attend these events also helps foster relationships that will be beneficial in the long run.”