LA PORTE, IN – La Porte’s mayor Kathy Chroback found that communities in the state of Indiana will not be able to use funds from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles, according to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC).

Reported in the Herald Argus, funding from this source for future vehicle purchases is no longer available. Chroback said that with the city’s current budget shortfall, the impact on future vehicle purchases is uncertain.

The Federal Highway Administration said that program funds were originally intended to offset the costs of buying more fuel-efficient vehicles rather than purchase them outright.

Last year the city received four E-85 flex fuel police squad cars, two pickup trucks, and a heavy-duty diesel truck, a Gator truck for the park department, and a vacuum truck for the waste water department from CMAQ funding approved in 2007. La Porte is slated to receive 11 more vehicles from that funding cycle, but there is currently no assured funding source for future purchases.