The Municipal Planning Grant application process for 2008 will be done solely online through the Intelligrant/online process. Any municipality that wants to apply for these planning funds will have to do so through the online process at www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MPG.htm. The online application is not yet active, but will be as of September 2. At that point, you will be able to go the site and click on “online application” and get started. However, and this is a very important however, the town will need to identify the “authorizing official” or AO. This person will “sign,” or in the online world, “send” all
application pages, forms, etc once they have been completed. It would be best to have the AO be the town administrator, manager, or executive assistant where there is one. Otherwise the AO will have to be a Selectboard member or the mayor. The town clerk, treasurer , or any staff that would be paid by the grant cannot be the AO; nor can any staff member of a non-municipal entity be the AO.
Here’s the MPG schedule as it appears now. A town that wants to apply for a Municipal Planning Grant must be confirmed (which requires that the town plan be approved by the regional commission) by September 30. All MPG applications will be due October 31. A single town can apply for up to $15,000; a consortium can apply for up to $25,000. Award decisions will be made in December 2008 and grant work can then proceed once any final forms are filed; again, online.
In about 2 weeks (September 2 or so), the user manual for the online application will be available online. It will be on the website cited above and it will be e-mailed to regional planning commissions. CVRPC will e-mail this document to you so that your staff or person preparing the application can have a paper copy to use as a guide. On September 2, the online application will be available and the AO will have to register and then be validated by the Intelligrant system so that the AO can then validate anyone who is going to write or edit the MPG application. The online application is streamlined and so where there used to be redundancy, there will not be. One key point to remember is that the online application will “time” itself out after 30 minutes if it is idle, so save and save often to avoid losing your work.
The grant criteria are pretty much the same as in the past: up to 15 points for an application that is complete, concise, realistic, and describes a clearly defined project; 20 points for a realistic work plan and budget; 20 points for clear linkage to the municipal plan; 15 points for citizen participation, partnerships, and outreach; and 30 points for projects that meet Statewide priorities (update municipal plan, update bylaws to be in conformance with the municipal plan and statute, or studies or activities related to growth center designation or for VT Neighborhood designation).
CVRPC staff is here to assist in any way we can. If the planning commission is thinking of applying for funds, now would be a good time to organize the project so the application process goes smoothly next month! Contact Chris Walsh, Clare Rock, or Laurie Emery with questions, concerns, ideas, etc.