Municipal Education Grants

Here are some topics and presenters that have done workshops funded with MEG (Municipal Education Funds). These funds are available until May 2010 from the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. For more information on the grant funds and application process, go to www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MEG.htm.

DRB Review Process: How to Proceed with Challenging Applications,
Presenter: VLCT Municipal Assistance Center

The development review process is an often tricky affair. Discussed will be what tools are required for finding evidence, how to best conduct site visits, how and who to call when needing an expert, best methods for successful deliberations, administrative review, and the importance of clear application requirements.

Land Use Procedure Q & A,
Presenter: Steve Stitzel, Stitzel, Page & Fletcher, P.C.

Renowned land use attorney Steve Stitzel will discuss common pitfalls in the review process, discuss the pros and cons of different procedural approaches (eg: public vs. private deliberations), and review current changes in the land use field (e.g: recent Jam Golf Supreme Court decision.

EECBG Stimulus funds for Municipalities

These frequently asked questions are very helpful in refining the application requirements.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions on the EECBG RFP is now posted on the VT Department of Public Service’s website at: http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_cleanenergyfund.html.

Municipal Grants for ARRA/Energy Funds

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG)
>
> Competitive Local Government Sub-Grants

> The Clean Energy Development Fund is seeking proposals from eligible
> units of local government for projects that implement energy
> efficiency measures in buildings and transportation, install energy
> efficient traffic signals and street lighting; provide energy
> efficiency financial incentive programs, or install renewable energy
> generation systems. Eligible “units of local government” include
> cities, towns, town school districts, incorporated schools, and
> incorporated villages.

Units of local government that were eligible
> for direct Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
> (EECBG)funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (Town of Bennington, Town
> of Brattleboro, Burlington, Town of Colchester, Town of Essex, Village
> of Essex Junction, Town of Hartford, Town of Milton, Rutland, South
> Burlington, Addison County, Caledonia County, Chittenden County,
> Franklin County, Orange County, Orleans County, Rutland County,
> Washington County, Windham County, and Windsor County) are not
> eligible. Regional Planning Commissions are > also not eligible as they are already receiving direct EECBG funds. Towns,> Villages, and schools within these towns/cities/counties are eligible.
>
> Applicants may submit proposals for projects in the following
> categories:

> Energy Efficiency Retrofits, Financial Incentive Programs for Energy
> Efficiency, Implementation of Transportation Projects, Renewable
> Energy Technologies on Government Buildings, and Traffic Signals and
> Street Lighting. An applicant may submit more than one proposal, but
> must submit a separate proposal for each category. Regardless of the
> number of projects submitted, the maximum amount of funds to any
> eligible entity is $100,000.

> All projects must be based in Vermont. All electric-generation
> projects must be grid-connected. Funds cannot be used for projects
> that have already begun construction and/or equipment purchases have
> been made.
>
> There is a maximum award of $50,000 for Energy Efficiency Retrofits,
> $250,000 for Financial Incentive Programs for Energy Efficiency,
> $25,000 for Implementation of Transportation Projects, $75,000 for
> Renewable Energy Technologies on Government Buildings, and $50,000 for
> Traffic Signals and Street Lighting. The minimum amount that an
> applicant can apply for is $10,000 (for each project category).
>
> A total of $4.8 million in funding will be awarded. All projects must
> include a minimum of a 10% match from applicants (which can be cash or
> in-kind). Match greater than the required amounts is encouraged, and
> preference may be given to projects requesting lower funding amounts
> than comparable projects.
>
> All grant awards will be funded using American Recovery and
> Reinvestment Act (ARRA) monies and therefore applicants will be subjected to
> unprecedented levels of transparency and reporting requirements
> including, but not limitedto: reporting, tracking and segregation of incurred costs; job creation and preservation reporting; access to records; and ensuring
> wage rates.
>
> The Request for Proposals contains the necessary information
> for eligible applicants to submit a proposal.
>
> There will be two steps to the application process. First, an Initial
> Application will be due by 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
> Information on what should be included in the Initial Application is
> included in each project category description on pages 4-9 of the RFP,
> as well as the form included in Appendix A. The Initial Applications
> will be reviewed and scored and a select number of applicants will be
> invited to submit Comprehensive Applications, which will be due by 4:00
> P.M. on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Applicants will be notified if
> they have been selected to submit a Comprehensive Application before
> the end of December. > Information on what should be included in the Comprehensive > Application is included in each project category description, as well > as on pages> 9-15 of> the RFP. Being invited to submit a Comprehensive Application does not insure that an applicant’s project will be funded. The intent will be to select slightly more applications than can be funded (probably
> $5-$5.5 million in proposals and $4.8 million can be funded).
>
> Applicants mailing proposals should allow adequate time to ensure
> receipt of their proposal(s) by the deadline. Proposals received
> after the deadline will not be considered. One original, signed hard
> copy, five additional copies, and an electronic copy (which can be
> emailed or submitted on a CD) of the application must be delivered to
> Kelly Launder at the Vermont Department of Public Service. Both
> electronic and hard copies must arrive before the deadline. Proposals
> and questions should be addressed to:
>
>
> Kelly Launder
> Vermont Department of Public Service
> 112 State Street
> Montpelier, VT 05620-2601
> Phone: (802) 828-4039
> Email: kelly.launder@state.vt.us
>

Recreation Trail Grants

Governor Announces $500,000 Available for Recreation Trails
Grant program expands outdoor opportunities for Vermonters

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas today announced $500,000 in funding will be available for the 2010 Recreation Trails Program. Vermont’s Recreational Trails Program is a matching grant program of the federal Highway Administration for the acquisition, development, rehabilitation and maintenance of trails, and trail-related facilities, for non-motorized, motorized, multiple-use or compatible recreational trail use.

“These grants provide opportunities for Vermonters to spend more time outdoors on our trails and they encourage outdoor activity and healthy living,” said Governor Douglas. “By improving access to public lands and waters, these grants also support both local tourism and recreation businesses.”

The deadline for grant applications to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is January 15, 2010. All applications are reviewed and ranked by a five-member citizens’ committee based on established criteria.

Grants up to $20,000 will be awarded for trail project work that will result in helping to achieve desired outcomes identified in local, regional, and state plans including established goals for recreation, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, economy, education, and health. A 20 percent sponsor-match is required for all projects, except for mini-grants, which require no local match.

Mini-grants up to $500 are available to municipalities, nonprofit organizations, community or civic groups, and educational institutions and are intended specifically for small-scale trail projects to enhance or sustain community trails. Funds can be used to purchase trail tools, safety equipment, professional trail training and trail-related educational materials for the public, trail markers and signage. Projects should pose no historical or environmental impact, and must include a community service or youth involvement element.

Grants may be used for trail restoration, construction or reconstruction of multi-use trails, trail linkages, trailside amenities, trailhead facilities, bridges, railings, ramps, retaining structures, accessible features which facilitate access to and use of trails by persons with physical challenges, trail maps, trail-related educational materials to promote safe, responsible use, and environmental protection; fee simple title to property or easement acquisition of recreation trails or trail corridors; and purchase of hand-tools for trail work.

Grant applications are available online at www.vtfpr.org/recgrant/trgrant.cfm. The Department of Forests, Park and Recreation will hold a free grant-writing workshop on Wednesday, December 9, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph. All those interested in applying for funds should attend and will receive five bonus points on their application.

For more information contact Sherry Winnie, program administrator at 802-241-3690, or by e-mail: sherry.winnie@state.vt.us

Municipal Education Grants FY 2010

Applications for the FY10 MEGs may be submitted any time before May 15, 2010. Details about the program and application forms are available here: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MEG.htm. This has just been announced by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs on November 3, 2009! This is a great source of funds for excellent workshops to be held in your community. Let CVRPC know if you need assistance.