Great Lakes Habitat Restoration/Conservation, Deadline Feb. 1, 2013

The goal of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is to target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem.  As part of this initiative, the two bird habitat joint ventures that are in the Great Lakes watershed – the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture – will be working with the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs in the Midwest and Northeast Regions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to competitively fund state and other partner projects for long-term habitat restoration, enhancement or protection, for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds.  Preference will be given to activities that help meet the habitat goals of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Implementation Plan or the Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain (BCR 13) Bird Conservation Region Plan, other relevant bird conservation plans, and State Wildlife Action Plans.

Ranking and selection of projects will be based on information provided in the application.  Highest consideration will be given to projects with several of the following attributes, in priority order:  1) Benefits to priority bird species, habitats and geographic areas identified in applicable Joint Venture bird conservation plans; 2) readiness to begin project (to ensure completion within one year of the grant award date); 3) long-term duration of resource benefits; 4) involvement of two or more partners including state partners; 5) higher ratio of non-Federal match to grant request than the required 25% minimum; 6) importance as a catalyst to future conservation actions or as part of a larger set of connected conservation lands or actions in the landscape and 7) documented benefits to federally-listed species, and/or those identified as highest priorities in the relevant State Wildlife Action Plan.  It is highly recommended that applicants consult with the appropriate joint venture coordinator prior to submitting an application to ensure that adequate and relevant information is provided.

Special Note:  GLRI Joint Venture funds will be targeted towards improving fish and wildlife habitat and their populations within watersheds of “Areas of Concern” (AOC; (http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/aoc/) wherever possible, as a coordinated effort between the Service’s Coastal, Joint Venture, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programs.  In addition, projects that will result in a reduction of excessive phosphorus inputs into a watershed should be highlighted.  Though proposals within AOCs and/or those that will reduce phosphorus are encouraged, it is not a requirement for funding.

Up to $1 million in funds may be available during fiscal year 2013.  Grant requests between $25,000 and $290,000 will be accepted.   We expect to announce the awards in May 2013.

Matching contributions may take the form of cash, goods, services, or land value and must equal at least 25% of the requested Federal funds; permanent, non-reimbursable, and dedicated to a project; and documented by a signed letter of commitment from an authorized representative of the match provider in the application.  The letter of commitment must detail the amount of matching funds or value of donated land and/or services. Land as match must have a current (less than 1 year) appraised value. This program uses grant agreements as the funding mechanism.

Eligible applicants for this competitive grant program include state fish and wildlife agencies and other non-federal conservation agencies or organizations that provide at least 25% of the grant request (Federal share) as non-federal match for habitat restoration, enhancement and protection activities.  (Note: grants cannot be awarded to outside entities for restoration or enhancement work on Federal lands).  Projects must be within the U.S. watershed of the Great Lakes as defined by the U.S. EPA (links to maps of the Great Lakes Watershed and Lower Great Lakes Watershed in NY and PA) within states bordering the Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). A Federal interest will be attached to real property interests acquired with grant funds or contributed as match and must be titled to, or held by, either the Grantee or an approved Subgrantee.

An eligible proposal is a plan of action supported by grant and partner funds to conserve habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife through acquisition (including fee title, permanent conservation easements and donations of real property interests), restoration and/or enhancement that contains a grant request between $25,000 and $290,000 and matching contributions of at least 25% of total grant request (Federal share), with a target completion date within one year of the date of award.  Grant awards may only be used for activities that begin after the grant agreement is signed – this grant program is not eligible for reimbursement of completed or ongoing projects.

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Great Lakes Habitat Restoration/Conservation, Deadline Feb. 1, 2013

Assistance to Firefighters Grants, Deadline July 6

Nation’s first LEED Gold fire station; site engineering, construction oversight, materials testing by GFA

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program. The purpose of AFG is to enhance through financial assistance the safety of the public and firefighters regarding fire and fire-related hazards. FEMA strives to provide clear guidance and application tools to assist applicants. This package provides an overview of AFG, the grant application information, and an explanation of FEMA requirements for a successful grant request.

Eligible Applicants

County governments
City or township governments
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Fire Departments and Non-Affiliated Emergency Medical organizations

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Assistance to Firefighters Grants, Deadline July 6

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Due May 24

Up to approximately $20 million may be awarded under this RFA for about 100 projects contingent on the quality of applications received, funding availability and other applicable considerations. Applications are requested for projects identified in the RFA within the following four GLRI focus areas:

1.Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern, including reduction of toxic substances (through pollution prevention or other means) in the most polluted areas in the Great Lakes;

2.Invasive Species, including efforts to institute a “zero tolerance policy” toward new invasions;

3.Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution, including a targeted geographic focus on high priority watersheds and reducing polluted runoff from urban, suburban and agricultural sources; and

4.Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships, including climate change resiliency and strategic partnerships through Lakewide Management Plans.

Eligible Applicants:

Governmental entities, including state agencies, interstate agencies, Indian tribes, local governments as defined in 40 CFR Section 31.3, institutions of higher learning (e.g., colleges and universities subject to 40 CFR Part 30 or 40 CFR Part 31), and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for funding under this RFA.

Contact us for more information!

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Due May 24

Community Connect Grant Program, Deadline June 18

The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.

Eligibility

The following entities are eligble for funding::

      • Incorporated Organizations
      • Indian Tribes or Tribal Organizations, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(b) and (c).
      • State or local units of government, or
      • Cooperative, private corporations or limited liability companies, organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis

 

    Eligible areas include:

    • A single community with a population less than 20,000 which does not have Broadband Transmission Service

Applications

Applications for the 2012 Fiscal Year are now being accepted. Completed applications must be postmarked, hand delivered, or submitted through www.grants.gov by June 18, 2012 in order to be considered for funding.

Fund Uses

Funds may be used to build broadband infrastructure and establish a community center which offers free public access to broadband for two years.

Contact us for more information!

Community Connect Grant Program, Deadline June 18

Community Forest Grant Program, Deadline May 15

The Community Forest Program (CFP) protects forests that are important for people and the places they call home. Community forests provide many benefits such as places to recreate and enjoy nature; they protect habitat, water quality and other environmental benefits, and they can provide economic benefits through timber resources. Community Forests have also long been sites for environmental and cultural education.

Request For Applications Issued
The Forest Service published a call for applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Program in the Federal Register on February 15, 2012. Applications are due to the State Forester or the appropriate Tribal official by May 15, 2012 and June 14, 2012 for State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe submitting the applications to the Forest Service.

Total CFP funding anticipated for awards is $3.15 million, and individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000.

What is the Community Forest Program?

The Community Forest Program is a grant program that authorizes the Forest Service to provide financial assistance to local governments, Tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities to establish community forests that provide continuing and accessible community benefits.

The Community Forest Program was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill (Section 8003 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-234)), which amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.

Program basics:

  • Full fee title acquisition is required. Conservation easements are not eligible.
  • Community Forests can be owned by local governments, Tribal Governments, and qualified nonprofit entities.
  • The program pays up to 50% of the project costs and requires a 50% non-federal match
  • Public access is required for CFP projects
  • The community is involved in the establishment of the community forest and long-term management decisions.

Applications for local government and nonprofit entities are required to go to the State Forester, while Tribal applications go to the equivalent Tribal Governments official.

Eligible Entities:

  • Local governments- Any municipal government, county government, or other local government with jurisdiction over local land use decisions.
  • Indian Tribes- Federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.
  • Qualified nonprofit organizations- Consistent with Section 170(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and operates in accordance with one or more of the conservation purposes.

Eligible Land:

  • Private forest lands that are threatened by conversion to nonforest uses, are not lands held in trust by the United States, and can provide defined community benefits and allow public access
  • Forest lands – Lands that are at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. Forests are determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of nonforest uses.

Applicants will notify the Forest Service when submitting an application to the State Forester or equivalent officials of the Indian tribe.
State Foresters and equivalent official of the Indian tribe will forward all applications to the Forest Service, and, as time and resources allow will:

  1. Provide a review of each application to help the Forest Service determine that the applicant is an eligible entity, that the land is eligible, and whether the project contributes to a landscape conservation initiative.
  2. Confirm that the proposed project has not been submitted for funding consideration under the Forest Legacy Program
  3. Describe what technical assistance they may render in support of implementing the proposed community forest project and an estimate of needed financial assistance.

Project Evaluation Criteria

  1. Type and extent of community benefits provided.
  2. Extent and nature of community engagement in the establishment and long-term management.
  3. Amount of cost share leveraged.
  4. Extent to which the community forest contributes to a landscape conservation initiative.
  5. Extent of due diligence completed on the project.
  6. Likelihood that, unprotected, the property would be converted to nonforest uses.
  7. Costs to the Federal government.

Project Requirements

  1. Complete an appraisal following the Federal appraisal standards (aka Yellowbook).
  2. Prior to closing, notify the landowner in writing of the appraised value and that the sale is voluntary.
  3. Ensure that title is not subject to encumbrances that would be contrary to program purposes.
  4. Purchase all surface and subsurface mineral rights, whenever possible or, determine that the likelihood of extraction is so remote as to be negligible.
  5. Record a Notice of Grant Requirement.
  6. Complete the final community forest plan within 120 days.
  7. Provide appropriate public access.
  8. Submit every 5 years a self-certifying statement that the property has not been sold or converted.
  9. Be subject to a spot check conducted to verify that Community Forest has not been sold or converted.
Community Forest Grant Program, Deadline May 15

Michigan Revolving Loan Fund Updates

As the SRF and SWQIF funds affect so many, the proposed changes to the SRF merit a post even though the changes are still in the discussion stage.  An advisory committee has submitted a report with recommended changes to the current program.

The recommendations in this report are premised on the need for a policy approach that emphasizes strategic investment of dollars in vital infrastructure to protect water quality as well as the creation of more long-term, self-sustained funding. There are two parts to this policy strategy.

Part 1: Creation of a state grant program and expanded use of a state loan program to stimulate investments that protect infrastructure assets and reduce long-term costs to the public.

Part 2: Institution of reforms to the existing SRF program to stimulate investments in large scale sewer system improvement projects that address chronic water quality problems.

Part 1 – Reducing the cost of infrastructure and increasing investment in critical water quality protection through creation of a state grant program and expanded use of a state loan program

Michigan needs to invest much more heavily in the management of its sewer infrastructure assets. This keeps systems in good condition rather than allowing them to deteriorate to the point where they become extremely costly to repair or replace.  The State also needs to facilitate the establishment of dedicated revenue streams that are based on the actual cost of services provided. Given the fiscal condition of local governments, incentivizing these actions through grant funding is critical.

Part 1 Recommendations

  • Remaining funds from Proposal 2 of 2002 (approximately $654 million) should be allocated over a five year period. This should be phased so that more of the funding is available in the later years.
  • In each funding cycle, 50% of the funds available should be targeted toward implementing projects in a grant program consistent with Part 1 of this report and 50% for a loan program. Both should be implemented under the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund (SWQIF), with provision to adjust this allocation in any given year based on demand.
  • The loan program created under the SWQIF should be as simple as possible. The DEQ and the legislature should take steps to ensure that the state’s loan program does not suffer the same ills as the federal program.
  • The State must ensure that federal capitalization grants to the SRF are fully captured so no available dollars are left on the table.  State match for these grants should be provided through the general fund. However, in the event that this funding source is unavailable in any given year, a portion of the Proposal 2 funds should be designated as match for the federal capitalization grant.
  • Bonds from Proposal 2 of 2002 should be used to provide grants to local governments for:
    • Design, development and implementation of asset management plans or capital improvement programs for sanitary sewer and storm sewer infrastructure,
    • Development of stormwater management plans or programs,
    • Development and implementation of stormwater utilities, or
    •  Planning and design of sewer projects (similar to the grant program previously authorized by the legislature using Proposal 2 bond funds).
  • The grant application process should be kept as simple as possible.  Projects that meet eligibility criteria should be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Legislation describing the acceptable manner for creation of a stormwater utility consistent with the Michigan Supreme Court’s Bolt vs. City of Lansing decision needs to be adopted.

Part 2 – Increasing use of the State Revolving Fund program by streamlining requirements in the existing SRF program

The goal of the recommendations in this category is to reduce the administrative burden on applicants and the DEQ so the process is easier and less costly to administer. This in turn will result in a greater number of projects being funded.

Part 2 Recommendations

Primary recommendation: DEQ should work with a committee of stakeholders to revise the SRF program, using a process improvement approach, to ensure that a thorough list of recommendations is developed and appropriately vetted.

Part 2 Recommendations for DEQ and its stakeholder group to consider:

  • Revise the pre-application meeting process to allow potential applicants to evaluate the likelihood of funding prior to incurring significant costs.
  • Evaluate and revise the criteria for selecting priority projects.
  • Develop a checklist to determine which elements need to be addressed in the Project Plan for a specific application.
  • Review the public participation requirements and consider options other than the mandatory requirement for a formal public hearing, with a transcript, prior to submitting the Project Plan.
  • To the maximum extent possible, eliminate requirements to provide information on other state and federal laws and regulations for conformity.
  •  Create special financial incentives for “economic hardship” applicants, similar to those currently provided in the Drinking Water Revolving Fund program.
  •  If funds available exceed demand in any given year, the Committee urges the DEQ Director to lower interest rates in the subsequent funding cycle.

These are highlights from the Executive Summary. You can view the entire document here:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-ess-mfs-CWSRF-advisorycomm-FinalReport_364766_7.pdf

Michigan Revolving Loan Fund Updates

Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, Deadline Oct. 14

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service anticipates receiving a combination of base funded appropriations and the Administration’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in FY 2012 to support the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (Partnership) and its efforts to complete on-the-ground, fish habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement projects. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Partnership recognize that a substantial amount of the protection, restoration and enhancement of fish habitat will be done at the local level by local watershed associations, municipalities, tribes, states and non-governmental organizations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Partnership will work with organizations to encourage local conservation actions that fit within the Partnership’s Strategic Plan priorities.

Focus Areas:
Fish habitat protection and restoration, specific to one or more of the following:
Tributary stream restoration or protection to improve:

  • Fish and aquatic species passage
  • Riparian habitat
  • Large woody debris
  • Water temperatures
  • Natural stream flow functions
  • Natural stream channel form
  • Coastal and connecting channel wetland restoration, enhancement and protection
  • Connecting channel restoration or protection to improve:
  • Fish and aquatic species passage
  • Riparian habitat

Eligibility:
GLBFHP funding requests should range between $10,000 and $200,000. Larger project requests can be submitted and will be considered if additional funding becomes available. We anticipate funding approximately 8 projects, averaging $50,000 to $75,000.
Projects must be within the Great Lakes watershed.
States, tribes, tribal authorities, local governments and non-profits can apply. Federal agencies can also apply, but might not be eligible for all funding sources.
Match and partner contributions are encouraged. In-kind and federal match is allowed.

For complete details click here.

Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, Deadline Oct. 14

S2 Update – From the Revolving Loan Office

No funding will be pursued in the current fiscal year for the S2 Grant Program.  This decision was made at the State Budget Office.  It has been recommended by the DNRE that $40 million be provided for the S2 Grant program in FY2012.  The State Budget Office will evaluate the request.  There is a 50 percent chance that the requested funds will be provided.

Given this information, I would encourage your SRF projects in the fundable range to continue to meet their milestone dates.  In my opinion, it would NOT be advantageous for a community to forgo funding in the current fiscal year in pursuit of an S2 Grant in FY2012.

Much time has gone into preparing the necessary documents for the S2 Grants.  We will finish those currently not complete.  The application for an S2 Grant will NOT be released to the public until the funding is available.

Previous S2 posts

S2 Update – From the Revolving Loan Office

S2 Grants – As Things Look Today

There is a lot of talk and information going around about the next round of S2 funding. We are providing the latest information available for you  here so that you may check the facts for yourself. This program applies to wastewater projects. As of this week the money has not yet been appropriated and therefore a grant application is not yet available.

This information was originally presented in this blog in early December, here.

Now the focus has moved towards implementation. Here is an FAQ published last week by the MDNRE (MDEQ).

 

 

S2 Grants – As Things Look Today

Senate Bill 1443, Wastewater Grants, Presented to the Governor 12.7.10

STATE OF MICHIGAN
95TH LEGISLATURE
REGULAR SESSION OF 2010
Introduced by Senator Gilbert
ENROLLED SENATE BILL No. 1443
AN ACT to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “An act to protect the environment and natural resources of the state; to codify, revise, consolidate, and classify laws relating to the environment and natural resources of the state; to regulate the discharge of certain substances into the environment; to regulate the use of certain lands, waters, and other natural resources of the state; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state and local agencies and officials; to provide for certain charges, fees, assessments, and donations; to provide certain appropriations; to prescribe penalties and provide remedies; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,” by amending section 5204a (MCL 324.5204a), as added by 2005 PA 254, and by adding section 5317.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:Sec. 5204a.
(1) The authority, in conjunction with the department, shall establish a strategic water quality initiatives grant program that provides grants totaling not more than $80,000,000.00 to eligible municipalities. The grant program shall provide assistance to municipalities to complete the loan application requirements of section 5308 or to complete the loan application requirements for other sources of financing for sewage treatment works projects, storm water treatment projects, or nonpoint source projects.
(2) The grant program is subject to all of the following:
(a) The grant program shall provide grants to cover not more than 90% of the costs incurred by a municipality to complete an application for loan assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or to complete an application for loan assistance from another source of financing for a sewage treatment works project, a storm water treatment project, or a nonpoint source project.
(b) The 10% local match is not eligible for loan assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or other source of financing for the project.
(c) Grant funds shall not be used for general local government administrative activities or activities performed by municipal employees.
(d) A municipality shall not receive more than $1,000,000.00 in total grant assistance under this section.
(e) Grants under this section shall be available for projects seeking or intending to seek loan assistance after September 30, 2006.

Contact us for more information!

(3) The department shall establish an application and review process for considering grant applications under this section. The application shall contain the information required by the department and the authority. Within 60 days after receipt of an application, the department shall publish notice of the application on the department’s calendar. Within 60 days after receipt of an administratively complete grant application, the department shall, in writing, notify the applicant whether the application is approved or rejected. If the department approves a grant under this section, the department and the authority shall enter into a grant agreement with the recipient prior to transferring funds. The grant agreement shall contain terms established by the department and the authority and a requirement that the grant recipient repay the grant, within 90 days of being informed to do so, with interest at a rate not to exceed 8% per year, to the authority for deposit into the fund if any of the following occur:
(a) The applicant fails to submit an administratively complete loan application for assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or other source of financing for the project within 3 years of the grant award.
(b) The project has been identified as being in the fundable range or is approved for funding from another source and the applicant declines the loan assistance for 2 consecutive fiscal years unless the applicant proceeds with funding from another source.
(c) The applicant is unable to, or decides not to, proceed with constructing the project.
(4) For each year in which the department receives grant applications under this section, the department shall report by July 1 of each year to the standing committees of the senate and the house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over issues pertaining to natural resources and the environment and to the senate and house of representatives appropriations committees on the utilization of funds under this part that were received from the Great Lakes water quality bond fund created in section 19706. The report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(a) The number of grant applications received under this section.
(b) The name of each municipality applying for a grant.
(c) The individual and annual cumulative amount of grant funds awarded, including an identification of whether each award was for the purpose of applying for assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund.
(d) A summary of loan assistance, by year, tendered from the state water pollution control revolving fund and the fund.
(5) The senate and house appropriations committees shall annually review whether there is sufficient money in the fund to implement this section and section 5202.Sec. 5317.
(1) The state water pollution control revolving fund advisory committee is created within the department of natural resources and environment.
(2) The committee shall consist of a representative of the department of natural resources and environment and additional members appointed by the director of the department of natural resources and environment upon recommendation from at least the following organizations:
(a) The American council of engineering companies.
(b) The American waterworks association.
(c) The Michigan chamber of commerce.
(d) The Michigan association of counties.
(e) The Michigan townships association.
(f) The Michigan municipal league with regard to appointing members from the following:
(i) A rural municipality with a population of 10,000 or less that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(ii) A suburban municipality that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(iii) A city that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(g) A statewide association representing drain commissioners.
(h) The Michigan infrastructure and transportation association.
(i) The Michigan water and environment association.
(j) A statewide organization of regional planning authorities.
(k) A statewide environmental or conservation organization.
(3) The members first appointed to the committee shall be appointed within 60 days after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section.
(4) If a vacancy occurs on the committee, the director shall make an appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
(5) The director may remove a member of the committee for incompetency, dereliction of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or any other good cause.
(6) The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the director of the department of natural resources and environment.
(7) A majority of the members of the committee constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting of the committee. A majority of the members present and serving are required for official action of the committee.
(8) The business that the committee may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the committee held in compliance with the open meetings act, 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 to 15.275.
(9) A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by the committee in the performance of an official function is subject to the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.
(10) Members of the committee shall serve without compensation.
(11) Staff from the department of natural resources and environment shall assist with the administrative tasks of the committee, including meeting notices, minutes, and compilation of resource materials and reports.
(12) The committee shall evaluate this part and make recommendations on how this part could be amended to achieve the following outcomes:
(a) Increasing the level of investment in sewage collection and treatment systems.
(b) Providing incentives for actions that not only improve water quality but result in pollution prevention.
(c) Optimizing the cost benefit ratio of alternative designs of sewage collection and treatment systems.
(13) The committee shall review and make recommendations on revisions to this part related to at least all of the following:
(a) Revising procedures to accommodate concurrent design and build type procurement and other nontraditional contracting procedures.
(b) Allowing project planning and preconstruction as costs eligible for assistance from the fund.
(c) Reducing and streamlining the cost-effectiveness review requirements to be more consistent with local planning needs.
(d) Updating the scoring system to take into account infrastructure asset management.
(e) Simplifying application procedures.
(f) Reviewing options to provide grants to municipalities for timely and appropriate project planning, including disincentives for failure to demonstrate progress.
(g) Establishing protocols for a premeeting process for the department of natural resources and environment to provide informal feedback to review the application and determine the likelihood of receiving funding.
(h) Recommending a new model for establishing interest rates on a sliding scale based on the percentage of income paid in utility fees.
(i) Reviewing options to allow municipalities to be able to roll project plan expenses into the loans.
(j) Alternative financing mechanisms for funding sewage treatment works projects, storm water projects, and nonpoint source projects
(14) The committee shall review and make recommendations regarding the need for and design of a grant program for the purpose of funding specific wastewater treatment facility infrastructure improvements projects designed to prevent chronic discharges and projected to have significant regional benefits to Great Lakes water quality and recreational opportunities.
(15) Not later than August 1, 2011, the committee shall submit a report to the department of natural resources and environment and to the standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction over issues primarily pertaining to natural resources and the environment, containing the committee’s conclusions and recommendations.
(16) Effective 6 months after the committee submits its report under subsection (15), the committee is abolished.
(17) As used in this section, “committee” means the state water pollution control revolving fund advisory committee created in subsection (1).Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect unless all of the following bills of the 95th Legislature are enacted into law:(a) Senate Bill No. 1345.(b) Senate Bill No. 1346.(c) Senate Bill No. 1348.(d) House Bill No. 6359.(e) House Bill No. 6360.(f) House Bill No. 6363.(g) House Bill No. 6416.
This act is ordered to take immediate effect.
Secretary of the Senate
Clerk of the House of Representatives
Approved
Governor
Senate Bill 1443, Wastewater Grants, Presented to the Governor 12.7.10