by Heather Brady
The CDBG Downtown Development Planning Grant program is designed to identify activities that the Unit of General Local Government (UGLG) could undertake to increase the viability/accessibility of economic opportunities that will revitalize and stimulate job creation within the downtown area. Planning projects will only be considered if the UGLG can demonstrate that the planning grant will likely lead to an eligible implementation project. The planning study must be building or area specific, with identified goals and outcomes. Planning studies must be completed within one year of grant agreement sign date.
Ineligible activities for this initiative include activities that create, update, or provide information solely for an UGLG to meet legislatively mandated requirements (i.e. Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Tax Increment Financing (TIF), and Master Plans) and/or engineering and design for specific projects.
Proposed projects are expected to meet the national objective of likelihood for near term position creation where at least 51 percent of the jobs are held by Low/Moderate Income persons.
Funding priority will be given to projects that demonstrate a majority of the following:
- Located in a DDA or other like district
- Located in a Main Street or Redevelopment Ready Community
- Located in a community that does not have any open grants that have not been drawn down
- Likely potential for 51% low/mod job creation and private investment
- Involves a multi-story building
- Will lead to the rehabilitation of a historic resource and/or address brownfield condition; and address an underutilized downtown theater
Funding priorities will also be given to communities with a higher percentage of matching funds (committed funds only), but a cash match equal to the awarded CDBG funds is required.
The maximum grant award will not exceed $100,000. The total amount of grant funds available is $500,000 for the Downtown Development Planning Grant program. Due to funding limitations, only one submission per UGLG is allowed.
Administration costs will not be eligible as CDBG or match funded activities. The capacity of the UGLG to administer the project will also be taken into consideration.
The selection of award recipients is at the complete discretion of the MSF Board of Directors and is based competitively on a 75 point scale. Part I Applications will be accepted and evaluated on a competitive basis. Projects must meet a minimum quality threshold of 45 points in order to be considered. Award decisions are not subject to appeal. Awards are subject to applicable state and federal policies, procedures and regulatory requirements. Award announcements are anticipated in June 2013.
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