Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How were regional boundaries drawn?
Regional boundaries are based on existing Empire State Development and Department of Labor regional boundaries. This will allow the Councils to maximize efficiency and capitalize on existing programs, synergies and relationships.
Will there be bipartisan representation on the Council?
Members are selected based on their leadership role in the region, not their political affiliation.
What role does higher education play in the Regional Councils?
Public and private higher education institutions are essential components of the State’s economic engine, serving as centers of innovation and research, teaching the business leaders of tomorrow, anchoring our communities, and creating jobs. One Co-Chair from each Regional Council is a member of academia. In addition, each Regional Council includes members affiliated with higher education institutions located within that region and meetings are held at institutions of higher education.
What staff support from State agencies is available to the Regional Councils?
Empire State Development (ESD) serves as the lead agency managing the Regional Councils. ESD Regional Directors act as the executive directors of each Regional Council, and regional ESD offices provide administrative and research support. The Department of State Strategic Planners are leading interagency teams which are helping the Regional Councils implement their strategic economic development plans. Other State agencies, authorities and departments are active participants on the Councils and provide necessary resources. In addition, academic institutions, think tanks and other independent organizations are invited by the Regional Councils, as appropriate, to contribute to the development of the Strategic Plans.
What role do elected officials have in the Regional Councils?
The Regional Councils include an appointee by NYS Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader of one voting member to every Regional Council. On Long Island, the membership includes the chief executive of each county and the chief executive of the two largest towns within each county. In New York City, membership includes one representative appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York and the borough president of each county. In every other region, membership includes the chief executive or supervisor of each county, and the chief executive or supervisor of the three municipalities with the largest population, with a limit of one municipal representative per county. These elected officials act in an advisory capacity and participate in discussions and the planning process.
How will Regional Council members avoid conflicts of interest?
To ensure transparency and accountability, a Code of Conduct has been established to ensure there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest that would interfere with any member acting in the best interest of all New Yorkers. In addition, members will be required to participate in ethics training and recuse themselves from deliberations regarding any project or matter which poses an actual or potential conflict.
Who will participate in the Statewide Chairman’s Committee?
The Lieutenant Governor convenes the Statewide Chairman’s Committee to advise the Governor on economic issues that affect multiple regions, identify barriers to economic growth common across regions, counsel how statewide assistance programs can be aligned with Regional Councils’ strategic plans, and strengthen communications between the State and the Regional Councils. The Chairman’s Committee includes statewide stakeholders and the Co-Chairs from each Regional Council.
Will members be compensated for their time or receive any extra benefits?
No, members will serve at will and pro bono to ensure all members are working only in the best interest of their regions.
Can additional members be added to the Council?
The Regional Councils’ initial membership has been selected based on a process that has now come to a close. As vacancies arise, they will be filled by the Governor’s office in consultation with the Regional Council Co-Chairs from the corresponding region.
Work groups played an active role in the development of the Strategic Plans and will provide opportunities for substantive involvement in the Councils by other stakeholders in the region.
How much will Regional Councils cost taxpayers?
Regional Councils are supported by existing resources and personnel that are currently dedicated to economic development efforts. By marshaling the State’s existing resources, the Regional Councils actually maximize taxpayer money by streamlining and coordinating the economic development and planning process, cutting waste, and reducing duplication.
Will the Regional Councils receive assistance in preparing their Strategic Plans?
There will be State agency staff assigned and available to assist the Regional Councils throughout the process. For instance, Regional Councils might consider how best to involve the State Agency Resource Teams with implementation of the strategies, raise public awareness of their plans, engage the public in implementation and ensure a process is in place to measure performance.
State agencies will be expected to join the Regional Councils in their work to grow New York’s economy by undertaking four primary tasks:
- Align State programs with Regional Council priorities
- Eliminate impediments to economic growth
- Provide technical assistance
- Share information to replicate success
What type of funding will be available to help Regional Councils implement their strategic plans?
To encourage the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Councils’ strategic plans and to continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation, the Regional Councils will compete in 2012 for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior tax credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their region.
Five awards of $25 million will be made. The competition will be split in two parts:
- First, the four regions with the 2011 Best Plans will compete for two awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the progress the Regional Councils have made implementing their strategies and evolution of their strategic plans.
- Second, the remaining six regions will compete for three awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the regions’ revised and updated strategic plans and progress made implementing their strategies. The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the regions. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.
What happens after the second round of allocations are made – will there be further contests for funding or will allocations be based on the Strategic Plan and project priorities?
There will be ongoing opportunities for the Regional Councils to identify priority projects and apply for future State funding on an expedited basis.
How will the Councils maintain transparency? Are meetings open to the public?
To ensure a transparent process, Regional Councils will host public sessions. Regional Councils are also encouraged to design innovative ways for stakeholders and the public to actively participate in the planning process. Meeting dates and locations will be available online. In addition, Strategic Plans and progress reports will be posted on www.nyworks.ny.gov.
Where can I find membership and contact information for my Regional Council?
All information about the Regional Councils can be found at www.nyworks.ny.gov.
What is Governor Cuomo’s role in the Regional Councils?
Economic development is a top priority of Governor Cuomo’s administration, and the Regional Councils are the cornerstone of his economic development agenda. Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy guide the Regional Council program to achieve economic growth, create jobs, and reinforce the message that New York State is Open For Business.
What is Lieutenant Governor Duffy’s role in the Regional Councils?
Economic development efforts are more likely to succeed when championed by a prominent leader. Lieutenant Governor Duffy is a former Upstate Mayor with a record of improving the Rochester and Western New York economy. He chairs each Regional Council and convenes a statewide Chairman’s Committee to address issues that affect multiple regions.
How will conflicts between regions be resolved?
Inter-regional or statewide conflicts will be resolved by the Chairman’s Committee, led by the Lieutenant Governor. In general, the Chairman’s Committee will address issues that affect multiple regions, such as barriers to economic growth, and facilitate communication between the State and the Councils.
What will the role of Regional Councils be in relation to the Chairman’s Committee?
The statewide Chairman’s Committee will include the Co-Chairs of each Regional Council, who can provide information and feedback from the regions directly to the leaders of State agencies – problems and opportunities will be identified and can be acted upon quickly because of greater communication channels and the State’s commitment to addressing regional needs.
Will the Regional Councils be disbursing funds directly?
No. The Regional Council will play an advisory role by undertaking four primary activities this year:
- Establish the framework needed to advance Regional Strategic Plans developed last year.
- Implement the Strategies, refining and adding detail, as needed, to the existing Implementation Agenda for strategies to be addressed from 2012 through 2013.
- Create a project pipeline and make recommendations on CFA funding.
- Provide a Progress Report documenting success the Council is achieving in implementing its strategic plan.
Who decides how resources are allocated?
For the competitive funding, State agencies will continue to make exercise discretion and make all final decisions, through a review committee, about how resources are allocated.
In addition to the up to $750 million in competitive grants and tax credits through the CFA process, funding has been allocated to encourage the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Councils’ strategic plans and to continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation. The Regional Councils will compete in 2012 for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their regions.
Five awards of $25 million will be made. The competition will be split in two parts:
- First, the four regions with the 2011 Best Plans will compete for two awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the progress the Regional Councils have made implementing their strategies and evolution of their strategic plans.
- Second, the remaining six regions will compete for three awards of up to $25 million each in capital funds. Awards will be made based on the regions’ revised and updated strategic plans and progress made implementing their strategies.
The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the regions. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.
What kind of projects might the Councils identify and prioritize?
The Regional Council program recognizes that no two regions are identical – and that no one knows their regions better than the people who live there. Strengths, assets and priorities vary from region to region, and the projects identified by each region will vary accordingly. Each Regional Council will conduct a community-based process to identify regionally significant priority projects that align with the Region’s strategic plan.
Continuous Review & Reporting Requirements
How will the progress and success of Regional Councils be measured and reported?
In September 2012, each Regional Council will report on progress made implementing its strategic plan. This report should describe the significant accomplishments the Regional Council has made advancing its strategies through the actions it has taken.
By examining and reporting on progress on the Implementation Agenda, a Regional Council will be able to determine whether its plan is having the desired effect, and whether it needs to modify its strategies to better achieve its vision.
How will the State measure the overall success of the regional approach?
Governor Cuomo is focused on performance and results. To ensure that the Councils are successful in spurring economic growth, performance measurement will be a key component of the Regional Councils program. Important measures of success will be jobs created, amount of new investment, and other economic indicators. Statewide, the success of the regional approach will be measured by improvement in the business climate and overall economy.
Are the Regional Councils another layer of government? Won’t they make it more difficult to conduct business in New York State?
To the contrary, Regional Councils make it easier to conduct business in New York State by serving as a single point of contact to help businesses navigate State government regulations and resources. Regional Councils also work with businesses and State agencies to identify and mitigate regulatory burdens that impede economic growth.
How is the regional approach better than the current approach?
The Regional Council approach is a fundamental departure from New York’s traditional economic development approach, which has been top-down and State-directed. The Governor’s vision is that the State will rely on regional expertise to identify and prioritize significant projects that would maximize the State’s return on investment.
This sounds like it will take a long time to bear fruit. We need jobs now. How will the Regional Councils help in the short-term?
By empowering those who know their regions best, the Regional Councils identify opportunities and projects that are best positioned to create jobs now. The expedited review at the state level ensures these opportunities and projects are advanced as quickly as possible to yield returns in the short-term, while laying groundwork for growth in the long-term. The statewide Chairman’s Committee provides an opportunity for the Regional Co-Chairs of each Regional Council to provide information and feedback from the regions directly to the leaders of State agencies – problems and opportunities are identified and can be acted upon quickly because of greater communication channels and the State’s commitment to addressing regional needs.
NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)
General Application Questions
What is the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)?
As part of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative, the CFA is a modern and easy-to-use online application for accessing state resources currently available from multiple New York State agencies and authorities. The CFA allows applicants to access multiple State funding sources through one application. Application materials can be accessed through http://nyworks.ny.gov.
Why should a grant applicant apply for funding through the CFA process?
The CFA is a more efficient and effective process for applicants to access economic and community development funding. Prior to 2011, applicants had to navigate multiple agencies and applications without any mechanism for coordination. Under this process, the CFA serves as the single entry point for access to economic and community development funding. A CFA can be submitted for single or multiple sources of funding through one application, making it quicker and easier for economic development projects to receive funding.
Who submits a CFA?
An applicant can submit the CFA via a secure, web-based application for the following projects:
- Direct Assistance to Businesses
- Community Development
- Agricultural Economic Development
- Waterfront Revitalization
- Energy Improvements
- Environmental Improvements
- Workforce Development
- Low-Cost Financing
Which agencies offer funding through the CFA?
Twelve State agencies have made funding available through the CFA process, including: Empire State Development; NYS Canal Corporation; Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; New York Power Authority; Department of Labor; Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Department of State; Department of Environmental Conservation; Department of Agriculture and Markets; and the Council on the Arts.
What resources are available through the CFA?
Up to $750 million in State resources will be accessible through the CFA to support the implementation of the priorities identified in each of the Regional Councils’ strategic plans.
Approximate resources currently available through the Consolidated Funding Application process include:
Direct Assistance to Businesses up to $247 million
Empire State Development
- up to $ 150 million for Regional Council Capital Fund
- up to $ 70 million for Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits
- up to $ 20 million for Empire State Economic Development Fund
- up to $ 4 million for Urban and Community Development Program
- up to $ 3 million for Regional Tourism Marketing Grant Initiative (I LOVE NY Fund)
Community Development up to $61.2 million
Homes and Community Renewal
- up to $ 28 million for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding
- up to $ 5.2 million for the New York Main Street Program
- up to $ 4 million for Urban Initiatives Program
- up to $ 4 million for Rural Area Revitalization Projects
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- up to $16 million for Municipal Parks, Historic Preservation, and Heritage Area Projects
Council on the Arts
- up to $ 4 million for New York State Council on the Arts Grant Program
Agricultural Economic Development up to $3 million
Agriculture and Markets
- up to $ 3 million for Agriculture Development Program Waterfront Revitalization up to $16 million
Department of State
- up to $15 million for Local Waterfront Revitalization
- up to $1 million for the Canalway Grants Program
Environmental Improvements up to $3 million+
Environmental Facilities Corporation
- $ TBD million for Green In0.025 innovation Grant Program
Department of Environmental Conservation
- up to $2 million for Clean Water State Revolving Fund Engineering Planning Grant Program
Empire State Development
- up to $1 million for Environmental Investment Fund
Energy Improvements up to $50 million
Energy Research and Development Authority
- up to $50 million for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects & Programs
New York Power Authority
- up to 910 Mega Watts for ReCharge New York
Sustainability up to $12 million
Energy Research and Development Authority
- up to $12 million for Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program
Workforce Development up to $5 million
Department of Labor
- up to $ 5 million for Workforce Investment Act-related training and workforce development activities
Low-Cost Financing up to $350 million
- up to $ 350 million for tax-exempt bonds for private projects with a public purpose
Where can an applicant find guidance on applying for specific funding programs?
On the CFA home page, several documents are posted, detailing how to use the CFA and outlining the available CFA resources. These documents provide applicants with information about the application as well as programmatic detail for each resource that is a part of the CFA process.
What is a “token”?
A token is what applicants use as their password for the CFA system.
How do I get a token?
After clicking “Register Now” at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/register.cfm, you will be asked for your email address, organization name and project alias name. After filling in this required information and answering the security question (ex. 3+5= ) your token will be displayed on the screen. Print or note your token somewhere safe as you will need it to sign in and access your project later.
I have registered and have a token, now what? How do I activate my account?
After you register, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. It will contain your application number and a link to activate your account. You should save a copy of this email and keep it with your sign in information. When you click on the activation link, in your email, a registration confirmation will open up in your browser. To enter your application, click on the login button and enter your email address and token number.
Is the CFA system any different this round?
Yes. Many changes have been made to make navigating through the process of filling out an application easier. It is now easier for applicants to go back to questions already answered. Additionally, information is saved more frequent and applicants have the ability to directly upload attachments into the system.
I submitted an application last round. Can I still access that application?
Yes. You can access your application from the first round by logging in using the token assigned to you during the first round. If you have lost or forgotten your token, you can retrieve it by calling the Customer Care Center at 518-474-4487. Please note that you can only view and/or print your old application. You must fill out a new, Round Two application to be eligible for the current round.
Can I register more than one project on the same application?
No. You will need to register each project separately and obtain a new token and application number for each project.
How are you encouraging participation by likely applicants?
To maximize participation in the process and ensure high-quality applications, over 30 public workshops will be held to explain the programs and eligibility standards, as well as improvements to the application process.
How is a project submitted to the Regional Council for consideration and review? A
Any project may be submitted for consideration through the CFA (by clicking the Consolidated Funding Application tab at: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/). The project will be submitted to the appropriate work group for review and recommendation by the full Council. The Application will be forwarded to the appropriate agency for technical review and scoring.
If applicants have additional questions about the CFA or would like to request assistance with the application who do they contact?
These applicants should reach out directly to their Regional Council through the appropriate email address below. A staff person from the Regional Council can help an applicant apply. For additional questions related to the application, the applicant should reach out through the same email address.
Capital Region: CFARegion1@ny.gov
Central New York: CFARegion2@ny.gov
Finger Lakes: CFARegion3@ny.gov
Long Island: CFARegion4@ny.gov
Mohawk Valley: CFARegion6@ny.gov
New York City: CFARegion7@ny.gov
North Country: CFARegion8@ny.gov
Southern Tier: CFARegion9@ny.gov
Western New York: CFARegion10@ny.gov
What if a project is eligible for funding that is not accessible through the CFA process? How do Regional Councils support applicants in obtaining these resources?
Regional Councils are about making State government work better for businesses to create an environment that will put New Yorkers back to work. Each Council is staffed by representatives from a broad spectrum of State agencies who will help identify priority projects and potential funding sources within their agencies and then directly assist applicants throughout every step of the process.
If a project is not eligible for funding through the CFA process, contact your Regional Office through the email listed in the previous question. State agency staff will work with the Regional Council to identify potential funding sources and/or assistance when a non-eligible project is deemed a priority,
What is the CFA timeline and how does it relate to the work of the Regional Councils?
The CFA solicitation will be open for 70 days – from May 3 until the application due date of 4:00PM July 16. Final attachments related to program specific requirements should be uploaded on the system; where hardcopies are specifically required by a funding agency, they are due by 4:00PM July 23. Scoring by the appropriate Regional Councils and agencies is expected to be finalized by the end of August.
NYSERDA will continue to accept applications to its open enrollment programs until all funds have been exhausted.
What happens to the application once it is submitted?
Once the CFA is submitted by the applicant, it is reviewed and ranked by the appropriate Regional Council(s) in relation to how it will assist in implementing the strategic plan. The agencies that administer the program will exercise due diligence to determine relevant legal issues and potential disqualifying concerns, and assign a technical score to the CFA.
How will the agencies score the CFAs?
The agencies fill out their own score sheets and assign points to eligible projects using criteria contained in the Available CFA Resources document. The score sheet incorporates the individual program’s technical scoring requirements based on the program requirements. The agency’s technical score, worth up to 80% of the total score, will be combined with the Regional Council scoring of up to 20% of the total score.
How will the Regional Councils endorsement standards relate to regional strategic plans?
Each Regional Council will assign a score for CFA projects based on the degree to which the application implements the regional strategic plan, as follows:
Statewide Endorsement Standards For each CFA the Regional Council reviewer will determine the degree to which the application implements the regional strategic plan and assign the corresponding number of points as a score. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN DEGREE POINTS The proposal is identified as a priority project by the Regional Council. Priority 20 The proposal is identified in the plan and has regional benefits. Very Strong 15 The proposal advances the plan and has local benefits. Strong 10 The proposal is consistent with the plan and has project level benefits. Moderate 5 The proposal has limited relationship to the plan. Weak 0
What happens when a project crosses two or more Regional Economic Development Councils?
Each Council will score the application and the average score will be used.
Can applicants reapply for funding of projects that were not successful applications in 2011?
Applicants can reapply for funding for projects not funded in 2011. Applicants are encouraged to consult their Regional Council strategic plan to enhance project proposals to best implement the Regional Council strategic plan.
Do you need a new CFA number if you applied last year?
Yes, you need to reapply through the CFA and obtain a new CFA number and token.
If you’re a consultant representing an applicant, which party is awarded the funding?
Contract is with the applicant, not the consultant
Can you save your application and come back to it?
Yes, the application automatically saves as you complete it and allows you to log in and out as long as you have your login email and token.
What funding resources are available through the CFA?
There are over 20 funding programs that can be accessed through the CFA. Available resources can be found online here.
Where can I find copies of the presentations given at the CFA Workshops?
All workshop materials are here.
Projects are often long term with many phases. Can the application be made now and the project begins next year?
Yes, projects can be submitted during any phase, however please note that project readiness is a key component of evaluations by the Regional Councils and applicable agency
If a project is in process and about to begin another phase, can you apply?
Yes, projects can apply for future expenditures.
Will a project that has merit, but does not create jobs, be considered?
Although job creation is a very important criterion, it is not the only one. Other factors, such as the project’s benefits to the community and how it advances the Strategic Plan, are taken into consideration when scoring applications. Projects that do not directly create jobs are still eligible to apply.
Please clarify the MWBE requirements, what if you cannot find contractors that fit the guidelines?
Regional Council award winners will have language in their contracts that outlines specific commitments to achieving goals for MWBE participation. The awardee commits to these guidelines when they execute the contract. For a list of the registered MWBEs, please visit the following link http://esd.ny.gov/MWBE/directorySearch.html.
What proves good faith effort regarding MWBE participation in sub-contracting?
Specific agency requirements will be included in contracts with projects that are awarded CFA resources.
Is there funding available outside of the CFA?
The CFA is the primary portal for economic development resources. However, there is other funding that is not included in the CFA from a variety of programs.
Will there be opportunity for formal presentations to the councils?
Yes, there are numerous opportunities to address the Regional Council in your area. In addition to the public meetings that the general public may participate in, each Council holds public forums throughout their region to both inform and listen to what people have to say. Contact the ESD Regional office in your area for more information. This contact information can be found at http://esd.ny.gov/RegionalOverviews.html by clicking your region on the map.
What entities are eligible for funding?
Can you apply for two different projects?
Yes. Each project will need to be registered and applied for separately. That is, each project will need to have its own CFA and application number.
If a project will be multi-regional, how is this indicated on the application? How will this type of project be scored by the applicable Regional Councils?
There is a section in the CFA that prompts the applicant to select the region in which the project is located. If the project affects multiple regions, select all that apply. The project will be evaluated by each Regional Council in which the project falls.
Is it important to have matching funds?
This is dependent on the agency and funding program through which funds are requested from. Projects that leverage funding from other sources will be viewed favorably.
Is it possible to have a State wide region for a project?
Yes, there can be State wide projects in the CFA. When completing the application, you will need to select all regions.
So, applications and attachments need to be finalized by 4pm on July 16th?
Yes, all application materials must be uploaded to the system by 4pm on July 16th. If you attempt to upload your attachments and are unsuccessful 5 times, the CFA will prompt you to mail those attachments to a specific address. Mailed attachments need to be received at that address by July 23.
Are there different due dates depending on which funding you are requesting?
No, all applications are due by 4pm on July 16th. However, there are some programs in the CFA have a rolling deadline, meaning they will continue to accept applications post-July 16th and until all funds have been awarded. For more information, please see the Available Resources document available here.
Is there any way to see who was awarded these grants in previous awards and how much they received?
Do all agencies have staff to answer questions?
Every agency’s program presentation has contact information included. These presentations can also be found on the CFA Workshops webpage here. Additionally, there is contact information for CFA program questions in the application itself. Click the “Help” tab for more information.
Does the CFA on-line application process require an applicant to answer the same questions twice if applying for funding with multiple agencies?
An advantage of the Consolidated Funding Application is to combine applications from multiple state agencies in one location to avoid duplication as much as possible. Given the complexity of the funding available, there may be some similarities between program questions if the project is eligible for multiple funding streams.
Will there be a size limit for uploaded documents to the CFA process?
The max size is 6 MB, but multiple files can be uploaded. If the document to be uploaded exceeds the size limitations, the application will provide an address to mail the attachment.
How was the CFA improved and simplified from last year?
Based on feedback from applicants, agencies and Regional Directors, multiple improvements have been made to the CFA and the applicable processes. Some of these improvements include: improvements to the functionality and application interface to make the CFA more user-friendly, standardization of the Regional Council endorsement standards, where possible increasing applicant contact with state agencies during the application process, increased number of CFA Workshops statewide, help buttons in the CFA for each question to provide valuable links and information on the regulatory requirements of the programs, and many more.
How does the available funding this year compare to the 2011 funding?
There are new programs added to the CFA, including support for tourism and marketing projects, and the addition of the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Council on the Arts. Other programs that did not fit well with the CFA timeline, such as affordable housing funding that was available last year from HCR have been removed from the CFA. Additionally, some of the funding streams included last year, such as Department of Transportation, were exhausted and are not included in the 2012 CFA.
How do you do the budget for multiple programs?
You will have separate budget lines for each program requiring budget information.
Can you access applications that were submitted last year for review?
Please contact the agency you applied to for more information on your 2011 CFA application. Contact information for each agency can be found in each agency’s workshop presentations, found here.
I am aware that the CFA will guide you to eligible programs, but is it advisable to reach out to the specific agencies as well?
The CFA and other online resources are very user friendly, but applicants are encouraged to make contact with agency staff when necessary. Contact information for specific agencies is found on the last page of all of the workshop presentations. Those presentations are available at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/genericcfa/wkshoptable# by clicking on the agency which you wish to contact.
Empire State Development (ESD) Funding
Would energy efficiency projects be considered and how confidential is the information given on the application?
Energy efficiency projects are considered for funding and most directly align with CFA funding available from NYSERDA. Please see the Available Resources document here.
It is understood that some of the information requested on the application is confidential. Questions marked with the "restricted" symbol will be only be viewed by the applicable funding agency and will not be given to members of the Regional Economic Development Council. Be sure to give confidential information only to questions marked "restricted." If you are concerned that a question not marked "restricted" is asking you to reveal confidential information, please contact the "Help" email at the top of the application page.
What about projects with multiple phases? Can you submit an application for one phase of a project during this CFA round and then submit for other phases in subsequent rounds?
Yes. For multi-phased projects, you can submit the first phase of the project during this CFA round and subsequent project phases during future CFA rounds.
Is the Urban and Community Development program new?
This program is new to the CFA this round, but the program itself is not new. For more information on this program, please see the description online at http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/UCDP.html
Does the project have to be completed before receiving reimbursement?
ESD funding is typically done on a reimbursement basis, however timeframes will be established on a case by case basis as part of the contract with awarded projects.
Can a company apply for funding for a company they just acquired?
Yes, that is eligible. However, the acquisition costs are not eligible.
Can one project fall under different programs?
Yes. Projects can be eligible for multiple programs and, in some cases, programs from different agencies.
Can a ski resort qualify for any funding if they want to increase their seasonal business to a year round business?
Can a college qualify for capital improvement?
Do you provide capital assets to finance a start up business?
No, but depending on the project, it could be eligible for Excelsior Job Tax Credits. These credits are refundable so any credits earned that are not used to lower a business' tax liability are provided as a cash refund. Since many start-up businesses have net operating losses in the first few years and no tax liability, these credits can help finance growth of a business.
Do you provide financing for minority businesses?
All programs available from ESD in the CFA are available to MWBEs. Additionally, Governor Cuomo's Executive Order #8 has, for the first time, standardized contract language across state agencies pursuant of an overall goal of 20% MWBE participation in state contracting activities including awards made through the CFA. Projects funded through ESD will be subject the agency-wide goal of 23% MWBE participation.
Additionally, ESD also offers loan programs for MWBEs that are outside of the CFA process. For more information, please see http://www.esd.ny.gov/MWBE.html.
How does the Excelsior Jobs Credit Program work?
The Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in such targeted industries as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment are eligible to apply for tax credits. Businesses claim the credits over a 10 year period. To earn credits, firms must first meet and maintain the established job and investment thresholds. The minimum net new job requirement is 10 for agriculture, software development, and research and development projects. The minimum net new job requirement is 25 for manufacturers, 100 for certain financial services operations, and 150 for back-office operations and distribution centers. For further information about the Program see http://esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/Excelsior.html
What is the maximum allowed for this Tourism program?
There is not a maximum threshold for the size of the awards. Award sizes will be determined based on several factors including: project scope and number of winning proposals.
If a business has started purchasing equipment for a project before applying for funding and continues to purchase equipment after receiving the award letter, can any portion of the equipment purchases be funded by the grant?
The equipment purchased after the grant is awarded can be funded by the grant. However, please note that ESD generally offers funding to businesses for projects that would not be undertaken without ESD support and, therefore, have not started.
If the building is a mixed used development (i.e. stores on first floor, residential apartments above), can the grant be used to fund the commercial component (the stores?)
Yes, the commercial component of the project is an eligible cost. Please discuss with your ESD Regional Office. Contact information for those offices can be found here.
Please clarify the timing as it relates to incurring of costs to be funded by the grant.
Funds may only be used for expenses incurred after the Applicant has countersigned an ESD incentive offer letter. Please click here for more information.
What happens if a general contractor or developer is seeking grant funding for a "shovel ready" project, and it takes that business several months to reach agreements with other businesses (i.e. architects and engineers) needed to do the work?
Timeframes for pre-development and development activity are built into the ESD Contract for awarded projects. ESD will work with the awardee to define timelines per the scope of work for the project.
I am concerned about 20% cap on funding. Will you be directed to multiple sources of funding?
The CFA will automatically direct you to the funding programs to which an applicant may be eligible. The review process requires projects to show viability and to leverage outside resources. Specifically, ESD is looking for projects financed with existing resources that are looking to use State funds to fill a gap.
Do you want to see other funding sources?
Yes. The CFA will direct you to provide out detailed funding and budget information.
Is there a specific grant range?
No. ESD seeks to fund no more than 20% of project costs and also undertakes a Benefit Cost analysis to determine an appropriate amount of assistance.
Can an awardee possibly receive less than the amount requested?
Yes, businesses could potentially get less than asked for.
Will grants have the ability to be multi-year, long term or sub projects?
Yes, depending on how the grant is submitted and what the specific request is.
Is investing in business incubators eligible?
Yes, but only if the investment is going towards capital projects such as investing in land or building acquisition.
Is a grant proposal focusing on tourism growth eligible?
A Tourism Regional Grant proposal would need to be regionally focused and incorporate a marketing plan in order to be eligible.
Would the ESD be a co-owner/investor?
No. ESD administers the funding for its 6 programs included in the CFA, but does not have an ownership or investment role for those programs.
I'm interested in starting a new museum, highlighting local agriculture of the region. I'd need new staff (retail) and new facilities. Would I be eligible?
Yes, the new facilities portion of the project would be eligible. For the new staff portion, consider training and new hire grants available from the Department of Labor. For more details on the DOL programs please see the Available Resources document (available here) and/or the DOL program workshop presentation (available here).
Are excelsior tax credits business tax credits?
Yes, this program is available to businesses that create new jobs and make capital investments in NYS.
Are the topics/grants discussed at the workshops all that is available from ESD?
The 6 ESD programs discussed at the CFA workshops are all that is available in this CFA round from ESD. However, there is additional funding available from ESD that is not included in the CFA. Please go to the website www.ESD.NY.GOV for more information on these programs.
Can retail businesses submit proposals and request funding?
Yes, for capital projects.
Are soft costs, including administrative costs, eligible under ESD's programs?
Soft costs related to a construction project (architectural, engineering, financing, and legal fees, and other pre- and post-construction expenses) can be included as match contribution, however organizational administrative costs are not eligible.
Are there requirements for the size of the business or how established the business is?
Start-ups and/or young businesses are not excluded from receiving ESD funding. Although awardees have typically been established for three or more years, any project that show appropriate specificity and exhibit viability will be considered.
Will the same application be used for the same project for a for-profit corporation?
Can a "for-profit" apply for a Tourism Grant? Would it be possible to commit to contributing 60% of the project cost and asking for 40%?
Per the guidelines, entities that may apply are: non-profit organizations, municipalities and public benefit corporations; therefore "for-profits" are not eligible to apply for this grant. There is no match requirement for this grant program, with that said the applicant must be able to provide proof of their financial capability to perform the project and a proposal that shows a higher rate of investment may score higher.
Do out of state MWBEs count?
The business has to be NYS certified.
What are the cost/benefit ratios on the investment track? What are the minimum job creation requirements for the investment track program?
Certain strategic businesses that have at least 50 employees may qualify under the investment track and must have a benefit-cost ratio of at least 10 to 1. The benefit-cost ratio means a business must have at least $10 of investment and new wages for every $1 of tax credit.
What is the turn-around for the Capital Grant Application?
All CFA applications are due on July 16, 2012 and awards will be made in the Fall.
What if an applicant or business has a project that is time-sensitive? Is there a process for these types of projects?
Yes, each Regional Council has established an Executive Committee to deal with time-sensitive and/or confidential projects that do not fit the timeline established by the CFA. The Executive Committee would review and make an endorsement on the project on behalf of the full Regional Council. Eligibility for this process is at the discretion of ESD.
Is there any exception to funding being reimbursed vs. funding being up front?
Funding is not advanced except in rare cases, such as a locally managed revolving loan fund.
What is the funds and job creation connection?
Specifically, ESD needs to know - how many jobs are being retained? How many are being created? If you don't meet the specific requirements of the programs, the application will automatically mark you as ineligible for that program. Please see the Available Resources document for more specific information on each program.
Can I use this funding for upgrading machinery or to buy new machinery for my business?
Yes, that is an eligible expense under the Capitol Grants program.
When are you reimbursed for grants (ESD Grant Programs)?
Reimbursement occurs the end of the project.
What is the second box on the RFP Job Growth track under Excelsior Jobs program (P2 last slide)?
In the example, the 20 stands for 20 jobs to be created by a scientific research and development firm to be considered a regionally significant project, which when combined with the matching investment requirement of $6 million, makes such a business qualify for one additional credit, the real property tax credit.
Is there a minimum amount that an application needs for regional tourism marketing grant initiative?
There is no minimum grant request established.
Grants seem to be for large businesses only. Is this the case?
No, businesses of all sizes are eligible. ESD will look at and consider projects for funding individually. In addition to funding opportunities available through the CFA, ESD has a small business "start-up fund" and an "entrepreneur assistance program," both of which are not included in the CFA. Please go to ESD.NY.GOV for more information on these programs.
Tourism Grant - are individual projects by Towns and/or Villages eligible? What about small projects? Are applications the same for all size projects?
Applicants can be towns and/or villages, but project proposals must be regionally based to be eligible. The CFA application is the same for all applicants and as long as a proposal is regional themed and the applicant(s) are a non-profit organizations, municipalities or public benefit corporation they are eligible to apply for this grant.
Tourism Grant - Are festivals & annual events eligible to apply?
Festivals and events that can be destination based and must show a region wide affect on tourism are eligible. Applicants are also advised to focus on projects that are aligned with the Regional Council strategy for the region the project will take place in.
Tourism/Marketing - What qualifies? Just marketing?
Program grants are focused on regional tourism marketing, which includes advertising and promotions.
What are the features and purpose of the Urban Community Development Program?
Development in commercial areas, central business districts, and highly distressed areas development are the emphases.
Can you use the same project number as last year?
No, you need to obtain a new CFA application number.
If a business receives a NYS employment tax credit, does that count against excelsior?
If a business is receiving an employment incentive credit, or any other non-refundable tax credit, the non-refundable credits are first applied to a business' tax liability. The Excelsior tax credits, which are refundable, are then applied to further reduce the tax liability and any remainder is provided as a cash refund. If other non refundable credits already reduced a business' liability to the minimum allowed, then all of the Excelsior tax credits are provided as a cash refund.
Are there any requirements on income?
No, there are no minimum wage requirements for new jobs to qualify under the program. However, the jobs tax credit is based on the value of wages paid to new employees. Specifically, the jobs tax credit can be up to 6.85 percent of gross wages. Therefore, higher paying jobs can qualify for a higher jobs tax credit. Additionally, wages cannot be below the legal minimum wage requirements.
Is there a map of the empire zones?
The Empire Zone areas represent those areas designated as of June 30, 2010 when the Program expired. If you have a specific address and would like to determine whether it falls within an Empire Zone, contact the Program Office at 518 292-5240.
Please note that, if you are collecting payments through the Empire Zone program, you are not eligible for the Excelsior Tax Credits program.
Department of Labor (DOL) Funding
Is there a minimum length of time that training has to occur for the New Hire or Existing Worker Training Grant?
There is no minimum length of time but there is a maximum of one year.
If a business has a temporary employee and wants to hire them as a permanent employee would they be eligible under the New Hire Grant?
No. They would not meet the definition of long-term unemployed. However, once hired as a permanent employee, these incumbents might be eligible for training under the “Existing Employee Training Program.”
A soon to be built manufacturing company will be hiring Engineers who will not likely require training, but they will also be hiring production workers who would need training. Should we apply now?
If you won’t be in a position to hire in one year, you should wait for future CFA opportunities.
Is the $100,000 cap per applicant or per project?
It is per applicant.
Does it matter if the training is credit or non-credit?
In 2011, a manufacturer submitted project proposal through the CFA to DOL for worker training. The project proposal was denied. The manufacturer plans to hire 50 employees over the next five years. How can the manufacturer find out why the proposal was denied? Also, can the manufacturer apply again this year?
Yes, the manufacturer can submit project proposals through this CFA solicitation. Applicants should remember the focus is on the Regional Economic Development Council’s (REDC) regional plan and objectives. You can find out more information about your application last year by contacting DOL by e-mail at labor.sm.dews.CFA@labor.ny.gov.
What is the timetable when fund distribution has to be used?
Is there any reimbursement for administrative costs?
Are new hires eligible?
Yes. Long Term unemployed can be trained under the “New Hire Training Program”. Recent new hires may also be trained under the “Existing Employee Training Program”, if they are on the payroll at the time of application.
Would laying-off an employee due to lack of skills qualify if he is replaced by someone else.
No. However, the applicant may apply for funds under the “Existing Employee Training Program” to train the worker at risk of being laid off due to lack of skills as part of a layoff aversion strategy.
What do I do first if I want to hire 10 new hires?
Apply for funding and wait for the completion of the review and award process. You must get an award letter first. If you hire the individuals prior to the award date, they would not be eligible for the program.
Do benefit corporations qualify?
Public benefits corporations are not eligible.
Who is eligible for Workforce training?
Existing employees at risk of being laid off and long-term unemployed workers are eligible to be trained. Eligible applicants are private sector for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, including LLPs and LLCs, who are: registered with the NYS Department of State Division of Corporations; have four or more employees; and who are in good standing regarding Unemployment Insurance, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), public works, labor standards, safety and health, and Worker Compensation Insurance and Disability Insurance. Additionally, training providers are eligible to apply for funding consideration under the Unemployed Worker Training Program. Unincorporated Workforce Investment Boards interested in applying under this offering must designate the local area’s WIA Grant Recipient as the official grantee for any award under this offering.
Can Non-Profit Organizations qualify?
Yes. Private sector not-for-profit entities are eligible to apply.
What is considered full time?
35 hours per week or more is considered full time.
Does DOL have a list of pre-approved eligible training programs?
DOL cannot pre-approve any courses. Each course must be evaluated within the context of the overall application for funding.
Can I hire anyone for the workforce program?
You must work with eligible trainees from each category.
Can I estimate what the need is?
For the New Hire and Unemployed Worker Training Programs, it is likely that your hiring needs will be a “best guess” at the time of application.
What is the definition of a ‘new hire’?
A new hire must be a long-term unemployed individual who will be hired as an employee of the business during the contract period, and not an independent contractors or a contract employee. It must be full-time employment (defined as 35 hours or more per week) in New York State paying a minimum of $10.00/hour
Can a college under the umbrella of a larger University apply for the maximum of $100,000 or is it considered part of the University?
If separate operations or locations of an eligible business want to apply separately, they may do so only if they have different Federal Employer Identification Numbers (FEINs). However, although an organization, company or corporation may have its different branches, locations and/or related companies under separate names and/or FEINs, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) may determine that all such branches, locations and companies are part of the greater whole. In this case, the business and its components are only eligible for one Existing Employee Training award per grant solicitation, not one per location, and are subject as a whole to the funding limitations described in the RFP. Bear in mind, training providers may only apply for training needed by their existing workforce or new hires. Training providers may not apply for funding on behalf of a third party to provide any training needed by the third party.
Where can we find a list of training providers and their course offerings?
DOL leaves the assessment of workers’ training needs and the selection of the training provider up to the applicant business. If assistance is needed, an applicant may contact their local business services representative, or visit DOL’s Eligible Training Provider List at https://applications.labor.ny.gov/ETPL/.
Where the requirements say the business must list job openings in the NYS Job Bank, does that mean all the jobs in the company?
Per Section VI (A)(1) of the RFP, applicant must attest that if awarded, job openings that occur during the contract period will be listed with the NYSDOL Job Bank. To place a job order, go to: http://www.labor.ny.gov/businessservices/services/perm.shtm
Is the DOL application the same as the CFA Application or are they two separate documents?
It is the same document. It can be found online at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.
Is it possible to obtain funding for feasibility studies?
That is not an eligible expense under DOL’s programs. Please check the Available CFA Resources document at http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/assets/documents/2012-Available-CFA-Resources.pdf for a full listing of agencies, programs, and eligible activities.
Can you please explain on the new hire training program and how a new hire prevents lay-offs?
A business in a position to hire new workers is not in a layoff posture. Consequently, it is not the intent of the “New Hire Training Program” to prevent layoffs but rather to help offset the cost of businesses paying for the training needs of newly hired long-term unemployed individuals. Certainly, the resulting training should support a business’ expansion plans, helping to make it more competitive in its market, and thereby minimize the need for any future layoffs.
What does “hires have to be employees of the business” mean?
The result of the training must be full time employment with a minimum of $10/hour. They may not be contractors or consultants.
Do workers hired through a temp agency qualify?
Those workers would not be eligible if they remain in the employ of the temp agency.
Is there any post-award follow up on employment on the new hire training program?
DOL Business Services staff and Field staff will maintain contact with awardees under this program. Information will also be provided to DOL on the vouchers (requests for payment) and there will be reporting requirements that must be met.
What are the advantages of entering "unemployed worker training" vs. "new hire training" to an individual that has been unemployed for more than 26 weeks?
New Hire training is done on the job in a one-on-one format with an experienced employee or supervisor providing instruction while the employee is engaged in productive work. Unemployed worker training provides skills and instruction in a classroom setting and is conducted prior to the interview and hiring process.
Is DOL’s CFA programs federal funds?
Yes, the DOL portion of the CFA uses $5 million in Workforce Investment Act Rapid Response funds.
When will funds be available for the Existing Employee program?
Applications for funding are being accepted until July 16, 2012 at 4pm. Funds will not be available until after award letters are issued and contracts are developed and executed.
Is there a requirement for an interview for the UI worker training?
Yes, we are asking businesses that apply to commit to interviewing the graduates of the training program in an attempt to fill their open positions. The goal of the program is to benefit the business by providing the opportunity to hire individuals who are long term unemployed and to benefit the unemployed worker by providing them with in-demand skills and an opportunity to obtain employment.
Can the Long Term Unemployed training program subsidize internships?
No. Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are generally temporary and the interns are not considered to be employees of the company.
How does one qualify for classroom training?
Eligible applicants are private sector for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, including LLPs and LLCs, who are: registered with the NYS Department of State Division of Corporations; have four or more employees; and who are in good standing regarding Unemployment Insurance, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), public works, labor standards, safety and health, Worker Compensation Insurance and Disability Insurance. Additionally, training providers are eligible to apply for funding consideration, as a training provider, under the Unemployed Worker Training Program. Unincorporated Workforce Investment Boards interested in applying under this offering must designate the local area’s WIA Grant Recipient as the official grantee for any award under this offering. Classroom training can be conducted under the Existing Employee Training Program or the Unemployed Worker Training Program.
Are there training dollars available for returning Veterans?
Veterans are eligible for training under all three programs as long as they meet eligibility criteria.
Are Business plans needed to receive funding?
No, applicants are not required to submit a business plan. However, the applicant does need to provide specifics regarding the skills assessments that were performed and why the training is needed.
I am using a NYC training program. Would I still be able to use these State training programs?
If the proposed training is being funded by another program, CFA funds cannot also be sought, because that would result in 200% reimbursement of the applicant’s costs.
Regarding the Unemployed Worker Training Program, may the trainee participate in payment for the training? For example, may we ask for funding for $2,000 per trainee and the trainee will pay $2,000 for the rest – thus leveraging private funds for this program?
Trainees cannot be asked to contribute to the cost of the training. Any portion of the training that is not covered by the CFA funding would have to be paid by the applicant business.
Are individuals who have never been employed (i.e. students and/or high school graduates) eligible to participate in the unemployed worker training program?
Yes. High school graduates or college students/graduates who have not worked for the previous 26 or more weeks would qualify as an eligible trainee under the New Hire or the Unemployed Worker Training Programs.
The Unemployed Worker Training Program application asks: “Identify…the percentage of the trainees that are expected to enter employment after the training.” Is the training provider expected to do placement if the interview doesn’t result in the job?
No. The intent of the question is to have the applicant provide an estimate of the number of trainees that the business will hire, or, in the case of an applicant that is a training provider, an estimate of the number of trainees that they expect to place at the completion of the training. If, after a participant has completed the training and been interviewed, they are not hired, there is no further obligation on the part of an applicant business to provide placement, monitoring or follow-up services to the participant. However, training providers should encourage these trainees to contact their local One-Stop Career Center to take advantage of various job search assistance services available through the State Labor Department’s One-Stop Career Center system. A listing of Local One-Stop Career Centers is available on the NYSDOL website at: http://www.labor.ny.gov/workforcenypartners/osview.asp.
Can application attachments be signed, scanned and emailed?
No. Application attachments printed, completed, signed and submitted by mail to DOL. Please contact DOL by email at labor.sm.dews.CFA@labor.ny.gov or by phone if you have any issues.
Can colleges apply for the DOL grants?
Yes, colleges are eligible applicants.
Are “work experience participants” at not-for-profits eligible employees?
If the participants are work experience only, they would not be employees of the not-for-profit and would not be eligible for Existing Employee or New Hire programs. If they are long-term unemployed, they may be eligible to be trained under the Unemployed Worker program.
What is the minimum wage that must be paid for your grant?
$10.00/hour is the minimum for the New Hire program. There is no set minimum (other than the legally prescribed minimum wage) for the other two programs.
How do you define “equipment”?
Items such as computers and production machinery are good examples.
What is the process for reimbursement?
In order to receive reimbursement for costs under the program, the awardee must first provide payment (e.g., to the training provider, or wages to the worker under New Hire) and then vouchers are submitted to DOL for reimbursement.
Do new hires have to be hired prior to the grant?
The workers must be hired after the grant is awarded to be eligible for reimbursement.
Is there a match program?
For the New Hire program, the applicant must hire and pay the trainee’s wages. Tthe applicant will be reimbursed 50% of the wages, minus any fringe benefits, while the individual is being trained on the job. While there is no match requirement under the other two DOL programs, match is part of the scoring of each application.
Do applicants for these programs have to be for not-for-profits?
Eligible applicants are private sector for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, including LLPs and LLCs, who are: registered with the NYS Department of State Division of Corporations; have four or more employees; and who are in good standing regarding Unemployment Insurance, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), public works, labor standards, safety and health, Worker Compensation Insurance and Disability Insurance. Additionally, training providers are eligible to apply for funding consideration, as a training provider, under the Unemployed Worker Training Program. Unincorporated Workforce Investment Boards interested in applying under this offering must designate the local area’s WIA Grant Recipient as the official grantee for any award under this offering. Classroom training can be conducted under the Existing Employee Training Program or the Unemployed Worker Training Program..
Can funds be used for municipalities?
No. Public sector employees are not eligible to be trained.
Do all the jobs have to be full-time?
For the Existing Employee Training Program, part-time employees are eligible for training under this grant if they have a permanent, year-round attachment to the business. For the New Hire and Unemployed Worker Programs, the positions must be full time (35 or more hours per week).
Agriculture & Markets Funding
Would the process of starting a food hub in Albany be considered for the grant?
The project would be eligible to apply for funding.
Would energy improvements for a dairy farm like solar thermal and wind generation be considered?
Yes energy improvements are eligible. You should also look into NYSERDA programs.
Does a building in Ag-Tech Park qualify?
Do you cover feasibility studies for Agricultural funding?
Can a farmer apply for a Digester?
Is there a “jobs created” requirement rule for the Agricultural grants?
No. There is no such requirement for this grant.
Ag & Market grants include Fish Farming?
If a company is interested in coming to the area and is interested in funding sources from NYSERDA and Agriculture and Markets, what should they do?
Apply through the CFA and the application will lead you to eligible programs including Ag&Markets and NYSERDA programs.
Can this grant be used to expand agricultural markets?
I want to start a business that will foster new farmers to turn this area into a food hub. I’d invest in more greenhouses , farm equipment and farmer training. Would I be eligible?
Is the beginning farmer loan a loan?
Is the $3 million in grants available for each region or statewide? Will grants be possibly reduced?
The grants are for the entire State and yes, the amount awarded to a project could be less than what was requested. Additionally, the grants could be mixed and matched with other funding programs available in the CFA, depending on eligibility.
Can farmers apply directly?
No. An eligible entity such as a local economic development agency, municipality, or not for profit corporation may apply on behalf of a farmer.
Is there a preference for large vs. small grant requests and/or project sizes?
They will be treated equally.
Are dairy processors and equipment upgrades eligible?
Yes, equipment upgrades are considered eligible costs
Is there any required geographic distribution for this funding?
No, there is no specific geographical distribution.
Does the State want to see a plan or specifics, or projects that are underway?
Yes, the Department of Agriculture and Markets would like to see any information pertinent to a project’s application and current status.
Are forestry products covered?
Yes, that is eligible.
Is a for profit business an eligible applicant?
For profit businesses are not eligible applicants.
Do Port Authorities count as eligible?
Is there a match requirement?
Yes, there is a 50% match requirement.
What can be used as cash or in-kind contributions?
There is no prohibition on the match.
The program will provide up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Can part of the match be in-kind? If so, what percent of the match can be in-kind?
In-kind can be used as match. There is not a percentage restriction on using in-kind services as match.
How are the proposals going to be reviewed? Are they going to be scored? Are there any guidelines in place regarding the reviewing and rating of grant applications?
There are guidelines for how the applications are scored. Please see the CFA Resource Guide, Agriculture Development Program, Selection Criteria, page 65.
If a farm is interested in expanding its operation, would it be eligible as a single entity applying through a municipality or IDA?
Yes. As you state, the farm must apply through an eligible entity such as a municipality or IDA.
I would like to propose a statewide profit team program open to all farms across the commodities, not limited to just dairy. Is it possible to put in a stateside proposal or applications restricted to within a district?
The Profit Team Program would be considered a business planning type of program. Planning studies and programs are not eligible for funding.
Is the Ag Development Grant Program a CDBG program? I am guessing that it is EPF money, since there isn't any mention of CDBG, but would rather know for sure.
The Agriculture Development Program is not funded through the CDBG program or the EPF funds. The program was funded through a line item in the agency's budget.
I have a local vineyard that is in dire need of expansion and seems to fit the criteria listed for the Agriculture Development Program. Is this program available as direct assistance to the agricultural entity, or does a nonprofit have to apply on their behalf?
For-profit entities are not eligible to apply directly for funding through the Agriculture Development Program. In your example, the winery must apply through an eligible applicant as stated in the program guidelines on page 64 of the CFA Resource Guide. The local development corporation is an eligible entity.
Are there any expectations on how many grants will be awarded , or expectations for the typical amount that will be awarded?
The Department does not have any expectations regarding the number of projects it expects to fund. There is $3 million available Statewide for the program. The minimum grant request is $30,000, maximum grant request is $500,000, and the program will fund up to 50 percent of the project cost.
Can City bond funds be used for the City's portion of the match?
Yes, bond funds can be used as match.
I am exploring options for an expansion of a farm here on Long Island. It is a family-owned business that is over a century old, and is looking to expand with a new facility and upgrade some of the current facilities. Naturally this will add a few more jobs. The capital investment is estimated to be at least a couple million dollars. I was wondering if you thought this might be something eligible for the Agricultural Development Program, or if there is another program that would be suitable.
Based upon the information provided, it appears the project is eligible to apply for funding through the Agriculture Development Program. Based upon the other components of the project, you may qualify for other CFA programs i.e. ESD, NYSERDA, etc.
If you have not already done so, you should check out the CFA Resource Guide, www.nyworks.ny.gov.
Would building a farmers' market and/or a bathroom facility be an eligible and competitive project under the Ag Development Grants Program?
The project as described is eligible. In order to determine whether or not the project is competitive, please refer to page 62 of the CFA Available Resource Guide, found on the nyworks.ny.gov website.
I am trying to expand a farmstead cheese business, but the application form tells me I do not qualify as agricultural. Please help.
Eligible Applicants must be one of the following:
- Counties and municipalities;
- Local development corporations;
- Regional development corporations;
- Public benefit corporations;
- Industrial development agencies;
- Farm credit institutions; or
- Not-for-profit corporations.
For profit businesses are not eligible to apply directly for funds. They may apply through one of the eligible applicants listed above.
We are interested in submitting a Consolidated Funding Application for interior and exterior capital improvements to our farmers market that may include resurfacing the floor and painting the exterior. We are also interested in developing a demonstration kitchen. We do have a match through the city capital funds. Would these ideas fit?
Based on the information provided, it appears the project and costs are eligible under the Agriculture Development Program. The goal of this program is to promote agricultural economic development through funding a project or projects that will increase New York farm viability through expansion, value added production, diversification, or long term reduction of operating costs. Competitive proposals will show how the project will increase New York farm profitability through expansion, value added production, diversification, or long term reduction of operating costs.
My clients are looking to build a malt house on their farm, and would like to apply for CFA funding. I don't think they are eligible to apply directly, and would need a sponsor. Am I correct?
The project as described below appears to be an eligible project. As recognized in the description, the Farm House Brewery would not be eligible to apply directly through the CFA. An eligible applicant, as set forth in the CFA Available Resource Guide, Agriculture Development Program, must submit the application. The project would also have to meet all of the other eligibility criteria set forth in the Resource Guide.
A client of mine has developed a fertilizer that kills ticks that carry Lyme disease. They are in the process of obtaining third party verification through the CDC. They are in need of funding and expertise on how to get this product to shelf. This fertilizer can be used for the average household, as well as farm use. Would this type of project be considered for grant funding?
Based on the information provided, the project may be eligible for funding through the CFA Agriculture Development Program. Please see the CFA Available Resource Guide, page 62, for program requirements. The Resource Guide is available at www.nyworks.ny.gov. The Program Guidelines will give direction regarding eligible applicants, eligible projects, scoring criteria, and funding priorities.
Would a request of $300,000, with assistance from the Development Authority, be eligible to capitalize our Value-Added Agriculture Program through this CFA Program? The Authority would like to provide low-interest loans to this and a few neighboring counties to be able to expand businesses and agri-businesses in this region.
Based upon the information provided, it appears that the project is eligible.
Does the Agriculture Development Grant Program require owners resumes or personal tax returns or personal financial statements for a new start up?
The Agriculture Development Program does not require submission of owners' resumes, personal income tax returns or personal financial statements.
The Agricultural Development Program states that the eligible administration amount is up to 10 percent of the grant. Please give an example.
Example: Total grant request of $220,000 x 10% (admin cost) = $22,000 (eligible admin cost).
One of the farmers in my county has asked if the county Cornell Cooperative Extension office could be the applicant for a project that they would like to submit. If we did and the project was funded, would the funding come through the CCE, or could it go directly to the farmer?
The Cornell Cooperative Extension Office is an eligible applicant. If awarded funding, the CCE Office would enter into a contract with the Department, and would distribute the funding to the eligible project.
Can we use the new FSA loan as a match since it will be used to buy the big bin for the soybean operation?
Yes, proceeds from the FSA loan are eligible as long as the proceeds are not spent on the project prior to the award of a grant.
Can we use the planted soybeans as a match?
Assuming this project is selected for funding and a contract is entered into, the value of the soybeans grown this season to be used with the press can be used as match.
Can we use labor as a match installing the soybean unit?
Labor may be used to satisfy matching funds requirements.
Can we leverage the loan on custom harvesting equipment to buy additional equipment?
Proceeds from an existing loan used to buy equipment that will be used in the eligible project cannot be used as matching funds.
The plan for the hop harvester is to buy the components and have farm labor put it together…can that labor be used as match?
Can the engineer that is working on the water system bill his time for a match?
Please note that any work that has been completed or equipment that has been purchased prior to the award of a grant cannot be reimbursed using grant funds, nor can it be used to satisfy matching funds requirements.
I am in the process of renovating an old store in the middle of a rural hamlet, and my goal is to have a coffee/bakeshop/deli that provides local goods/produce/meat. I am two minutes from a USDA processing plant and want to encourage more people who raise local meat to be processed there and sold in my store. I want to sell locally grown producer/berries/syrups, etc….without the farmers having to invest time in sitting at the store. Is this something that could fall under Ag Development?
Based upon the information provided, it appears your project is eligible for funding under the Agriculture Development Program.
Please read the program guidelines carefully to understand eligibility requirements and funding priorities. The program guidelines may be found on page 62 of the CFA Resource Manual, located on the right-hand side of the following website: www.nyworks.ny.gov.
We are hoping to provide training to market managers, including all Fresh Connect market managers, to help them improve their management skills, better understand agricultural production, and improve opportunities for farmers and producers to increase their revenue at farmers markets. Do you think this project would qualify for CFA funding?
Based on the information provided, it does not appear the project is eligible for funding under the Agricultural Development Program. An eligible project is a project designed and intended for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, or expanding an agricultural operation, or for providing facilities and/or markets for the production, manufacturing, processing, warehousing, distribution or sale of crops, livestock and livestock products as defined in subdivision two of section 301 f the Agriculture and Markets Law. The project as described is a training program for farmers' market managers. Also, your project cost is $32,000. The minimum grant for the program is $30,000, and must be matched by 50 percent using other funds. Therefore, the minimum total project cost must be $60,000.
We own a cheese and yogurt processing operation on our farm. We would like to build a larger processing plant near the farm to not only grow our business, but offer more jobs at the plant and to offer a retail outlet for other businesses that produce and grow products in our county. We have asked several not-for-profit organizations and local and county governments to support us and apply for the grant. Can you please send information on the details of the applicants responsibilities and affect on local and county budgets?
The responsibilities of the local or county government, or a not-for-profit includes, but is not limited to, applying for funding, entering into a contract with the Department to accept the funding if awarded, distribute the funding to the entity completing the eligible project (unless the municipality or NFP is the entity completing the project), and report to the Department on the activities on the contract.
Regarding the question concerning the grant as income and its affect on the 2 percent tax cap - I would suggest consulting with the municipal attorney and/or treasurer.
My organization would like to set up a CFA account to apply for an agriculture project. What project category do we select, since agriculture is NOT one of them?
If you click “Direct Assistance to Business,” it should bring up Agriculture as one of the choices.
If a Chamber of Commerce applies for a $50,000 grant, can they break it into small chunks of a few thousand dollars each and lend to agricultural businesses for eligible projects?
Based on the information provided, it appears the project is eligible for funding under the Agricultural Development Program. The application should demonstrate how the smaller funds will positively impact the regional area.
Is it possible for an entity to apply for funding, and then break it into smaller chunks of a few thousand dollars each, and lend to agricultural businesses for eligible projects?
Does the match need to be provided up front, or can it be provided by the individual companies as the smaller loans are made?
Project match must be available at the time the project commences.
Is it acceptable to submit a multi-farm funding application?
As a local development corporation, your organization is an eligible applicant for the Agricultural Development Program, and both projects, based on the information given, meet the criteria for funding individually or as part of a multi-farm application.
When will funds from this CFA be available to grantees, so we can determine our timelines/outcomes?
Scoring of applications should be complete by September, and shortly thereafter awards announced. I would estimate that funds would be available to grantees in the mid-fall, by the time contracts are drawn up and complete the approval process.
When answering the questions about which Senate or Assembly district in which the project is located, it only allows for entry of one district, and our project will cover multiple districts. How do we account for that?
I would recommend putting in a Senate or Assembly district you consider ground zero for the project, and then on question 38, indicate that not all addresses are known precisely at this time, but are either planned or likely in the following Senate and Assembly districts.
Does our entity have to respond to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requirements as outlined under the “Successful Applicant Requirements” of the RFP? We have renovated a portion of a building at the historic site for this business venture.
If the work has been completed, SEQRA does not apply. If the work is not yet completed, and should you be awarded funding under this grant, you may then have to comply with SEQRA requirements.
Can we count matching costs (cash and in-kind, and volunteer services) incurred in the last year toward the renovation of the processing/packaging facility, and start up of the project? And if not, what period of time do we have to secure matching costs?
Matching costs should coincide with the expenditure of the funds requested if your project is selected through the competitive process. Work done in advance of the award notification of a proposed project is worth mentioning in your proposal, but would not count as match for the proposed project for which funding is being requested.
Our organization is a member-supported (501c3) organization with the goal of supporting New York State wine through improved promotion, events, and marketing activities, with particular focus on the NYS major metro area. Would this project be eligible for funding?
Based upon the information provided, the project does not appear to be eligible for funding through the CFA Agriculture Development Program. The project includes marketing and promotion activities. An eligible project, as defined in the CFA Resource Manual, is designed and intended for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, or expanding an agricultural operation, or for providing facilities and/or markets for the production, manufacturing, processing, warehousing, distribution or sale of crops, livestock and livestock products as defined in subdivision 2 of section 301 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Is funding available for programs which have already occurred in 2012, or which are in progress?
Grant funds may not be used for activities or expenses that have been incurred prior to the award of a grant.
Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Funding
If we have questions, who should we contact?
Please send an email to HCR_CFA@nyshcr.org, and your question will be directed to the appropriate program staff.
Does NYS Homes & Community Renewal have other funds available for rehabilitating homes?
Yes, please visit HCR’s website for information related to other Housing Resources Funding Opportunities: http://www.nyshcr.org/AboutUs/Offices/CommunityRenewal/HousingResourcesFundingOpportunities.htm.
If a company wants to build affordable senior housing, would that be fundable through CFA?
There are separate funding sources outside of CFA for housing projects.
Can buildings/projects that received funds to cover work needed due to the floods of 2006 & 2011 still apply for current CFA money?
If the money previously received was under a disaster declaration, then the projects are not precluded from receiving CFA money.
Can an administrative government building be renovated with CFA funds if it is a historic building that needs new windows, heating system, elevators, etc.?
No, HCR cannot fund renovations for buildings used for government administration. However, projects that involve areas of the building that are designated for at least 51% low-to moderate income- people, or special projects such as wheelchair accessibility could be eligible. Services based on income thresholds could be funded pro-rata; i.e., a portion of the cost of the renovated heating system might be covered if it can be shown that the heat is used in part for individuals falling into that low- to moderate- income bracket.
What kinds of projects does your grant program provide funding for?
HCR can fund housing programs, rehabilitation, first-time home buyers, sewer and storm water, public facilities, parks, handicap accessibility improvements, and assist with the start-up, expansion, or retention of businesses.
What is the difference between the local CDBG program and state CDBG program?
The NYS Office of Community Renewal (OCR) administers the state CDBG program for non-entitlement communities. Non-entitlement communities are cities, towns and villages with populations under 50,000 and counties with an area population under 200,000. Entitlement communities are municipalities with higher populations that receive CDBG funds directly from HUD. Entitlement communities are typically not eligible for OCR’s state CDBG program funds.
If there are two projects extending across a large area in two counties which area is primary?
A focus area needs to be created. One county is the lead application to cover the target area. The lead applicant community must hold one public hearing and at least one hearing must also be held in each jurisdiction of a joint application prior to the submission of an application to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The public hearing must discuss, and provide opportunity for public comment on, community development and housing needs as well as the proposed activities.
How do I determine how much money to assign to the planning phase of a project?
Use “NA” or “planning only” on your application since funding is not specifically assigned to this phase.
What are you doing with projects related to the agriculture industry?
There is no specific emphasis. This application would be treated like any other economic development project.
Is there funding to clear an area which is an eyesore and build a café/restaurant?
Yes, if it shows benefits to low- and moderate- income residents (at least 51% of the residents).
Is there funding for a one stop building for various governmental agencies having to do with agriculture industry?
No, not unless it was an incubator, provided training for low- to moderate- income residents, or created jobs.
How does a community determine if the persons or households in an area are low and moderate income?
HUD has released the 2012 numbers regarding local demographic data. This information is available at: http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il12/ny.pdf.
What are the criteria for infrastructure funding for non-entitlement areas and sewer and storm water projects?
These are eligible expenses, so long as 51% of the persons benefitting are low- and moderate- income individuals. The application may need income survey or census data to verify income levels for the service population.
Regarding funding limits for the CDBG program: if a town applies for more than one project, is the maximum dollar amount per project, or per community that is applying?
Applicants may submit multiple applications, but the total requested amount within each category, such as Economic Development, Public Infrastructure or Public Facilities may not be exceeded. For example, an Applicant may submit multiple public facility applications, but the cumulative total of all requests cannot exceed $400,000 for Towns, Cities or Villages or $750,000 for Counties.
CDBG Economic Development funds can no longer be used to do small business “pools”, correct?
Correct, applications are project-based. Each application must be submitted by an eligible, non-entitlement community in support of a project for an individual business.
Under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development program, is there still funding available for microenterprises?
No, funding for microenterprise programs is not available in the CFA for 2012.
Would upgrades to buildings cover the installation of solar panels?
If the project qualifies in meeting a low- and moderate- income benefit, then installation of solar panels could be included in the project.
Are septic system upgrades covered?
Private septic systems are covered through housing program grants available under separate HCR grant programs through resources that are not part of the CFA.
A city wants to develop a road parallel to a state road with the goal of making property attractive for businesses looking to develop. How can they qualify to do this?
Projects will be evaluated based in part on who the beneficiaries of the project are and what the results of the project will be. To qualify for funding as a CDBG Economic Development project, jobs must be created as a direct result of the project, and the jobs must primarily benefit low- to moderate- income persons. The proposed project should also be finalized and ready to implement upon award, so a specific business must be identified that would start-up or expand in the area once the infrastructure is put in place.
A CFA application from last year did not receive the full amount of funding requested. Can this application request the funds that weren’t funded in the first request? Additionally, if a project funded in last year’s CFA round has subsequently developed an additional expense, can we seek additional funding for this expense which wasn’t revealed when development was undertaken initially?
As long as the facility continues to provide a benefit to low- and moderate- income persons, it can be eligible for funding additional needs.
A township has a deal with the nearby city to extend the existing water/sewer infrastructure. What are the end user requirements to be funded through CDBG?
At minimum, 51% of the end users must be of low and moderate income.
Is there access to a Guide Book for the Main Street Program?
Yes, in addition to the information provided in the CFA Available Resources document a New York Main Street Program Guide is available online: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYMainStreet/NYMSProgramGuide.pdf
Can I apply for NYMS grant if I own a downtown mixed-use building?
Units of local government and organizations incorporated under the NYS Not-for-Profit Corporation Law New York are eligible applicants for NYMS grants. Municipal and not-for-profit recipients of NYMS funds then provide grants to local building owners. NYS Homes and Community Renewal does not contract directly with property owners. Please contact your local government or county planning office to find out if existing NYMS funds are available in your community.
Can tax credits be used as a match?
The New York Main Street program operates as a reimbursement program. A building renovation project must be completed and paid for before the property owner will receive a reimbursement from HCR. For this reason, tax credits will not work as match for the NYMS program. An applicant may, however, indicate that tax credits are part of the project budget as leveraged funds.
With the NYMS Program, why is the funding cap lower than last year?
The funding cap has been decreased due to the limited amount of funding available, and the statewide demand for the funding.
What is the Municipal Resolution?
The New York Main Street program requires each municipality in which a project is located to approve a resolution supporting the application for the proposed NYMS project. A copy of the resolution must be attached to the application where requested. HCR does not have a template resolution, but please be sure that the resolution includes the following points:
- Name of the applicant (not-for-profit or charitable organization)
- Program name (New York Main Street)
- Funding agency (NYS Office of Community Renewal (OCR) and/or the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC)
- Reason for support
- Project type
- Be sure the resolution clearly approves and endorses the 2012 application
- The resolution must be on official stationary and should hold the official seal
Are financial commitment letters required?
Applications demonstrating formally committed funds will score more competitively that those without funds committed.
Can New York Main Street building renovation funds be used to improve a building's parking lot?
NYMS funds cannot be used for site work such as parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or general landscaping.
Can we use New York Main Street funds to add an addition to a building?
No, NYMS funds cannot be used for new construction.
Can we use New York Main Street funds to tear down a vacant building?
No, NYMS funds cannot be used for demolition.
Property owners in our community are not currently interested in completing building renovation projects, but we would like to install benches, garbage cans and bike racks on Main Street. Can we apply for Streetscape funds to purchase and install these fixtures?
NYMS Streetscape funds may not be requested as a standalone activity. Streetscape funds must be ancillary to a building renovation program.
Does the Main Street program include residential and mixed use buildings?
Commercial, civic, and mixed use (residential-commercial / residential-civic) buildings are eligible under the Main Street program.
Is salary allowed to be included in in-kind or cash for ‘matching funds’?
Matching funds are not required for the administrative funds awarded as part of a NYMS contract. The New York Main Street program does not accept in-kind match for building renovation projects.
Can you apply for Main Street for multiple building projects?
Yes. Applicants must identify a concentrated and well-defined Main Street target area at the time of application. If awarded, the grant recipient may then provide matching grants to eligible property owners within that target area. There is no minimum or maximum on the number of buildings that may be included, but the Office of Community Renewal recommends no more than three contiguous blocks.
Are restrictions placed on buildings that receive NYMS funds?
Property owners participating in the NYMS Program must sign a Property Maintenance Declaration. The Property Maintenance Declaration states that the property owner will maintain all NYMS assisted improvements in good condition for a five year term. If residential units are assisted, a rent limit will be imposed for the five year term. This Declaration document must be filed with the County to secure the investment.
If my application is funded, how do I access the awarded New York Main Street money?
Before New York Main Street funds can be drawn down, awardees must execute the New York Main Street grant agreement and designate a bank account to receive NYMS funds in the form of a direct deposit. New York Main Street is a reimbursement program, therefore, individual building projects must be complete and paid for before funds will be disbursed. NYMS funds may be requested on a per building/project basis. 40% of awarded administrative funds may be drawn down prior to completion of building and streetscape projects. Administrative funds beyond the initial 40% will be available based on overall program completion.
Who can apply for the Rural Area Revitalization Projects (RARP) and Urban Initiatives (UI) programs? Can municipalities apply?
No. Only non-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for RARP and UI.
With regard to UI and RARP what is the timeframe?
UI and RARP projects must be completed within 24 months.
Does this fund the demolition and removal of dangerous buildings?
Building demolition is an eligible expense if it is part of a larger project that will be completed in the 24 month term.
For the Urban Initiative funding grant, is it required that funds be used on a single building?
The maximum UI or RARP grant is for $50K-$200K for a single project, not necessarily a single building.
Are matching funds required for UI or RARP?
The maximum UI or RARP grant is for $50K-$200K for a single project, which does not necessarily mean a single building.
What can the UI or RARP funds be used for?
Applicants may requests UI or RARP funds to undertake housing preservation and community renewal activities in distressed neighborhoods by preserving existing housing units, generating new housing units, upgrading commercial and retail areas and by creating innovative approaches to neighborhood and community revitalization which improve cultural and community facilities.
Through the Urban Initiatives program, does rental housing need to be owned by the applicant?
No, the applicant is not required to be the property owner. For this round of funding, UI and RARP funds can be utilized on any eligible building.
Does new construction in urban areas qualify under UI program?
New construction is an eligible activity if it can be demonstrated that funding and approvals are in place, and the project will be completed within a 24 month timeframe. New construction is not, however, a priority for funding.
What do you mean by “ready-to-go” projects?
A ready to go project will have construction financing and local approvals in place, and experience no difficulty in completing the work in a 24 month timeframe.
Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) Funding
Can an administrative government building be renovated with CFA funds if it is a historic building that needs new windows, heating system, elevators, etc.
If the building is listed on the State or National Registers of Historic Places or included as a historic building in an historic district, this would be an eligible project for a matching grant of up to $500K, with a 50/50 match. We accept almost any kind of match, except other EPF grants. The renovations must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties available here.
How are funds distributed to an awardee?
The awardee pays for the costs of the project and would be reimbursed for up to 50% of eligible expenditures.
Are historic and/or heritage sites included in this grant?
Yes, they are included.
For a capital improvement program through EPF, can administrative portion of the grant go to pay interest on loan we had to get?
No, interest payments are ineligible.
Who do I speak to find out my exact score on the last project?
Your OPRHP Regional Grants Administrator contact information is available at www.nysparks.com, click on Grant Programs.
Are there a different set of priorities this time?
The Commissioner has three priorities:
Green improvements – that restore, improve and maintain park lands, historic properties and heritage area resources and infrastructure, and in doing so promote sustainability, increase energy conservation and/or efficiency and decrease long term maintenance and management costs.
Enhanced access, connections, resources – that enhance the public’s access to parks and their environmental and recreational resources (including landscape and trail improvements to facilitate connections and special features or signage to improve programming and interpretation), create physical and functional connections among, or provide or enhance public access to, already-protected state and local lands, historic sites, greenways, trails and waterways to bring visitors back.
Partners to State Parks – projects undertaken by partner groups in State Parks and Historic Sites. A letter from the Regional Director and Capital Facilities Manager must be submitted with the application.
Priorities of the Regional Council can be found within each Council’s Strategic Plan.
What is the eligibility of exercise trails around State Parks and waterways?
The applicant needs to have and demonstrate an ownership interest in the property.
Who do I contact for Connect Trails information?
Contact information is available at www.nysparks.com.
Does NYS help with matching funds?
For the EPF Municipal Grant program, other state funds can be used as match, with the exception of other EPF grants.
For restoration on a historic restoration project, what kinds of schematics are needed?
It depends on the project. Schematic site plans must pictorially describe what you are intending to do at the site.
When does the money have to be used?
Within 5 years of the award
Do the parks have to be State parks?
No. They can be any municipal or not-for-profit park.
How do you define who is eligible to apply for the waterway?
The interpretative signage located along the waterfront will help you determine who governs the waterway. If the waterway is a state or municipal park, you can partner with the waterway for the grant you are applying for. This is the kind of supplemental information that can be included in the grant application which will help your application earn additional points.
In order to meet the deadline, can you apply for a grant if you do not have the resolution in place?
Yes, if you submit a letter stating the date of the meeting in which you will have the resolution approved.
Can you apply for a grant if a project is underway?
Bids for construction and professional services, plans and specifications, MWBE Utilization plans, etc. must be reviewed and approved, so it will depend on what aspect of the project is already underway, and the project itself. Therefore, it will be on a case-by-case basis. In order for the work to be eligible for reimbursement, it must take place within the approved project term.
How is a project defined as occurring within a Greenway Community?
The project itself, not necessarily the applicant, must be done within the Greenway Compact Community. The EPF grant program gives a 5% bonus to applications for proposed projects located within a Hudson River Valley Greenway Compact Community. For information, consult the Greenway map posted at http://www.hudsongreenway.ny.gov/ ( go directly to the map at http://www.hudsongreenway.ny.gov/Libraries/PDF_s/Greenway_Map01-20-12.sflb.ashx ) Please note that the Compact Communities are only those shaded in green with black diagonal stripes, or contact the Greenway at (518) 473-3835 or email@example.com
Are non-profit organizations, particularly faith-based organizations, eligible for funding?
Yes; not-for-profit organizations are eligible. Historic preservation projects for sectarian entities are also eligible as long as there is a public benefit.
What does shovel ready mean? Does it include design work? Are bids also covered? What goes into bids?
Shovel ready means the project is ready to begin. More specifically, all permits, match funding, and administrative staff are set up to begin work as soon as possible after receipt of the grant award notification letter, and our approval of bids for construction and professional services, plans and specifications, M/WBE utilization plans, etc.
What is the range of your grants?
The dollar range is up to $500,000.
Regarding Heritage Grants – is there a place where I can find out more about the priorities and particular options of the program?
Yes; go to www.nysparks.com, click on grant programs and then Heritage Areas Program.
If it’s going to take a while to accumulate money for a land purchase (one year or two), is that still covered in part by CFA?
Successful applicants are expected to raise their full share within one year of the grant award. Acquisition projects should be completed within one year of the approved agreement; construction projects should be completed no later than two years subsequent to such approval. All projects must be completed within five years of the grant award.
We are in the process of having an appraisal. Would that be covered under that?
For projects involving acquisition, appraisals are eligible. The appraisal must be a self-contained appraisal report that meets the standards (available at www.nysparks.com); if the property is valued at $300,000 or more, two self-contained appraisal reports are required. For application purposes, a windshield appraisal will suffice.
Can you expand on 501C3s applying for the restoration of a facility through Friends of State Parks?
OPRHP requires a letter of support from the Regional Director and the Capital Facilities Manager, indicating the grant award time and project time. The applicant must also have a Memorandum of Agreement and up-to-date 501C3 paperwork.
Is a school district an eligible applicant under Parks?
If a building is in an historic district does it have to be registered as a historic building itself to be eligible?
If a building is in an historic district, it does not have to be registered individually. Everything listed in a historic district would be eligible, except if the nomination for the register specifically identifies the property as a non-contributing resource. Many of the nominations are available online at http://nysparks.com/shpo/online-tools/disclaimer.aspx?pgm=doc , or contact the State Historic Preservation Office at 518/237-8643.
What is required in “long term protections” for property set aside for conservation, preservation, public use, etc.?
Any work involving an historic resource will require that a preservation covenant be conveyed to OPRHP. Any not-for-profit corporation undertaking a park development project will be required to convey a public access covenant to OPRHP. Any not-for-profit acquiring land for recreation or conservation purposes must grant the State a permanent conservation easement to the property.
How do you establish heritage area?
Information on Heritage Areas can be found at www.nysparks.com under Grants.
What is the process for deciding to tear down a historical structure?
The process depends on how the property is listed in the State or National Register of Historic Places. For information, go to www.nysparks/com, or contact the State Historic Preservation Office at 518-237-8643.
Is there a timeline from start to finish for a viable project?
There is a five year limit from beginning to end.
Does having other open grants disqualify us from having our project funded? Are prevailing wage laws applied to these projects?
Applications with three or more open EPF grants should not seek additional awards. Generally, if the property or building that the project funds are being used on is publicly owned, the prevailing wage laws may apply. All projects will be reviewed by Department of Labor to make this determination.
What are the retroactive costs that can be covered or used for the matching portion of the grant?
Professional services and uninstalled materials purchased or donated up to three years prior to the application deadline may be applied toward the matching share. Additionally, acquisition costs retroactive up to one year prior to the application deadline are eligible costs.
Would window retrofitting be covered under an Environmental Protection Fund grant?
If the building is listed on the National or State Registers of Historic Places and the work restores or maintains the historic nature of the building according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Properties, the project would be eligible.
Is there funding available to purchase buildings?
Yes, building acquisition is eligible as long as there is a public benefit.
Can you apply for funding for the demolition of a building?
Awardees have one year to get a match. If an applicant is planning on obtaining additional match funding, then the applicant can apply on the basis of expected match funding. The status of an applicant’s match indicates the project’s shovel ready standing and budget rating.
If we only have partial match ,should we only apply for funding that we have match for?
You have one year to get a match. If you are planning on having more match funding, then you can apply for expected funding. This speaks to being shovel ready and factors into your budget rating.
Is a signed purchase offer sufficient to serve as property ownership interest?
Yes, however the applicant would need to have letter of commitment from the seller with a dollar amount.
Is cost of a survey allowed?
Yes, as part of an acquisition project.
Can the use of equipment be included when determining the amount of in-kind expenses?
Yes. An awardee cannot purchase equipment with funds, but can use rental cost or county, state or federal per diem rates to calculate the in-kind amount.
A village is taking over a park. If they apply for funding, can they charge a fee to park vehicles at park?
Yes, as long as the fee is reasonable, does not hinder public access to the Park, and meets program requirements for fee schedules.
Can we use other Federal funds for matching purposes?
Can we include historic vessels (ships) in projects?
What priorities does OPRHP look to when evaluating potential projects?
The Commissioner has three priorities:
Green improvements – that restore, improve and maintain park lands, historic properties and heritage area resources and infrastructure, and in doing so promote sustainability, increase energy conservation and/or efficiency and decrease long term maintenance and management costs.
Enhanced access, connections, resources – that enhance the public’s access to parks and their environmental and recreational resources (including landscape and trail improvements to facilitate connections and special features or signage to improve programming and interpretation), create physical and functional connections among, or provide or enhance public access to, already-protected state and local lands, historic sites, greenways, trails and waterways to bring visitors back.
Partners to State Parks – projects undertaken by partner groups in State Parks and Historic Sites. A letter from the Regional Director and Capital Facilities Manager must be submitted with the application.
Priorities of the Regional Council can be found within each Council’s Strategic Plan. The strategic plans for each Regional Council are available on the specific Council’s website. These sites can be accessed by clicking on the applicable region on the map on the following website: www.nyworks.ny.gov.
NYS Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Funding
We have a youth project whose orientation is electronic and performance arts. We will be opening a web based radio station and are awaiting FCC approval. Would this type of project be eligible?
Yes, this is eligible. To strengthen the application, read the applicable Regional Council’s Strategic Plan and make sure you align with the goals and objectives, paying specific note to how the project will benefit the region and community. Please click on the region on the map available here to access the Strategic plan in the region you are interested in. Partnerships will also greatly enhance the potential for success.
Is there a limit to the number of projects we can pursue? Can you apply for a planning grant and then apply for another project component in a separate application?
Yes, you can apply for more than one project. Organizations can be the lead applicant or an applicant with multiple partners.
If we received a small $5k grant last year, can we still apply?
If you received a grant last year from the REDC program, you are able to apply again. If you are currently funded by NYSCA, you can apply to the REDC program but not for the same art project.
Does the lead agency have to be an Arts and Cultural agency?
We ask that the primary mission of the lead agency applicant be related to Arts and Culture. But if the organization’s mission is not arts and culture related but the organization has a track record of arts and cultural programming, please contact NYSCA at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm eligibility.
. When does money have to be used?
NYSCA projects must be completed between November 2012 and October 2013. If a project is multi year, some aspect of the project must occur during this time period.
. Are there any other grants to apply for that does not have a minimum of $50,000?
Although the only grant program available in the CFA from NYSCA has a minimum award amount of $50,000, NYSCA also has other grant programs available outside of the CFA that are not subject to this minimum. Please see www.nysca.org for more information. There are also other REDC grant programs administered by other state agencies that do award grants of less than $50,000. Please see the Available CFA Resources document available here.
Do you know if you have any communication with other councils to match or partner?
Please contact the area arts council or NYSCA de-centralization site in your region for potential partners. Also, you can contact the regional economic development council in your region to see if they are aware of potential partners.
Is there a cap on the Arts grant?
What kinds of projects would NYSCA fund?
This grant program can accommodate a wide variety of art projects, art activities, planning, and processes. Please see the Available CFA Resources document available here for more specific eligibility criteria.
What are the details on the 50/50 match.
The match can be cash, 25% could be in-kind, municipalities can contribute, or it can be outside sources of funding. Please see the Available CFA Resources document available here for more details.
We are working on a project involving three cultural organizations. What if one of them gets federal money, would that hurt our chances?
There is no issue with other streams of funding, supporting a project or an organization. However, please note that other state funds can not be used as the match.
Does it help to have multiple applicants?
If having multiple applicants enhances the art project’s ability to achieve the goals and objectives of the region, then it may help.
Are planning grants eligible under the Arts category?
Not for capital projects, but it can be for other project programming or marketing planning.
Are the Art Project Program grants separate from the regular NYSCA grants?
Yes, the grant program in the CFA and other NYSCA grants are separate. An applicant can apply for both but not for the same project. The deadline for NYSCA grants outside of the CFA was June 20th, 2012.
Could upgrading a relevant website qualify for an Art grant?
What is the Council for the Arts website?
Is there staff review for arts grants?
Applications are reviewed and evaluated by NYSCA staff and advisory panel. NYSCA CFA applications will be reviewed by the applicable Regional Economic Development Council, as will all CFA applications.
Does the applicant have to be able to maintain project beyond grant?
If the project is ready to move forward, should the applicant discuss prior planning undertaken in the application?
This is not required, but applicants need to show capacity and readiness.
Are the NYSCA funds new to the CFA in 2012?
Yes, NYSCA funding was not included in the CFA in 2011.
If we already received the maximum funding from NYSCA, is this funding (CFA) additional money we can apply for?
The money available from NYSCA in the CFA is still subject to NYSCA’s maximum funding requirements. Organizations generally cannot receive more than $150,000 for one request, and the maximum overall is $200,000.
Department of State (DOS) Funding
Can an entity apply for different grants for different properties?
Yes, an eligible applicant can apply for more than one grant.
Can we apply under one watershed project with different tasks?
Yes, an applicant can apply for Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) funding in one application to carry out multiple watershed planning or implementation tasks or components whether or not individual tasks or components might potentially be funded by more than one agency.
Can projects be multi-year?
Yes; Local Waterfront Revitalization Program planning and/or implementation projects can be multi-year projects. Subject to the continued availability of funds in the budget, the contract period shall not exceed three years from the start of the project with the possibility of two extensions of one year each provided satisfactory progress is being made. The earliest start date of contracts is anticipated to be April 1, 2012.
Are brown field opportunity areas included in the grant?
No, Brownfield Opportunity Area grants are not eligible activities under this procurement.
If a for-profit company partners with a municipality on a project, will the fact that the municipality partnered with a for-profit company disqualify or effect the application?
No. An eligible municipality must submit the application. Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities located along New York's coasts or designated inland waterways. Only applications from eligible applicants will be evaluated for funding. There is no restriction on the types of organizations that may partner with a municipality in the application process of this RFA.
Our organization did a RFP for an Economic Consultant to address the issue of increasing tourism during the winter season. Can the grant be used to pay for the services of a consultant to revitalize the area?
As described, yes, this appears to be an eligible activity under "Preparing or Implementing Regional and Local Strategies for Community and Waterfront Revitalization", as noted on page 3 of this RFA. Expenses incurred prior to April 1st 2012 will not be eligible for reimbursement.
How can we fund design codes and updates?
Updating land use development for a hamlet on an existing waterway may be a part of a multi-phased project to request funding for zoning ordinances, updates, planning, etc. Gateway improvements can be physical improvements including construction.
Can more than one project application be submitted at a time?
Yes. There is no limitation on the number of applications that may be submitted for this RFA.
Do you fund gateway projects?
Yes, provided applicant eligibility requirements and local match requirements are met.
You mentioned that this fund also considered land-based trails. Is Archeology covered?
Yes, it would be considered under site reconnaissance necessary for planning and design of land and water based trails.
If a municipality is not part of the county submitting an application, could it still be included in the grant? How would that application be structured?
You could always apply to the Agency and reference that other region. Reference both regional council's plans and strategies; Demonstrate letters of support from those other municipalities to at least say that you have a partnership in place - and making sure that the letter is part of the application.
If we have an LWRP, what is considered outdated to DOS? Are the late '90s considered outdated?
If a local LWRP was adopted and is still in place, applicants may apply for funding to implement the plan under this opportunity, or an applicant may apply for funding to update the plan. Expenses prior to April 1, 2012 will not be reimbursable under the contract if awarded.
What if we are rehabbing several older buildings in various parks and several towns? What program is that?
There may be several opportunities with regard to funding programs. Eligible applicants differ depending on funding program. From DOS' perspective, applicants must be a municipality. Projects located in an urban area may qualify as an 'urban redevelopment' project under the LWRP procurement.
We have a waterfront redevelopment project that is in preliminary planning. Would that fall under Parks or Coastal Resources?
Such a project may be fundable by OPRHP and the Department of State, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The application that you submit will go to all agencies and funding programs to which the project is eligible, and will be considered under those programs.
Can you use your local DPW employees to do the work and count its cost in 'matching funds'?
Yes. Eligible Costs include, direct salary costs including wages, salaries, fringe benefits, and supplemental compensation paid to employees of the municipality for personal services. Applicants may not use salaries and other expenses of elected officials as eligible costs for reimbursement.
Can municipalities use approved revolving funds? Can applied for loans be counted as matching funds?
No, for the Department of State EPF LWRP, to be considered as eligible match, the loan would need to be directly related to the project described in the application, the loan already secured (not pending), and the loan term falling within the active period of the EPF contract.
Can the municipality be a contractor for a project and use time/staff for matching?
Yes. See Section VIII, Eligible Costs on page 14 of the RFA. These may be used as direct costs or eligible matching funds.
Do municipalities have to go out for bids if they plan to do the work?
Yes, Certification that municipal procurement requirements are met will be required. The municipal attorney, chief legal officer, or financial administrator for the municipality shall certify to the Department of State that applicable public bidding procedures of General Municipal Law §103 were followed for all purchase contracts involving more than $20,000. In the case of purchase contracts involving not more than $20,000, and contracts for professional services, the municipal attorney, chief legal officer, or financial administrator shall certify that the procedures of the municipality established pursuant to General Municipal Law §104-b were fully complied with.
The municipal attorney, chief legal officer or financial administrator for the municipality shall certify to the Department of State that alternative proposals and/or quotations for professional services were secured by use of written requests for proposals through a publicly advertised process. This certification will verify that the procurement requirements were met and ensure the prudent and economical use of public funds for professional services of maximum quality at reasonable cost.
Is there anything retroactive to the master plan from 4 years ago that can still be used?
Only costs incurred after April 1, 2012 may be considered as eligible for reimbursement.
If community has a draft LWRP - local waterfront revitalization plan - is the lack of finalization going to hurt a proposal?
No, a local waterfront plan does not need to be finalized to apply for funding. Preparing and/or implementing local waterfront revitalization projects are acceptable projects under this RFA. Per the RFA, page 3, "for construction of projects needed to advance eligible activities, an applicant must be a village, town, city with an approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program or the relevant Local Waterfront Revitalization Program component substantially completed, or county with the consent and on behalf of one or more eligible town, village, or city."
How do you match some of the community waterfront projects with regional strategic priorities?
Applications are reviewed against Regional Economic Development Commission (REDC) priorities. REDC review will be a portion of the total evaluation, not to exceed 20% of total points. All applicants are encouraged to apply regardless of perceived strategic value.
How is the value of an "in kind volunteer work" determined so that it can be considered as a matching fund?
Valuing in-kind volunteer work should be based on anticipated actual cost of a service provided if it were a paid service instead of volunteer. Non-professional titles can be valued up to $25 per hour based on actual agency cost. Professional titles may be valued at a reasonable rate appropriate to the profession. NYS Department of Labor regional prevailing wage rates may be used to justify these hourly rates.
Would a municipality be able to seek funding through the watershed management program to update their municipal water supply system?
The body of water involved would have to be one listed on the List of Coastal Water Bodies and Designated Inland Waterways put out by the NYS Department of State. Please see the website www.dos.ny.gov for more details.
Are tribal communities eligible? The Cattaraugus Indian Reservation is located along Lake Erie and we are wondering if they may be included in the EPF LWRP CFA grant application process? Would the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation/Tribe be considered an eligible entity to apply for EPF LWRP CFA Tourism marketing funding?
The Cattaraugus Indian Territory is a territory of the Seneca Nation of New York. As federally-recognized Indian tribes, as identified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, both the Seneca Nation of New York and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York are eligible to apply for EPF LWRP funding through the Consolidated Funding Application, provided the projects being applied for are located along the coastal zone and meet other restrictions in the Request for Applications. Tourism marketing is an eligible activity under the Preparing or Implementing Regional and Local Strategies for Community and Waterfront Revitalization and the Planning or Constructing Land and Water based Trails categories listed in the EPF LWRP RFA.
The City is considering multiple grant proposals through the CFA. Last week I was searching the web and found a spot that had program questions for the relevant CFA agencies. I closed out soon after and cannot recall where I was nor find it again, either at the NYWorks site or a specific agency. Would you know where these program questions would be?
The Agency Program Applications Questions are back up on the CFA website. See the Links box at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/ For CFA EPF LWRP questions, look for and click on Local Waterfront Revitalization.
What is the start date or effective date for projects to be considered eligible? Can we submit on projects that have partially completed last year?
A contract can have a start date of no earlier than April 1, 2012. While continuing a project that started prior to April 1, 2012 may be eligible for funding, the costs incurred prior to that date would not be eligible for reimbursement.
We would like to confirm that a municipal authorization resolution IS NOT required to be submitted by the due date for submittal of a CFA, July 16th? I've noticed that with some agencies a resolution is required upon submission and with others it is not.
That is correct. For the EPF LWRP grant program a municipal resolution is not required when submitting an application. It will be required of successful applicants prior to executing a contract with the State.
Is there any special language or format required to be included in the resolution by the applicant municipality, when one is submitted?
No. The Department of State does not prescribe the format of a municipal resolution for the purpose of EPF LWRP grants.
Counties cannot be stand-alone applicants, correct? They must partner with a town, village, etc. Is there a municipal resolution requirement, and assuming there is, when is it due? Same date as grant, or shortly thereafter as in the past?
A county, with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities located along New York's coast or designated inland waterways, can submit an application for a EPF LWRP grant through the CFA. A resolution is not required at the time of application, but would be required prior to entering into a contract with the Department of State.
The List of Coastal Waterbodies and Designated Inland Waterways has a note indicating that coastal waterbodies also include embayments and tributaries that are within New York State's Coastal Area. Is there a link to maps showing these?
The following are links to the Coastal Atlas where you may view the extent of New York State's Coastal Area.
What is the completion time frame for projects funded through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, and what happens when that date approaches?
As per the 2012 RFA (Section IX and X on page 16 of the RFA), the initial contract term for EPF LWRP awards can be up to three years, with the provision to extend for two 12 month periods (for a total of 5 years). If a project is not completed within the five year period, there is the possibility that the money will no longer be available to the project and the funds remaining may be reprogrammed to new awards. Whether satisfactory progress has been made throughout the active period of the project is a factor.
The village does not have an approved LWRP, however, there is an approved Blueway Trail Development Plan that the village was part of, does this count as an approved LWRP, so that they can apply for implementation funding?
A Blueway Trail Development Plan can be a component of a LWRP and make the village eligible for implementation funding. Please refer to the part of the EPF LWRP RFA which states on page 3, "For construction of projects needed to advance eligible activities, an applicant must be a village, town, city with an approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program or the relevant Local Waterfront Revitalization Program component substantially completed, or county with the consent and on behalf of one or more eligible town, village, or city."
See page 7, Planning or Constructing Land and Water based Trails, note regarding Construction, that Applicants with an approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program or relevant component substantially completed may apply for grant funding to construct land and water based trails, including:
- construction of trails, launch sites, and directly related infrastructure and improvements
- greenway or blueway trail marketing and promotion
Our organization, a coalition, would like to apply for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant initiative through the general CFA application; however, we had a question regarding proper endorsements/ support from the city or municipality. It is our understanding that the Local Waterfront Revitalization Grant requires that it be a partnership between the organization and municipality, and if so, from whom do we need to get approval or speak with to receive this endorsement? Our project would be along the waterfront in Queens.
An application must be submitted by an eligible applicant. Please refer to page 2 of the EPF LWRP Request for Applications See II., Eligible Applicants. Note that Applications submitted by not-for-profit organizations (including, but not limited to, community-based organizations, neighborhood groups) and for-profit organizations are ineligible and will not be scored. Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities located along New York's coasts or designated inland waterways.
In the current round of state EPF LWRP grants to assist local governments with the development of watershed management plans, it seems the funding is for the development of plans focused on water quality. Would a plan focused on water quantity, e.g., storm water management to address flood-related issues, qualify?
A planning effort that integrates storm water management and/or floodplain management with water quality protection and restoration would be viewed as an eligible activity. The guidebook jointly prepared by DOS and DEC provides some information on potential linkages http://www.dos.ny.gov/communitieswaterfronts/waterResourcesMgmt/index.html
The Village wishes to apply for a LWRP grant to implement the Otsego Lake watershed management plan in partnership with the local Soil and Water Conservation District. We've undertaken an engineering study of the lake's dam to evaluate how we can modify the dam for better control of lake level to reduce the significant impacts to water quality caused by submerged septic systems, and excessive sedimentation along the shoreline. An engineering study is underway and is scheduled to be complete by the end of September. The question is can the dam study be included in the grant application? If allowed, could the start date for a grant contract be July 1, 2012, in order to count local match from that point on.
If the project is awarded funding, the contract start date can be as early as April 1, 2012. Eligible expenses are determined based on when costs are incurred rather than when bills are paid.
Some regional economic development councils (REDCs) are seeking or soliciting proposals for consideration as priority projects in a REDC plan. See http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/ How does being identified as a priority project by a REDC relate to the Department of State's EPF LWRP grant solicitation?
REDCs will consider whether a project is identified as a priority project as they score CFA applications submitted for funding from the various participating agencies, including the Department of State. See page 8 of the EPF LWRP RFA. The REDC scoring framework can be viewed in the CFA Application Manual (page 17)
If a municipality is planning to do carry out creek shoreline restoration work would this be acceptable as an eligible match for this year's application? The Erie County Soil & Water District will be doing several streambank stabilization projects using Great Lakes Commission funding. While the federal funding isn't eligible as a grant match, would project funding from county, municipal, and private landowner sources be an eligible grant match?
That would depend upon the location of the project, the source of the funding, the timing of the work, and the scope of the project applied for. See other restrictions on pages 14 and 15 of the EPF LWRP RFA, under VIII. FUNDING RESTRICTIONS.
We will be applying on behalf of the waterfront communities in Erie County and will also be working in conjunction with Chautauqua County and their waterfront communities. To whom should the letters of support be addressed?
Letters of support can still be sent to the attention of Kenneth Smith, and sent by regular mail using the address indicated on the face page of the EPF LWRP RFA. Alternately, letters of support can be submitted along with optional attachments through the CFA, if submitted by the applicant. In either case, such letter(s) should contain the CFA number and project name to be sure it is considered.
Would a City possibly be competing against itself during this round of the CFA if it were to submit both a lakefront redevelopment and watershed application? Is there is a set limit to the number of applications an applicant can submit or a limit to the funds that an applicant can receive. What about breaking a comprehensive project into multiple small applications rather than a comprehensive application? How might that approach affect a project's score?
For Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants there is no maximum award amount identified as for an applicant or a region, and no maximum number of awards that a municipality or region may receive. Each application's score is determined independently based on programmatic ranking criteria as stated in the RFA, pages 9-14.
Awards will be based on rank order with the highest scoring applications being awarded until funds are exhausted. Applicants must use their judgment in determining how best to structure applications. There is no limitation on the number of applications that may be submitted for this RFA.
We have completed the online version of the CFA application for Local Waterfront Revitalization Program funding. We have attachments that we want to submit for the grant application, but the CFA online version does not allow for this, due possibly to file size limit or file format. Can attachments to applications for EPF LWRP funding (which cannot make it through uploading to the CFA) be submitted? If so, to whom should the EPF LWRP attachments be addressed? When must they be submitted to be considered as part of the application?
addressed? When must they be submitted to be considered as part of the application? A1: While it is strongly preferred that all attachments (whether required or optional attachments) be uploaded through the CFA portal, optional attachments related to Local Waterfront Revitalization Program specific questions can be mailed to the Department of State in hard copy format, or submitted in PDF format on a labeled CD-R type CD. Be sure to include the RFA number indicated below along with the specific project application number. Only one copy is needed.
Address optional attachments as follows: LuAnn Hart - RFA #12-LWRP-02 Bureau of Fiscal Management, 11th Floor, Suite 1110 New York State Department of State 1 Commerce Plaza Albany, NY 12231-0001 Note: Any optional attachments (not submitted through the CFA portal by the July 16, 2012 4:00PM deadline) must be RECEIVED by the Department 4:00PM Monday July 23, 2012 to be considered. Optional attachments received after that date and time will not be considered.
What are the ownership requirements for construction projects funded through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program?
To be reimbursed through Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, construction must be on publically owned land or on land where a permanent public interest will be in place, such as a conservation easement, that allows access to the general public.
Please review these projects/activities and let me know as soon as possible if they could be used as grant match for the Lake Erie watershed management plan CFA application that we want to submit.
The scope of your Local Waterfront Revitalization Program CFA project will matter. See the EPF LWRP RFA, section VIII. FUNDING RESTRICTIONS (page 14 and 15) and specifics regarding eligible costs and ineligible costs. Note that Costs that are not adequately justified or that do not directly support the project will be eliminated from the final grant award (page 15). This applies to both costs for which an applicant would seek reimbursement as well as those proposed as local match. Detail was provided on specific projects some of which may have elements that are directly related to a new CFA application and others that would not seem to be related to a watershed planning project. The circumstances in place related to the projects described matter as well, e.g., when costs were incurred (cost cannot be prior to April 1, 2012), the source of funds involved (e.g., federal funds cannot be used as match for Title 11 LWRP grants), and where physical work is conducted (construction would need to have taken place on public land or on land where there is a permanent public interest in place, such as a conservation easement facilitating access to the general public). Prior construction projects would not be considered as eligible local match for planning and/or design projects, as they would not be considered as directly supporting the project being applied for.
Since the Village will have to issue a BAN to cover payment of the grant costs prior to receiving reimbursement, can the interest on the BAN be utilized as part of either the project cost or part of our local match?
The interest associated with a Bond or Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) cannot be calculated into project cost, whether for reimbursement or local match.
Canal Corporation Funding
We have a local manufacturer who ships via barge but there is no location to load. Would this type of project be eligible?
If the manufacturer (for profit) himself applied, no, they would not be eligible. But, if a community applied, they would be eligible.
Are capital projects eligible?
Yes the Canalway Grant Funding is for Capital Projects only.
What is the balance of economic development vs. quality of life?
The CFA will be evaluated by the established criteria, and should reference the job creation and economic development benefits of the project including improvements to quality of life.
What waterways does a project have to be along in order to become eligible for this program?
The project has to be along one of the four NYS canals, the Erie, Oswego, Champlain and Cayuga/Seneca, along the historic canal alignment, or along or connecting to the Canalway trail. A list of eligible locations can be found on the NYS Canal Website, www.canals.ny.gov.
Can matching grants be used for property that has been purchased, but undeveloped?
Yes as long as the project being developed meets the criteria for a canalway project.
We’ve already been funded and have not yet completed the project, can we request more even though we’re not finished with the project from the first round of funding?
It would not be held against you, but you may score lower than someone who has completed their project.
Can you offset with another canal project?
If you add more to an existing project that had been approved previously, can that be the basis to apply again?
Can you use the same project to apply for funding with different agencies?
We have a museum located in a former Erie Canal building. The building has no handicapped access and we would like to make it accessible. Is this an eligible project under the Canal Corporation program?
Canal Corp. can provide funding if the building is in an eligible canal area.
If you already have an Environmental Protection Fund grant and are looking for further improvements, can you apply for additional funding?
NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Funding
The NYSERDA energy efficiency programs included in the CFA are open enrollment. Are applications to those programs also due on July 16th, 2012?
NYSERDA's open enrollment programs included in the CFA for non-residential energy efficiency projects will continue to stay open past the July 16th, 2012 deadline. These programs are first come, first served and are not scheduled to close until 2015.
What level of detail on the application is needed for the pre-qualified path under the Existing Facilities Program? (Incentives are available on a $/unit basis for pre-qualified energy efficiency measures.)
Applications to the Existing Facilities Program for Pre-Qualified incentives are processed as soon as they are received. It is important that you provide all necessary information in order to expedite your incentive. Because these projects are generally smaller lighting and other equipment change outs, it is not necessary to provide lengthy descriptions. Please provide enough detail that clearly states the program you are applying to.
Do the NYSERDA non-residential energy efficiency project CFAs get submitted to the Regional Councils for review?
These projects are part of NYSERDA's open enrollment program and these CFAs are not scored by the Regional Councils. Applications are sent directly to NYSERDA for processing due to program eligibility requirements. NYSERDA will provide the REDCs with a list of awarded projects on an on-going basis so they are aware of the activity within their region. However, NYSERDA's competitive programs in the CFA are subject to scoring by the REDCs
Do we need to do a detailed cost analysis for the budget portion of the NYSERDA non-residential energy efficiency application?
NYSERDA's open enrollment programs do not require the applicant to provide a detailed budget. That section of the CFA has been removed.
What are the advantages to using the CFA?
The CFA allows customers seeking state resources to apply to multiple programs at the same time instead of having to navigate multiple agencies and applications. The CFA provides access to programs that customers may not have known about and can help advance their projects. It is important to note that all state funded programs do not go through the CFA at this time. Customers seeking resources outside of the CFA should be sure to follow the guidelines and application processes provided by the agency.
I have submitted applications already, why haven't I heard back?
Customers that have finalized an application through the CFA for NYSERDA programs should receive an email communication stating their submission has been received. If you have not received a confirmation email from NYSERDA as well as an email confirming your submission from the CFA, you did not finalize your application. Applicants can email CFA@NYSERDA.ORG if they have not been contacted.
Is there a MWBE requirement for the NYSERDA CFA?
No. The scope of the NYS MWBE Program (under Article 15-A of Executive Law) does not include NYSERDA CFA contracts.
Will NYSERDA align with the Governor's "Cleaner Greener Communities" Competitive Grant Program that incentivizes sustainable communities?
NYSERDA is the administrator of the Cleaner Greener Communities Program. Currently the regions are creating sustainability plans through phase I. Implementation funds will be available next year through phase II, for projects that align with the plan and address sustainability issues.
How do we get NYSERDA to approve new products?
NYSERDA funds research and development of new products, we do not "approve" products. NYSERDA partners with organizations such as ENERGY STAR® and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) who test and approve various products. Product development is not an eligible project through the CFA this round.
Are winners of a grant from last year eligible for that grant again this year?
Yes. In most cases incentive recipients from last year are eligible to receive additional incentives. However applicants should refer to the individual program guidelines as there are incentive caps which applicants cannot exceed and incentives will not be given for the same measure. Applicants are required to document any incentive previously received by NYSERDA.
What is the difference between CFA and Non-CFA grants?
Not all NYSERDA programs are run through the CFA. It is still critical for applicants to be aware of the opportunities outside of the CFA. The CFA currently offers funding for non-residential energy efficiency projects and a competitive solicitation for regional economic development and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities. Applicants seeking additional funding for other energy efficiency or renewable energy projects, such as onsite wind or solar or residential energy efficiency, should refer to NYSERDA's website, www.nyserda.ny.gov.
What is covered by the Existing Facilities program?
The Existing Facilities Program offers incentives for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency equipment. There is a pre-qualified list of measures available at http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/en/Page-Sections/Commercial-and-Industrial/Programs/Existing-Facilities-Program.aspx. This program also offers incentives for custom projects that show significant energy saved.
Is the grant for existing facilities available for both commercial side and municipalities?
Yes. The Existing Facilities Program is available to customers that pay into the System Benefits Charge. You can find out if you pay into the SBC by looking at a recent utility bill for the SBC line item.
I am not sure what energy efficiency steps I want to take.
NYSERDA offers its FlexTech Program to help customers make informed decisions about energy efficiency improvements. If you do not know what you want to do, the FlexTech Program will help you identify and implement cost-effective energy efficiency measures.
How is CFA Funding assessed for bio-mass heat and energy?
As part of the Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program, biomass projects would be eligible to participate. For more information about this program please visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/redghg.
What, if anything, do I need to do before I submit an application?
NYSERDA recommends that potential customers submit their applications early in the process in order to maximize the opportunities available to them. NYSERDA recommends submitting applications for new construction projects prior to the schematic design phase being completed. For other programs such as the Existing Facilities Performance Based Incentives it is critical to determine the baseline of the customer's current energy usage. Customers may not remove equipment prior to a baseline assessment being conducted or it could affect eligibility.
Is there a maximum amount of money available for new construction?
Yes, every program has funding caps.
Where do we start with determining which CFA program can help?
NYSERDA will help you determine the best CFA program or programs for your business. Questions can be directed to email@example.com or 1-866-NYSERDA.
Does improving process efficiency qualify for a project?
In many cases customers will potentially increase load when improving their production processes and ultimately increase product output. NYSERDA can determine the increase in process efficiency based on the amount of production increase on a per unit basis.
Is there a program for helping to renovate an old building that was just purchased?
Yes, the New Construction Program offers incentives and design assistance for substantial renovations to facilities that have been vacant for at least 30 days as well as gut rehabs.
What is the New Construction Program?
The New Construction Program (NCP) can provide assistance when incorporating energy-efficiency measures into the design, construction, and operation of new and substantially renovated buildings. Incentives are available for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment that reduces electric energy consumption in new and substantially renovated buildings.
Are there restrictions on the number of FlexTech projects submitted?
Customers and service providers are limited to ten (10) open projects in this Program offering or the program formally known as the Technical Assistance Program at any given time.
Does an addition to an existing structure get submitted under the New Construction CFA?
Yes, building expansion projects in most cases should apply to the New Construction Program.
Does the CFA fund standby power devices?
No, NYSERDA does not offer incentives through the CFA for standby power devices.
If a building has been vacant for a long period, which program should we apply for?
Facilities that have been vacant for at least 30 days can participate in the New Construction Program.
For the Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program, PON 2571, you stated that projects must not be eligible for current funds. Can you please clarify?
In order to qualify, the project (or measures within a project) must not be eligible for current NYSERDA funds which are associated with open or current competitive solicitations which have been issued by NYSERDA (directly or through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), or those which NYSERDA lists on its website as upcoming funding opportunities in the next six months. (Go to http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Funding Opportunities.aspx for a listing of NYSERDA funding opportunities.) Specific funding restrictions are noted under each of the nine Eligible Project Categories in the solicitation. Most of these restrictions refer to whether or not the applicant pays the System Benefits Charge/Renewable Portfolio Standard (SBC/RPS) on its natural gas and/or electric utility bill, which applies only to customers of Central Hudson Gas &Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation.
When filling out an application on behalf of a client, whose address should it be filled out by?
Contractors applying on behalf of a customer should enter the actual physical location of the customer's project, not their office address or your location.
Is there a deadline to NYSERDA programs?
The Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program deadline is July 16th. NYSERDA's non residential energy efficiency programs will remain open all year long.
Is there an incentive cap on the New Construction Program?
Yes. The maximum an eligible project can receive is $1.5 Million.
For FlexTech, do you have to be a certified vendor?
No, eligible applicants can choose from a list of engineering firms or provide their own technical consultant.
Customers in the Con Ed utility territory can receive $0.16 per kWh saved through the Existing Facilities Program. Con ED owns Orange and Rockland but Orange and Rockland will only provide $0.12/kWh saved. Why the difference?
Orange and Rockland Utility territories are designated as "upstate" regions through the Existing Facilities Program. Upstate utility territories are eligible to receive $0.12/kWh saved. The incentives are not determined by who owns the utility.
Can the funding be used for LED lights?
Can the funding be used for LED lights?
In performance based projects through the Existing Facilities Program, LEDs listed on the Design Lights Consortium website and the ENERGY STAR® website are eligible.
What validates cost sharing - what documentation needed?
Cost-share of at least 25% of total project cost is required, however higher cost-shares and leveraging of funds is encouraged and will be considered in evaluating proposals. Eligible cost-share can be comprised of cash and/or in-kind contributions and must be derived from sources other than NYSERDA programs. A detailed budget must be provided.
Can you get solar panels for hospitals, colleges, municipalities, buildings on city-owned land?
Any customer that pays into the Renewable Portfolio Standard on their electric utility bill is eligible to receive incentives for the purchase and installation of solar.
Can you receive funding under both NYSERDA and NYPA programs?
Yes, applicants must be paying the System Benefits Charge in order to participate in most NYSERDA programs though.
If a company is moving into New York, should they put in their application or should they wait?
NYSERDA encourages customers to submit applications as early as possible for new construction projects, so they can maximize efficiency in their facilities and receive all potential incentives.
If we submit under the CFA and we are eligible for another program not under the CFA, will you tell us about our eligibility under something else?
Yes, NYSERDA will make every effort to inform customers of all opportunities available for their project.
For a new construction program can we use an existing consultant or do you assign consultants?
Program staff from the New Construction Program will assign an Outreach Project Consultant to work with you on the project as it relates to NYSERDA requirements. Applicants can use their own consultants in conjunction with the assigned OPC.
For a new construction application is the study part of the process?
Yes, technical and design assistance is available through the New Construction Program.
What turnaround time can we expect from NYSERDA. What is turnaround time for Flex Tech?
Once an applicant has finalized their CFA, NYSERDA will contact you within 2 business days.
What is the maximum duration you have to complete a project if you are participating in the Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program?
As the selection criteria states, benefit will be given to projects that can show near term benefits. Projects must be able to commence within a year of contract execution. Projects must show continued progress and be completed in a reasonable timeframe.
Can NYSERDA funds be used for retrofitting town vehicles in the Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program?
Yes, as long as no other funds are available through NYSERDA programs for that technology.
Aren't there additional funds available for LI? Through Green Jobs-Green NY?
Small businesses and Not-for-Profits on Long Island who use an average annual demand of less than 100kW can participate in the FlexTech Energy Audits which provides free audits through the Green Jobs-Green NY Legislation of 2009. This legislation also provides services to residential customers on Long Island, but residential programs are currently not included in the CFA. Other NYSERDA programs require that customers pay into the System Benefits Charge (SBC) which LIPA customers do not pay in to.
NY Power Authority (NYPA) Funding
Are municipalities eligible to apply for a Recharge New York ("RNY") Power allocation?
Eligible applicants may include Businesses, Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits corporations defined under section 102, paragraph 5 of the NYS's not-for-profit corporation law.
If power is not used by a business that received an RNY allocation - what happens to that power after they return it to NYPA?
The power that was awarded and returned to NYPA will go back into the available pool and will be made available for future applicants.
What are the expenses associated with the purchase of RNY power from NYPA?
Customers will be billed directly by NYPA for the commodity portion of the RNY power that they purchase from NYPA and any associated New York Independent System Operator Charges ("NYISO"). In addition, the local utility will bill the customers for the delivery of RNY power.
What is the cost per kilowatt-hour ("kWh") for Recharge NY power?
This cost varies for a number of reasons. First, a facility's operating characteristics play an important role in determining cost (voltage level, service class, load factor). Second, cost will vary by local utility and by New York Independent System Operator zone. Third, the cost per kWh will vary as to whether the customer chooses the RNY blended option vs. the RNY hydro-only option.
If a business has several refrigerated warehouses with separate meters would they be considered separate projects?
No, if the warehouses are within close geographic proximity, then we may consider this a campus-like setting and only one application would be required. Please contact NYPA to discuss the specifics in further detail.
For Recharge NY what is the definition of a small business?
A small business, per the RNY legislation is defined as a business utilizing a peak monthly demand equal to or less than 400 kW.
We previously applied but have not heard anything. Do we need to apply again?
No, please contact NYPA for further instructions at 1-888-562-7697.
If a business applied and received half of the energy they requested, can they re-apply to receive the remaining energy requested?
No, the business should not re-apply to receive the portion of their request that was not granted. However, if the business is expanding and growing and creating new jobs, the business can apply again for the demand (new load or new kW) needed for the expansion.
When you say small business what does that mean? Is it based on the number of employees?
A small business, per the RNY legislation, is defined as a business utilizing a peak monthly demand equal to or less than 400 kW.
Can you explain what ReCharge NY is? Is it a grant or a low-cost loan?
ReCharge NY is a new statewide economic development low cost power program. RNY is not a grant or a loan program. It provides businesses and not-for-profit corporations the opportunity to purchase low-cost power from NYPA in return for capital investment and job commitments, as well as, energy audit requirements.
What energy programs are available through the NY Power Authority?
The RNY program is the only program available from NYPA in the CFA. In addition to the RNY power program, NYPA has a number of economic development power programs and energy efficiency programs available. Please visit NYPA's website at www.nypa.gov for further details.
I applied for RNY allocations for my clients but they did not yet receive an allocation. Do you have an update at this time?
Allocations were awarded in April and June 2012 with additional allocations being made at future NYPA Board meetings.
When can you renew an RNY contract that was previously awarded for up to a 7-year term?
24 months prior to the contract expiring, the customer can request an extension of their existing RNY agreement.
Is the RNY power program only available for expansions?
The RNY Power Program is for both retention and expansion/attraction purposes. However, the bulk of the power that is currently still available is for expansion and attraction purposes. However, there is still power available for retention purposes as well.
Is there power available for Cultural Institutions?
If a cultural institution is a not-for-profit corporation (under section 102 paragraph 5 of the NYS not-for-profit corporation law), they can apply.
If we sign a contract and the prices change would we be locked into inflated prices for 7 years?
Per the RNY-1 Service Tariff (available at www.nypa.gov/rechargeny) rates are subject to change.
I understand that sports venues are ineligible - New York has a lot of ski areas so that would be included under ineligible?
To obtain additional information on eligibility please contact NYPA's Recharge New York Call Center at 1-888-562-7697.
Is a large expansion eligible for RNY power? What about a new construction?
Both are eligible to apply as long as meet the program eligibility
I submitted three proposals - two for-profit and one not-for-profit I received contracts for the for-profit but have not heard anything on the not-for-profit.
All of the applications for RNY power have not been reviewed yet. Decisions on these applications will be made at future NYPA Board meetings and applicants will be notified accordingly.
Are universities eligible to apply?
If the university is a not-for-profit corporation (under section 102 paragraph 5 of the NYS not-for-profit corporation law), they can apply.
Is there a website available for retail businesses to compare cost of power?
NYPA does not serve retail businesses, but information may be available on the websites of the following entities: Public Service Commission, the New York Independent System Operator or the various websites of the public electric utilities located in NYS.
Is the CFA open to new facilities for the ReCharge NY program?
Yes, as long as the facility meets the program eligibility requirements
How competitive is the market power portion of the RNY allocation?
Please consult with your local utility or any Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) that you have a relationship with. NYPA cannot make any guarantees in terms of price of market power.
Are multiple applications for RNY power allowed?
Only one application needs to be submitted per location or site.
Do you sell renewable energy credits?
Renewable energy credits are not available under the RNY Power Program.
What contract terms are available under the RNY program? How does this align with market power purchases?
NYPA can offer up to 7-year terms for the RNY Power Program. For the market power portion of the RNY allocation, NYPA is currently reviewing strategies that will maximize the benefits to the customer. Please consult with your local utility or your ESCO for any non-NYPA contractual issues.
Do you market renewable power?
Half of the RNY power allocation comes from a renewable source - hydropower. However, NYPA does not sell Renewable energy credits as part of the program.
Will ReCharge New York be allowed for municipalities/government?
Eligible applicants may include Business, Small Businesses and Not-for-Profits corporations under section 102, paragraph 5 of the NYS's not-for-profit corporation law.
Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) Funding
Is your program for stormwater projects only?
Yes. GIGP provides funding for green infrastructure stormwater projects. There are 8 specific practices which qualify for GIGP funds:
- Permeable pavement, e.g. porous asphalt, concrete, or pavers;
- Bioretention, e.g. rain gardens or bioswales;
- Green roofs or green walls;
- Street trees or urban forestry programs designed to manage stormwater;
- Construction or restoration of wetlands, floodplains, or riparian buffers;
- Stream daylighting, i.e. removing streams from pipes and restoring the natural morphology;
- Downspout disconnection, i.e. redirecting stormwater from sewers to vegetated areas; and
- Stormwater harvesting and reuse, e.g. rain barrel and cistern projects. These practices all provide some compensatory evapotranspiration, reuse, and/or infiltration.
If the stormwater project I am proposing is mixed with wastewater, is it still eligible for GIGP funding?
No. Once stormwater mixes with wastewater it is considered wastewater and is not eligible for GIGP funding. GIGP will fund strictly stormwater projects.
What documents are required at the time of application?
In addition to answering the GIGP questions in the CFA, there are four documents that must be submitted at the time of application for your project to be considered for GIGP funding. These required documents are:
1. Feasibility Study - A Feasibility Study is a written document signed and stamped by a Qualified Professional (please see below for who is a qualified professional). This document provides the basis/justification for the design of your proposed project and must include several components. A list of the required components of a Feasibility Study is posted on the NYS EFC website at: www.efc.ny.gov/gigp. Applicants are required to submit sufficient information to demonstrate the proposed Green Infrastructure (GI) practice(s) is/are feasible. Please refer to the Table entitled “Technical Guidance for Green Infrastructure Projects” for more information on regulatory references. If your project is selected for funding, it should be noted that EFC and DEC must approve the feasibility study prior to the execution of a GIGP Grant Agreement with EFC.
2. Conceptual Site Plan – A conceptual site plan must include the following:
- Engineer Name, date and project title
- North arrow and Legend (identify all line types and symbols used clearly)
- Graphical scale (1"=10',20',30',40',50',60' or 100')
- Site Features (Wetlands, Nearest Waterbody, Streets, Buildings, etc.)
- Location Map
- Green Infrastructure Practice Location / Layout with Flowpath arrow(s)
3. Location Map - An 8½” x 11” section, copy, or printout is acceptable, so long as it shows at least 1:24,000 scale and is clearly marked as to scale and source, including Quad Name and/or Code.
4. Site Photographs - Each applicant must provide a pdf of clear color images showing the property and illustrating existing conditions and areas to be impacted by proposed work. Photos should be labeled and keyed to a site plan.
What is a Design Report and when is it required?
The Design Report is a written document which is signed and stamped by a Qualified Professional (see question below for description of qualified professional). This document provides information relative to the design of the project and how it meets the Regulatory Reference(s) stated in the design criteria. Please refer to the Table entitled “Technical Guidance for Green Infrastructure Projects” for more information on regulatory references. The Design Report is not required at the time of application, however, it should be noted that an approved Design Report and Full Set of Plan and Specifications are required prior to the release of construction funds. A complete list of all required components of the Design Report can be found here.
Who is a Qualified Professional?
A Qualified Professional is a person that is knowledgeable in the principles and practices of stormwater management and treatment, such as a licensed Professional Engineer, Registered Landscape Architect or other individual(s) endorsed by NYS DEC. Individuals preparing SWPPPs that require the post-construction stormwater management practice component must have an understanding of the principles of hydrology, water quality management practice design, water quantity control design, and, in many cases, the principles of hydraulics in order to prepare a SWPPP that conforms to the Department's technical standard. Please contact EFC for additional guidance with regard to GIGP projects that are related to combined sewer system projects or projects located at a Publicly Owned Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Are educational public meetings required as part of the application process for a funded project?
No, but they are encouraged. Educational public meetings are not required as part of the application process for GIGP, or the project itself. However, grant recipients may choose to hold educational public meetings as a portion of the outreach component for their project or to generate interest in the project prior to application.
Can you describe the required match under GIGP?
A minimum of 10% of the total GIGP project cost must be provided by the recipient. This can come from any non-federal source. For example, if a project costs $1,000,000 and the GIGP Award is $900,000 the local match is a minimum of $100,000 from any non-federal source. This could include, municipal, private, state or other funds, including in-kind services. Appropriate contractual commitments would need to be demonstrated by successful grant applicants.
Does the applicant need to complete the SERP/SEQR process to apply?
No, however, if your project is selected for funding, you must complete the State Environmental Review Process (SERP). One required component of the SERP is to complete New York's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) review of a project. The SHPO review is required before EFC can enter into a grant agreement with you for your project. A lead agency, a governmental entity with discretionary review or approval authority for the project, needs to be part of the SERP/SEQR process. To view the guidance, click here.
Do we have to comply with Minority & Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) requirements?
Yes. All GIGP projects must comply with Article 15A of NYS Law. MWBE Program guidance can be found here. Each recipient is required to complete and submit a MWBE work plan before EFC can prepare a Grant Agreement. The work plan and MWBE Program documents and forms are available in the MWBE–EEO section of the EFC Resource Library which is available here.
Can you further explain "transfer of technologies?”
"Transfer of technologies" is the sharing of technologies, knowledge, techniques, and methods with other communities and stakeholders who can then further develop and deploy these ideas, methods, or technologies and help deliver them to a wider audience or potential implementers.
The degree to which a project, component, or concept is replicable at other sites, projects, and communities across the State is an important consideration. However, even if a project is being considered for a unique site situation, EFC will still consider whether the project brings forward innovative green concepts or components that are transferrable or can be built upon.
Can you better define what would be an innovative project?
An innovative project would be one that is new and different and that provides for better water quality more efficiently. You may want to articulate how many projects similar to yours are in your county, in the State, and in the country. What’s innovative in one community may not be innovative in another. For example, in one community green streets may be commonplace, but in another community it would be completely new and innovative. Innovative projects deploy new technologies or concepts within a local, regional or State context.
Does the applicant need to provide resolutions along with the application?
No, however, if the project is selected for funding, EFC will then require copies of these resolutions.
Are these reimbursable grants? Does the grant awardee need to front the money?
No, the grant is a cost-incurred grant, meaning that as costs are incurred throughout the duration of the project, disbursements against the grant award can be made to the applicant to pay for these costs. Proof of payment would be required within 45 days of disbursement to verify an invoice has been paid. To reduce the administrative burden, some applicants may choose to cover all costs out of their own funds until the project is complete and then request the grant award.
Can the local IDA (Industrial Development Agency) be the applicant?
Yes, but whoever will own, operate and maintain the project should be the applicant or at least a joint applicant, if different than the IDA.
Is there any component for any of the programs which would result in land acquisition as part of the funding requirement?
Successful GIGP applicants must be able to own, operate and maintain the project which may result in the need to acquire the land in which the project will be located. Land acquisition, however, is not eligible for GIGP funds. The cost of land acquisition may be used as an eligible cost to satisfy the local match requirement.
If a not-for-profit organization is working with a for-profit company and they have an innovative 319 project, can the for-profit company be the one to own, operate and maintain the project?
Yes, the for-profit company can be the entity that owns, operates and maintains the project. Eligible applicants may include: any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, Indian reservation wholly within NYS, any public benefit corporation or public authority established pursuant to the laws of NYS or any agency of NYS which is empowered to construct and operate an eligible GIGP project, or any two of the foregoing which are acting jointly in connection with an eligible GIGP project. Eligible applicants may also include: any partnership, association, school district, not-for-profit corporation or any other corporation organized and existing under the laws of NYS or any other State which is empowered to develop a project or any two or more of the foregoing which are acting jointly in connection with a project.
If my municipality is currently listed on the Intended Use Plan (IUP) and we are selected for a GIGP grant, does our listing on the IUP become invalid?
No. EFC will work with you to ensure that you do not have funding conflicts.
Are pilot/demonstration projects eligible?
Yes, if the project and applicant are eligible under the CWSRF and the US EPA Green Project Reserve. However, the project must be a real, feasible project that provides water quality benefits at its location and the project sponsor must commit to continued operation of the project for its useful life or incorporation into a larger future project.
When does construction have to be complete?
There is no programmatic deadline for construction completion, however, project grant agreements will establish agreed upon final completion dates to ensure timely completion.
If there are several entities (planning board, municipality, for-profit) involved in one project, who should the applicant be?
The Applicant should be the party legally responsible for owning, operating and maintaining the project. Another option is a joint application, whereby the party responsible for owning, operating and maintaining the project is one of the applicants who will be subsequently willing to commit to these responsibilities under the EFC grant agreement.
Can we use GIGP funds to run a rebate program for our community/municipality?
No, a GIGP grant award must be used for a pre-defined specific project. Intermediate arrangements to distribute GIGP funds are not allowed under this program.
How can I calculate the water quality benefits of my project?
There are several useful tools for estimating pollutant load reduction that you can use for calculating water quality metrics for non-point source practices.
- The Center for Watershed Protection’s Watershed Treatment Model found at http://www.cwp.org/documents/cat_view/83-watershed-treatment-model.html
- The US EPA Office of Water’s Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL) found at http://it.tetratech-ffx.com/steplweb/default.htm
Both of these models are available free of charge through the above web sites. Please note that you may need to convert units from these models to enter the appropriate unit into the CFA.
Can you provide examples of ineligible activities?
Projects that Do Not Meet the Definition of Green Infrastructure and which are NOT ELIGIBLE for GIGP funding include:
- Stormwater controls that have impervious or semi-impervious liners and provide no compensatory evapotranspirative or harvesting function for stormwater retention
- Stormwater ponds that serve an extended detention function and/or extended filtration, including dirt-lined detention basins
- In-line and end-of-pipe treatment systems that only filter or detain stormwater
- Underground stormwater control and treatment devices such as swirl concentrators, hydrodynamic separators, baffle systems for grit, trash removal/floatables, oil and grease, inflatable booms and dams for in-line underground storage and diversion of flows
- Stormwater conveyance systems that are not soil/vegetation based (swales) such as pipes and concrete channels
- Hardening, channelizing or straightening streams and/or stream banks
- Street sweepers, sewer cleaners, and vactor trucks, unless they support green infrastructure projects
- Water meters
- Maintenance Activities
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Funding
If you received an award in the first round of the CFA, can you apply for funding in this round?
Yes, there is not a limit to how many times an applicant can submit applications to the CFA for DEC’s program.
Is there any obligation on the part of the municipality to go ahead with the project once the report has been approved?
No, however, projects where the municipality is obligated to implement the project under a consent order or SPDES permit may score higher. The intent of the funding is to allow municipalities to complete engineering reports to make them eligible to apply for funding assistance.
Would a watershed management plan be an eligible expense?
No, this program is only for the completion of an engineering planning report
What types of projects is the funding intended to be used for?
The funds are for the planning associated with wastewater infrastructure projects. It is not intended for salt storage, storm water or dam restoration projects.
Can more than one eligible municipality apply for the same joint project?
Yes, if two or more municipalities have an agreement to pursue a project, they may apply for the grant. However, it is preferred that one municipality take the lead and serve as the applicant. In any case, funding will be provided for the completion of one engineering report per project at a maximum of $30,000 per project.
If a municipality cannot afford a municipal sewage treatment system, can the municipality explore a decentralized wastewater treatment option?
Yes, that is an option eligible for funding. Municipalities are encouraged through the engineering report to identify solutions to water quality issues. Those solutions may include municipal systems, such as municipally owned decentralized treatment.
Can a municipality use the CWSRF Engineering Planning Grant to prepare an engineering report evaluating the connection to a larger municipality?
Yes, if a municipality has a limited budget it can apply to complete an engineering report to assess connecting to a larger municipality.
Is the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) part of the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)?
No, however potential applicants to the CWSRF loan program must complete an engineering report before they can submit an application the CWSRF program. Funding to assist municipalities with the required engineering report is a part of the CFA.
If a municipality needs an upgrade to their municipal sewer system and has already contracted with someone to complete an engineering report, can they apply?
Yes, if a municipality has already commissioned the production of an engineering report for an eligible activity, and the project is not on the 2012 Intended Use Plan (IUP) - Annual list, the report could qualify for consideration. If the municipality is able to meet the other eligibility criteria, the report would need to be produced in a manner that meets the Engineering Report definition in the "CWSRF Engineering Planning Grant Program Overview" document that can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/81196.html