Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

    Regional Councils

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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, recommendations will be made by the Regional Councils and given to the Governor’s office for approval.

    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.

  • Regional Competition

  • 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 continue to motivate investment opportunities and job creation in 2014, the REDCs will again compete for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as priorities in their regions.

    The competition places an emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies. By incentivizing implementation of the strategic plans, REDCs, businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders are more motivated to work together to accomplish the regional vision.

    The competition this year will center on:

    • Implementation of regional strategic economic development plans;
    • Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
    • Identification of global marketing and export strategies.

    The competition will be split in two parts:

    • The five regions identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for two awards of $25 million each.
    • The five regions not identified as Top Performers in 2013 will compete for three awards of $25 million each.

    The balance of the $25 million in capital funds will be divided among the remaining five 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 fourth 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.

  • Citizen Participation

  • 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.regionalcouncils.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.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

  • Executive Involvement

  • 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 the Lieutenant Governor guide the Regional Council program to achieve economic growth, create jobs, and reinforce the message that New York Works For Business.

  • What is the Lieutenant Governor’s role in the Regional Councils?

    Economic development efforts are more likely to succeed when championed by a prominent leader. The Lieutenant Governor will chair each Regional Council and address issues that affect all of the regions.

  • Resource Allocation

  • Will the Regional Councils be disbursing funds directly?

    No. The Regional Council will play an advisory role by undertaking seven primary activities this year:

    • Develop and implement global marketing and export strategies
    • Collaborate with local governments to transform the regional business climate
    • Support NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan projects
    • Keep the project pipeline flowing
    • Address regional workforce development needs for key sectors
    • Refine the regional Opportunity Agenda
    • Promote Veterans’ participation in the workforce
  • 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.

  • 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 August 2014, 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.

  • Regional Planning

  • 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 Regional Co-Chairs of each Regional Council 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 www.regionalcouncils.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
    • Waterfront Revitalization
    • Energy Improvements
    • Environmental Improvements
    • Sustainability Planning and Implementation
    • 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; NYSERDA; 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; Office of Storm Recovery; 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 $232.25 million
    Empire State Development

    • up to $ 150 million for ESD Grant Funds
    • up to $ 70 million for Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits
    • up to $ 1.25 million for Innovation Hot Spot Program
    • up to $ 1 million for Strategic Planning and Feasibility Studies
    • up to $ 10 million for Market NY

    Community Development up to $49.7 million
    Homes and Community Renewal

    • up to $ 25 million for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding
    • up to $ 4 million for the New York Main Street Program
    • up to $ 200,000 for New York Main Street Technical Assistance Program

    Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

    • up to $ 15.5 million for Environmental Protection Fund Municipal Grants

    Council on the Arts

    • up to $ 5 million for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Projects

    Waterfront Revitalization up to $ 12.75 million
    Department of State

    • up to $15 million for Local Waterfront Revitalization

    Canal Corporation

    • up to $1 million for the Canalway Grants Program

    Environmental Improvements up to $ 14.6 million
    Environmental Facilities Corporation

    • $ 12.6 million for Green Innovation Grant Program

    Department of Environmental Conservation

    • up to $2 million for EFC/DEC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grants

    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 174 Mega Watts for ReCharge New York

    Sustainability Planning and Implementation up to $35 million
    Energy Research and Development Authority

    • up to $31 million for the Cleaner Greener Communities Program Phase II Implementation Planning Grants

    Department of State

    • up to $4 million for Local Government Efficiency Grants

    Workforce Development up to $ 6 million
    Department of Labor

    • up to $ 5 million for Workforce Development Programs

    Low-Cost Financing up to $350 million
    Empire State Development

    • up to $ 350 million for the Industrial Development Bond Cap (IDBC) Program

    Department of State

    • Resilience Fund Low-Cost Financing Program
  • 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 cfa@ny.gov. 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 previous rounds by logging in using the token assigned to you during that 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 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, 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?

    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

    Mid-Hudson: CFARegion5@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 45 days – from May 1 until the application due date of 4:00PM June 16. Final attachments related to program specific requirements should be uploaded on the system; where hardcopies are specifically required by a funding agency. 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.

  • Can applicants reapply for funding of projects that were not successful applications in previous rounds?

    Applicants can reapply for funding for projects not funded in the past if the program is still available. 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?

    The contract will be 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 30 funding programs that can be accessed through the CFA. Available resources can be found online www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

  • Where can I find copies of the presentations given at the CFA Workshops?

    All workshop materials are online www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

  • 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.

  • 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 June 16th?

    Yes, all application materials must be uploaded to the system by 4pm on June 16th.

  • Are there different due dates depending on which funding you are requesting?

    No, all applications are due by 4pm on June 16th. However, there are some programs in the CFA have a rolling deadline, meaning they will continue to accept applications post-June 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 10 MB. Documents must be combined into one PDF for each question.

  • How was the CFA improved and simplified from last year?

    Based on feedback from applicants, agencies and Regional Councils, 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, 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 do you do the budget for multiple programs?

    You will have separate budget lines for each program requiring budget information.

  • 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.

  • Pre Qualification
  • I am a not-for-profit organization. Do I need to pre-qualify with Grants Gateway in order to submit an application in the CFA?

    Yes. You cannot finalize an application without pre-qualifying. More information on the Grants Gateway can be found at www.grantsreform.ny.gov.

  • Empire State Development (ESD) Funding
  • How do you define ‘starting a project’?

    Making a commitment to undertake a project, including ordering M&E or signing a contract.

  • What is Job Creation?

    New jobs created as a result of the project.

  • How can there be funding for tourism without including hotel and restaurants?

    You must focus on the projects that attracts people to that area. Not too many people will travel 200 miles because of a restaurant. i.e. beer and wine trails, museums are examples. ESD grant funds can fund hotels and restaurants.

  • Please define the two. Non-retail and retail?

    Any capital project is eligible, retail or non-retail. Projects must be non-residential, i.e. if you have 50 apartments upstairs but the lower level is a kitchen that is for commercial use then you can ask for funding for piping as it relates to the commercial usage.

  • If the project cost is for 1 million and you have already put in 20% of that cost, how much should you ask for?

    It’s best to ask for no more than 20% of that 1 million, meaning $200,000. But if you have incurred costs already, they cannot be included.

  • How do you explain new media?

    Ask the Excelsior people. I would say technology advancement.

  • Is a roof for a building covered?

    Yes.

  • What if cash equity would be needed to close? Would there be any funding?

    Funds are reimbursed upon achievement of project milestones. ESD would not advance funds for a closing.

  • Does the state have someone who can help you with grant writing? Do they make suggestions?

    . No

  • In reality, the regional grant is only helping us with 19%?

    . The fee is 1% of the grant, not 1% of project costs.

  • Who do I contact in order to register?

    The information is on the website and it has been updated.

  • How does Workforce Development connect with the Veterans Credit?

    This can also be found on the website.

  • What does RSP Mean?

    Regionally Significant Project.

  • Would the building of a Winery Tasting Room be considered Facility Funding?

    Yes

  • Is there a limit to the number of applications an organization can submit?

    No

  • Most businesses run on cycles and the awards may not fall into the cycle.

    This is true and that is why it may be best to request funds for different phases of your project. If you have an urgent need, please contact my office as there may be other funding you can tap into especially if you are considering moving your business out of state. Also, consider submitting the application for phases of your project that may be done in November or December. Use CFA dollars for expansion.

  • Regarding ESD funds grant program: Are public authorities eligible?

    yes

  • Regarding marketing: Tourism is scored differently but is it linked to workforce for veterans?

    Increasing veterans may be scored higher but many factors come into play.

  • I have building needs and many projects- who do I call? It’s an arts building and it needs new elevator, windows, as well as a marketing campaign.

    You need to prioritize your projects. Windows would be NYSERTA. You can apply to multiple agencies but be careful because it can create potential funding gaps. Use the resource guide to determine who to call.

  • ESD Grants: 20% is eligible, but if the other 80% is federal funding is it still eligible?

    We don’t care where the other 80% is from as long as 10% is cash equity, so federal funding could not be used for that 10%..

  • Is there a minimum amount of capital projects that can be submitted? Is 2.5 million okay?

    That’s fine.

  • For bigger projects- Phase I is just land acquisition. How do we do that? Do we submit the whole project?

    Describe what the whole project is in your application, but make it clear that this phase and budget are only for the land acquisition.

  • I’m planning 2 major improvements of approximately 2 million dollars. One is a conversion into a spa and another is turning a restaurant into a venue. These will be done the same time. Can I make 1 submission?

    You can apply at the same time or separate. Up to you.

  • Can any workforce money be used for Support services? Not tuition but staff items in a community agency (Directed at Dept of State)

    Yes

  • Should Applicants notify investors and apply for other assists like National Grid rate reductions?

    Yes, it’s a good idea to apply for any available funding or assistance.

  • Is the Deadline the same for the various programs (ESD Grant, Strategic Planning/Feasibility, Excelsior, Market NY, Innovation Hot Spot Program)?

    Yes, June 16th 4pm the site shuts down and you will no longer be able to enter or complete an application.

  • For Market NY, if you have a multi-phase project and have completed the first phase, will you consider expenses already incurred?

    No, we cannot consider expenses incurred prior to the award. If you have a multi-phased project, you indicate this in the application and the award may be based on the portion of the project to be completed in the winter or next year.

  • I am confused about information regarding the different funding sources, some have to be matched and you need the funding to be in place…?

    First and foremost get the application in. Some programs require that you identify where the 25% match will come from. In another instance, there was a company seeking $1 million and was awarded $300k. They received an additional $600k from the feds that they were not aware of at the time.

  • You think the awards may be made in September or October, does the state have bridge funding?

    No, most of the awards are incentives and are reimbursement based; if you are creating jobs we have to see that jobs are actually created. There are banks who may offer low cost loans that may be utilized for bridge funding.

  • Can several feasibility (for e.g. job creation, tourism) studies be funded for two different grant sources?

    ESD’s feasibility study grants are related to strategic planning for municipalities and specific project sites, not studies for job creation or tourism. You may be able to apply for other CFA grants…

  • Does ESD have prerequisites, we heard about prerequisites for not-for-profits?

    Yes, you have to register through the Grants Gateway prior to ESD Board action, which typically occurs at project completion. However, it is a good idea to go ahead and register. Check Grants Gateway (http: www.grantsreform.ny.gov/grantees)

  • If you are applying for two grants, do you need two different numbers?

    Not for CFA; Municipalities do not need the number; just Not-for-Profits.

  • Grants cannot be used on Municipal Centers, Village/Town Halls, but what if the renovations (to the Port Chester Village Hall) will benefit multiple agencies/services contained within that building. This is not solely for the purpose of renovating the Hall, but for improving services.

    any capital project is eligible.

  • If the owners of a business are a husband and wife—one a minority, the other a woman—must they be certified?

    Certification is not necessary in order to complete the CFA, but there will be M/WBE (Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program) component requirements on the back end (when it comes to hiring and related issues, there will be a related clause in the contract). Empire State Development can help with M/WBE certification.

  • Is the 20% cap on the grant amount that a business can request based on 20% of that business’s budget?

    The business can request 20% of the project budget in a CFA grant.

  • Which ESD offering would be most appropriate for youth development programs through ESD?

    ESD offerings through the CFA 4 do not address youth development programs. Interest in youth development programs should be directed to the local WIBs

  • Although residential projects are not fundable under the CFA, what if a business has entered an infrastructural agreement with a residential corporation for the purpose of upgrading a residential water system?

    Residential projects are not fundable under ESD CFA offerings.

  • We are currently involved in a brown field project which will result in the creation of green space. Which ESD program should we apply for? Infrastructure or Acquisition, Renovation and Construction of Commercial, mixed use in highly distressed areas?

    You don’t have to identify which one. But do include information if the project is in a highly distressed area.

  • Can you apply for tax credits as additional funding, in addition to grants?

    Cast as wide a net as possible and apply to as many programs as possible.

  • Does the Excelsior program consider Solar Energy projects?

    For expansion, not procurement. NYSERDA may be a better bet.

  • Should we lobby the board members?

    No lobbying required.

  • The composition of 80-20 funding?

    out of the 80%, 10% minimum should be from applicant.

  • A portion of the programs reads that they are not valid for residential but can be applied for mixed use. Does ESD define what is mix use?

    Properties that have multiple uses, such as commercial, retail, and residential.

  • Will the reimbursable for projects only be 20%?

    That is the typical maximum award.

  • How is regional collaboration defined, e.g. how ‘regional’ is regional?

    Regional would be defined as how much a proposed project can be supported. It depends on what the market is and therefore cannot be directly linked to a measured space. Example was given where a project included a local municipal project that encompassed county as well due to tourism-related project.

  • In relation to the marketing portion of tourism facility planning capital funding, can this only be applied for marketing or would it be applicable to related expenses?

    Tourism facilities funding capital funding can be applied to other related expenses if seen as necessary for the project, e.g. construction expense if information help kiosk is needed.

  • If the project is in the works can we still apply?

    Phases/segments of the project can still be funded if it has not begun yet. You should discuss with the Regional Office.

  • When is the public hearing conducted?

    When the project is officially approved

  • Is there a public hearing for each project?

    Only one public hearing for the entire project

  • When is the announcement for the priority of projects?

    08/13/14

  • If I have an open grant can I open another one?

    Yes, but you must make progress in the existing projects

  • Can I use the funds for property acquisition?

    Yes

  • If denied last year priority of project can I reapply?

    Yes

  • Can I apply the $250 application fee within the expenses section of the application?

    No, it is a separate fee

  • Can Taste NY participants apply for CFA funding?

    Yes

  • What if you are interested in ESD Grant Funds and you have to spend some money prior to the project being due because of a safety issue?

    Check with the Regional Office.

  • On the construction or renovation cost, is the design cost included?

    Yes

  • If you are interested in Market NY, can you have funding from both tracks?

    Yes

  • For Capital Project Investments can we use federal monies to match?

    Yes, except for 10% required applicant equity.

  • Is the match for Market NY all cash or can it be in kind as well?

    No sure – will check.

  • Does the Market NY $10Million funding mean statewide or regional?

    Statewide

  • Do we have a certain amount that is guaranteed for this area?

    No, I don’t think so.

  • Can one reuse a token year after year or must they reapply?

    Not supplied

  • How is the determination of need made for the project?

    State why the project needs funds. Different agencies evaluate this based on their own metrics.

  • How can one be recognized as a priority project?

    Check with the Regional Office.

  • What are the criteria for scoring? Is there a list of criteria?

    See the Resource Guide.

  • Who should we contact should we have questions while completing the online application?

    Check with the Regional Office.

  • Whom comprises the panel/review board?

    Agency staff.

  • Are the disbursement of awards more based on region, mainly New York City?

    Regions compete for the ESD Grant funds.

  • Can one apply and be awarded multiple grants for the same project?

    Yes.

  • Are there preference for ongoiong vs. one time projects?

    Check with the Regional Office to discuss.

  • What is the reporting criteria once funding has be awarded?

    Specific to each project.

  • What if you are interested in ESD Grant Funds and you have to spend some money prior to the project being due because of a safety issue?

    I don’t know. I will check on this. Maybe this isn’t the funding you are looking for. We can discuss.

  • On the construction or renovation cost, is the design cost included?

    Yes

  • If you are interested in Market NY, can you have funding from both tracks?

    Yes

  • For Capital Project Investments can we use federal monies to match?

    Yes

  • Is the match for Market NY all cash or can it be in kind as well?

    No sure – will check.

  • Does the Market NY $10Million funding mean statewide or regional?

    Statewide

  • Do we have a certain amount that is guaranteed for this area?

    No, I don’t think so.

  • Any idea when in the Fall the grant would be approved?

    Sometime in the fall. No sure of the date.

  • For a tourism grant as opposed to the other grants, which one would I pick? (unable to understand all of the question from the participant)

    Do the tourism as it pays up to 80%.

  • What is considered mixed use?

    Residential on the second floor and retail/business on the first floor for example.

  • What is the Empire State Development contribution percentage on Development Grants Funds?

    Generally 20% maximum

  • What is the percentage of cash equity required by a business under the Empire State Development Grant Funds?

    Applicants for Empire State Development Grant Funds are responsible for 80% of project costs 10% of which must be a cash equity contribution.

  • Is winning as a “Top Performing Region” dependent on the Regional Economic Development Council or the projects submitted by applicants?

    Both. The Regional Economic Development Council submits periodic retroactive reports. Program applicants are assessed in part on level of project readiness and alignment with Regional Economic Development Council goals.

  • Are applicants limited to 1 Program?

    No, however a separate CFA application must be made for each program applying for.

  • Can Empire State Grant Funds be used for residential projects?

    No. However if a project has both residential and commercial components Empire State Grant Funds can be applied to the commercial components of the project.

  • Are retail projects fundable under the Empire State Grant Funds?

    Not typically, but they are eligible.

  • How close to “project ready” should an application be made?

    Generally speaking within 2 years.

  • Empire State Development - Market NY
  • How can there be funding for tourism without including hotel and restaurants?

    You must focus on the projects that attracts people to that area. Not too many people will travel 200 miles because of a restaurant. i.e. beer and wine trails, museums are examples.

  • Would the building of a Winery Tasting Room be considered Facility Funding?

    Yes

  • Regarding marketing: Tourism is scored differently but is it linked to workforce for veterans?

    Increasing veterans may be scored higher but many factors come into play.

  • I’m planning 2 major improvements of approximately 2 million dollars. One is a conversion into a spa and another is turning a restaurant into a venue. These will be done the same time. Can I make 1 submission?

    It’s limited what we can do with retail. A tourism destination might have more flexibility but an argument must be made for it. You can apply at the same time or separate. Up to you.

  • Is the Deadline the same for the various programs (ESD Grant, Strategic Planning/Feasibility, Excelsior, Market NY, Innovation Hot Spot Program)?

    Yes, June 16th 4pm the site shuts down and you will no longer be able to enter or complete an application.

  • For Market NY, if you have a multi-phase project and have completed the first phase, will you consider expenses already incurred?

    No, we cannot consider expenses incurred prior to the award. If you have a multi-phased project, you indicate this in the application and the award may be based on the portion of the project to be completed in the winter or next year.

  • You think the awards may be made in September or October, does the state have bridge funding?

    No, most of the awards are incentives and are reimbursement based; if you are creating jobs we have to see that jobs are actually created. There are banks who may offer low cost loans that may be utilized for bridge funding.

  • ow is regional collaboration defined, e.g. how ‘regional’ is regional?

    Regional would be defined as how much a proposed project can be supported. It depends on what the market is and therefore cannot be directly linked to a measured space. Example was given where a project included a local municipal project that encompassed county as well due to tourism-related project.

  • In relation to the marketing portion of tourism facility planning capital funding, can this only be applied for marketing or would it be applicable to related expenses?

    Tourism facilities funding capital funding can be applied to other related expenses if seen as necessary for the project, e.g. construction expense if information help kiosk is needed.

  • Can Taste NY participants apply for CFA funding?

    Yes

  • If you are interested in Market NY, can you have funding from both tracks?

    Yes

  • For Capital Project Investments can we use federal monies to match?

    . Yes

  • Is the match for Market NY all cash or can it be in kind as well?

    Yes- it is all cash in-kind can’t be used toward the match

  • Does the Market NY $10Million funding mean statewide or regional?

    Statewide

  • Can the match for Market NY be made up of I LOVE NY matching funds?

    No- the I LOVE NY matching funds can’t be used for the match for Market NY, nor can other state funds.

  • Is there a minimum or maximum amount you can request for Market NY?

    There is not, but we remind applicants that the total available for all the statewide grants is $10 million, so it would be best to not ask for the full $10 million.

  • Who should the letters of support be addressed to?

    You can address them to “Whom it May Concern” as there will be many different people reviewing the letters. You can use the following address as well: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12245. DO NOT MAIL these letters to use- we will not include them with your application if mailed hard copy. It is required that you upload them into your application in the CFA system.

  • How/Where do I show that we have our cash match?

    We suggest that you add a page to your Marketing Plan that provides details of how much your cash match is and where it is coming from. We also suggest (as mentioned in the guidelines) that you provide a strong example such as: a letter from your organization committing the money to the project or a letter from the bank showing you have a loan for the match or a letter from a partner committing the cash match.

  • Empire State Development - Excelsior Jobs
  • How do you define ‘starting a project’?

    Some people buy land, some use commercial with residential projects but the ESD will only fund the commercial components. For the Excelsior Jobs Program, it should be noted that expenses (i.e. capital investments, wages for new jobs, and research and development expenditures) incurred on or after the Regional Council award date and subsequent Commissioner of Economic Development approval may be included in the calculation of the Excelsior Jobs Program credit. Expenses incurred prior to this date are not eligible to be included in the calculation of the credit. Any job creation prior to this date will not be eligible for Excelsior.

  • What is Job Creation?

    No state tax is reimbursed if they can’t use all of their money. For the Excelsior Jobs Program, job creation means jobs that are new to New York State in excess of the applicant’s base employment. Net new jobs is defined in regulations, Chapter XIX of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Economic Development § 190.2 as follows. "Net new jobs" means jobs created in this state that: (1) are new to the state and in excess of both the applicant’s employment as of the date the applicant is admitted into the Excelsior Jobs Program and the applicant’s employment base calculated as the average of the applicant’s employment in New York State for each of the four quarters immediately prior to the date it was issued a certificate of eligibility, or, if the applicant was not in business in New York State during all four quarters, the employment base shall be calculated as the average of the applicant’s employment in New York State for each of those quarters immediately prior to the date it was issued a certificate of eligibility in which the applicant was in business in New York State

  • How do you explain new media?

    For the Excelsior Jobs Program, New Media is defined in regulations, Chapter XIX of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Economic Development § 190.2 as follows. “New media” means the application of information technology to traditional communications outlets, particularly through interactive modes such as the Internet, including video games, web search portals, interactive web-based content, and interactive advertising. "New Media" also includes the post production process for film and television projects which involves the following activities: picture, sound and music editing; rerecording and mixing; visual effects, graphic design, original scoring, animation and musical composition.

  • Does the Excelsior program consider Solar Energy projects?

    For expansion, not procurement. NYSERDA may be a better bet. If the project includes actual manufacturing of components, it may be considered by the Excelsior Jobs Program.

  • What is the reporting criteria once funding has be awarded?

    For the Excelsior Jobs Program, once accepted into the program, the business will be required to submit job and investment documentation each year of their tax credit benefit period.

  • Department of Labor (DOL) Funding
  • What is the time frame for training for the New Hire grant?

    New Hire Training Program contracts may be for up to one year in duration.

  • Can colleges apply for the Unemployed Worker Training Program?

    Yes. Training providers are eligible to apply for funding under this program.

  • Is the Workforce funding similar to those funded by DOS?

    There are a number of differences:

    • DOS provides funding for soft skills development. DOL does not pay for soft skills (work readiness) training.
    • DOS limits eligibility to not-for-profits. DOL includes for-profits and training providers among its eligible applicants.
    • DOS applicants must demonstrate that they provide federally-funded or state funded services to low income persons, they have a board of directors that enables maximum participation by the poor, and they have continuously existed for at least 5 years. DOL does not have any of these requirements.
    • DOS has $1 million available with a maximum grant of $200,000. DOL has $5 million available with a maximum grant of $100,000.
    • DOL has a local share match requirement of 25%. DOL has no match requirement for its Existing Employee and Unemployed Worker programs and a 50% match requirement for its New Hire program.
  • Can they be combined?

    Any application that attempts to apply for both types of training grants would have to be evaluated to determine whether the proposed training activities are being double-funded, overlapping or interdependent in any way.

  • Are VETS treated differently?

    Veterans are eligible to be trained under all three DOL programs. Veterans also receive priority of service in DOL’s Career Centers and there are staff within the Centers who are dedicated to serving only veterans.

  • Are they (Training Funds) Matching Funds?

    No. Training funds potentially received from DOL are not considered to be matching funds for other programs. Matching funds are funds that the applicant contributes directly to the overall cost of the project.

  • What was the name of the program for existing employees and how do I get more information?

    The name is the “Existing Employee Training Program”, and in addition to the guidelines on the hand out, you can get a full description of the program on the website at http://www.labor.ny.gov/CFA/.

  • For the existing employee training can we have equipment replaced that we tear down, while training employees? There is only so many times you can tear down and put back together…

    The Existing Employee Training Program will not pay for the purchase of any equipment/hardware or software not specifically needed for the planned training. The purchase of any equipment/hardware or software which would be utilized by the organization for normal operational activities will not be allowed.

  • With the New Hire training does the company have to name the people to be hired?

    No, at the time of application it is unlikely that you will know who you are going to hire. The application will ask you to provide information on the job titles to be filled and the number of projected openings for each one.

  • NYSERDA has made changes to training through PON 33; they no longer pay for classroom training. Will the DOL grant cover BPI training?

    In general, Building Performance Institute (BPI) training is for residential energy efficiency and weatherization retrofitting work. Although DOL cannot pre-approve it, training of this nature would likely meet the definition of occupational skill training and would be something that we could consider funding.

  • In the Existing Employee Training Program, is the salary of the substitute who takes on the responsibilities of the employee in training an Allowable Cost?

    No. The Existing Employee Training Program will only pay for:

    • The costs of outside vendors or in-house trainers to provide on-site or off-site classroom training and the costs of textbooks or training materials directly associated with the training.
    • Distance learning fees (i.e., the fee for the training slot and software that is required to deliver the program of training).
  • Should existing grantees mention that they received a CFA grant in the past when applying?

    Yes. The application has a question that is common to all programs that asks, “If funding was awarded in prior CFA rounds, what were the CFA numbers for which funding was awarded?” Please provide information on all prior CFA awards in response to that question.

  • Can an agency/conglomerate of agencies request training, or does it have to be a single entity?

    The grant does not make accommodation for consortiums or joint applications. Each entity should submit its own application.

  • Do employers who hire veterans or are part of a returning military program receive additional points in the endorsement standards?

    There is no provision for additional points in scoring.

  • Do both for-profit and non-profit organizations have to use the Grants Gateway system?

    Yes. Both for-profits and not-for-profits must register in the Grants Gateway system. However, for-profits do not have to complete the registration until the contracting process begins (should an award be made). Not-for-profits must register and go through the pre-qualification process before the application due date of June 16th.

  • Can a business have a candidate go to a Community College under the Unemployed Worker Training grant, and then hire that individual and also use the New Hire Training Program?

    No. The DOL Request for Proposals states, “For those applicants that are also applying for Existing Employee Training funds and/or Unemployed Worker Training funds in addition to New Hire Training funds under the CFA, funds for two or all three programs cannot be combined to use on the same trainees. For example, an applicant may not use New Hire Training funds to train a new worker on the job and then use Existing Employee Training funds to send the same worker to classroom training. Each group of trainees must remain separate and distinct and be trained solely under one NYSDOL CFA program.” However, if a person was trained by a training provider applicant under the Unemployed Worker Training Program, and then that person was later hired by another business (not the original trainer) and they wanted to train the newly hired worker under a New Hire Training Program grant that they had received, that would be allowable.

  • Are Immigrants/Refugees eligible to be trained under the DOL Unemployed Worker Training Grant?

    Yes, if they have authority to work in the U.S. NYSDOL would also need to know if they qualify as dislocated workers – i.e., were they laid off or terminated from their former employment. They can’t have quit in order to join a group of refugees or have left their employment to seek asylum. Beyond that if they had the appropriate separation, and they have been long-term unemployed, they would qualify. There is no requirement that their employment or unemployment would have to be US-based.

  • Are ex-offenders eligible to be trained under the DOL Unemployed Worker Training Grant?

    Yes. Ex-offenders are eligible to be trained as long as they meet the requirements of being a long-term unemployed dislocated worker.

  • What does the "pre-qualification" process for non-profits actually involve?

    In order to complete the Prequalification process, not-for-profits must do the following:

    1. Register for the Grants Gateway.
      • On the Grants Reform Website, download a copy of the Registration Form for Administrator. A signed, notarized original form must be sent to the Division of Budget at the address provided in the instructions. You will be provided with a Username and Password allowing you to access the Grants Gateway.

        If you have previously registered and do not know your Username please email grantsreform@budget.ny.gov. If you do not know your Password please click the Forgot Password link from the main log in page and follow the prompts.
    2. Complete your Prequalification Application.
      • Log in to the Grants Gateway. If this is your first time logging in, you will be prompted to change your password at the bottom of your Profile page. Enter a new password and click SAVE.
      • Click the Organization(s) link at the top of the page and complete the required fields including selecting the State agency you have the most grants with. This page should be completed in its entirety before you SAVE. A Document Vault link will become available near the top of the page. Click this link to access the main Document Vault page.
      • Answer the questions in the Required Forms and upload Required Documents. This constitutes your Prequalification Application. Optional Documents are not required unless specified in this Request for Proposal.
      • Specific questions about the prequalification process should be referred to your agency representative or to the Grants Reform Team at grantsreform@budget.ny.gov.
    3. Submit Your Prequalification Application
      • After completing your Prequalification Application, click the Submit Document Vault Link located below the Required Documents section to submit your Prequalification Application for State agency review. Once submitted the status of the Document Vault will change to In Review.
      • If your Prequalification reviewer has questions or requests changes you will receive email notification from the Gateway system.
      • Once your Prequalification Application has been approved, you will receive a Gateway notification that you are now prequalified to do business with New York State.

        The Vendor Prequalification Manual on the Grants Reform Website details the requirements and an online tutorial is available to walk users through the process.
  • If a non-profit and a for-profit organization are teaming up on a project - does either organization have a higher chance of being successful on the application?

    No, both for-profit and not-for-profit entities are eligible to apply. It is not clear from the question, however, what the nature of the “teaming” will be. Please note that the grant does not make accommodation for consortium or joint applications.

  • Do people who have never had a job count under "long-term unemployed"? For example: recent graduates who've never been hired.

    The program requires that the participant be a long-term unemployed dislocated worker. Although a recent graduate would be long-term unemployed, they would not be a dislocated worker. A dislocated worker is defined as:

    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or who has received notice of termination or layoff, and is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation;
    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of termination or layoff, as a result of any permanent closure of, or any substantial layoff at, a plant, facility, or enterprise;
    • An individual who was self-employed, but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions or because of natural disasters; or
    • An individual who is a displaced homemaker - an individual who has been dependent on the income of another family member, but is no longer supported by that income; and is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
  • What if the person has never been unemployed or never worked? Are they eligible?

    The program requires that the participant be a long-term unemployed dislocated worker. Although a person who has never worked would be long-term unemployed, they would not be a dislocated worker. A dislocated worker is defined as:

    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or who has received notice of termination or layoff, and is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation;
    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of termination or layoff, as a result of any permanent closure of, or any substantial layoff at, a plant, facility, or enterprise;
    • An individual who was self-employed, but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions or because of natural disasters; or
    • An individual who is a displaced homemaker - an individual who has been dependent on the income of another family member, but is no longer supported by that income; and is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
  • Who or what would be considered an outside vendor? Would it include Cayuga Community College?

    Yes. The Existing Employee Training Program states that will pay for the costs of outside vendors or in-house trainers to provide on-site or off-site classroom training. An outside vendor would be any entity other than the applicant business itself (including community colleges), that the applicant business pays to provide the needed training.

  • If a manufacturer wanted to send workers through a certification process is that covered?

    It is difficult to assess from the question what the nature of the certification instruction would be, but the Existing Employee Training Program will fund training in specific occupational skills needed by the business. Occupational skills training is defined as instruction conducted in an institutional or worksite setting designed to provide individuals with, or upgrade them in, the technical skills and information required to perform a specific job or group of jobs.

  • For the New Hire Training Program does the 20 weeks of unemployment have to be consecutive?

    No. Individuals who have been unemployed, and then have taken temporary, short-term or stop-gap positions and subsequently returned to the ranks of the unemployed, and whose weeks of unemployment minus the temporary/short-term/stop-gap employment total 20 or more weeks, would also be eligible.

  • Is a person currently working eligible for the New Hire Training Program?

    No. They must be a long-term unemployed dislocated worker.

  • Is a person who has not worked eligible for the New Hire Training Program?

    No. Eligible persons for the New Hire Training Program must be dislocated workers. There must exist a prior tie to the labor market. A dislocated worker is defined as:

    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or who has received notice of termination or layoff, and is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation;
    • An individual who has been terminated or laid off, or has received notice of termination or layoff, as a result of any permanent closure of, or any substantial layoff at, a plant, facility, or enterprise;
    • An individual who was self-employed, but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions or because of natural disasters; or
    • An individual who is a displaced homemaker - an individual who has been dependent on the income of another family member, but is no longer supported by that income; and is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
  • Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Funding
  • Where can we get more information about HCR's programs? 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. Additional guidance and instructions are available on HCR's website, here: http://www.nyshcr.org/AboutUs/Offices/CommunityRenewal/FundingOpportunities.htm.

  • Does HCR have other funds available for rehabilitating homes?

    Yes, HCR has a variety of housing preservation/rehabilitation and development programs available, with varying availability of funding based on the specific program. For more info on HCR programs, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs. For more info on HCR funding opportunities, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/Funding.

  • Can an administrative government building be renovated with HCR's 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, we may consider projects that involve areas of the building that are designated for at least 51% low-moderate income people, or special projects such as wheelchair accessibility. 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-mod income bracket.

  • What kinds of projects can HCR's CFA programs provide funding to?

    HCR can fund commercial and residential building rehabilitation, sewer and storm water, public facilities, handicap accessibility improvements, community planning proposals and projects to attract, expand, or retain businesses.

  • How do I know if my project will be eligible for HCR program funding?

    Applicants must answer each of the "Yes or No" Threshold questions posed for NYS Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development, CDBG Small Business, CDBG Microenterprise, CDBG Public Facility, CDBG Public Infrastructure, CDBG Community Planning, or New York Main Street (NYMS) accurately to proceed with an application. Once an applicant advances and begins the application, standard questions will provide fields for narrative responses to provide information to support the threshold question responses. Each program application requires attachments, and some of the attachments are required to provide formal documentation to support the response to the threshold questions. Applicants that do not accurately fulfill the threshold requirements or provide the required narrative responses and attachments will be considered ineligible and excluded from further review. Please contact HCR with eligibility questions prior to submitting an application: HCR_CFA@nyshcr.org.

  • Can we use HCR funding to acquire property?

    For the purposes of NYS CDBG, acquisition is an eligible cost, in addition to required building improvements. The value of acquisition is limited to the appraised value of the property at the time the activity is undertaken. Acquisition is not an eligible use for the New York Main Street program.

  • If we start a project, can we still collect those receipts from the start for reimbursement or would only the expenses after the approval be accepted?

    Costs incurred prior to the award date are ineligible for reimbursement, and cannot be considered as eligible match or leverage on any economic development activity. Project costs cannot be incurred on a project until after award and HCR approval of a request for release of funds.

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program
  • How can we find out if we are eligible for NYS CDBG funding?

    Eligible applicants are non-entitlement units of general local government (villages, cities, towns or counties), excluding metropolitan cities, urban counties and Indian Tribes that are designated entitlement communities. Non-entitlement areas are defined as cities, towns and villages with populations of less than 50,000, except those designated principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and counties with populations of less than 200,000. The NYS CDBG program does not provide direct financial assistance to businesses. For a list of eligible communities, please visit: http://nyshcr.org?Programs/NYS-CDBG/EligibleCommunities.htm.

  • Can we apply for NYS CDBG for multiple projects or should the application propose a single project?

    Applications may consist of more than one activity if one of the activities is incidental to or in support of the primary activity. For a project consisting of more than one activity, the activity that directly addresses the primary need must represent the majority of the funds requested. For example, an application for a public water or sewer activity includes an activity that provides lateral connection assistance that clearly supports the public water or sewer activity and represents a relatively small percentage of the funds in comparison to the primary public water or sewer activity. The lateral connection activity must clearly be in support of the public water or sewer project as well as demonstrate compliance with a National Objective and the NYS Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Act (Chapter 433 of the Laws of 2010). NYS CDBG funds should not be requested for more than one activity in a single application if the additional activities are not incidental to, or in support of, a principal activity.

  • We have a project that could use NYS CDBG Planning funds and NYS CDBG Public Infrastructure funds. Can we submit an application for both?

    No. NYS CDBG Planning proposals are intended to provide plans for future NYS CDBG funding opportunities and projects, or applications through other State and Federal sources that will result in a benefit to low- and moderate income-persons. Given the fourteen (14) month contract term for CDBG Planning, it is not feasible for a community to complete both the planning activity and the public infrastructure project within their respective contract terms. However, if the activities are separate and in no way related to the same project, applicants may submit an application for a CDBG Planning proposal and an application for one or more of the other CDBG funding categories simultaneously.

  • We are planning to apply for both NYS CDBG Public Infrastructure and Economic Development, do we need two separate public hearings?

    A single public hearing is acceptable when the notice clearly states both CDBG PY 2014 and the activities that the municipality may submit an application for, such as economic development, small business assistance, microenterprise, public infrastructure/facility, planning.

  • Regarding project funding limits: if a town applies for more than one project, is the maximum dollar amount per project, or per community that is applying?

    A community can apply for NYS CDBG assistance up to the maximum amount available per eligible activity.

  • Is my project subject to environmental review?

    Yes, all projects funded with NYS CDBG funds are subject to environmental review. CDBG funds are federal funds and are subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The project is also subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Collectively, the NEPA review and SEQRA review is referred to as the Environmental Review Record (ERR) which must be completed and submitted to the Office of Community Renewal (OCR) for approval prior to incurring any project costs. If a project is receiving funds from multiple sources, the ERR must be completed for all sources. An approval for the release of funds must be issued by OCR prior to incurring any non-exempt project costs. Any non-exempt project costs incurred prior to OCR's approval for release of funds will be ineligible for NYS CDBG reimbursement. A complete description of the environmental review process is available on the OCR website at: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/NYS-CDBG/GAMChapter2.pdf.

  • Are there additional requirements placed on recipients that receive NYS CDBG funds?

    Upon award, all CDBG recipients will be required to comply with all federal, state, and local regulations and statutes as outlined in the certifications required by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act (HCDA) of 1974, as amended, including, but not limited to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and compliance with Section 3 of the HCDA. Recipients must ensure compliance with other statutory, regulatory and program requirements including, but not limited to Labor Standards, as applicable, annual reporting, conflict of interest, procurement, A-133 Audit, Civil Rights, and other requirements as outlined in the Office of Community Renewal Grant Administration Manual available at: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-CDBG/GrantAdministration.htm.

  • Under Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) economic development program is there funding available for micro-enterprises?

    Yes, for the 2014 CFA, NYS CDBG program funds are available for microenterprise programs.

  • Is it acceptable to submit a microenterprise application without the businesses to be assisted identified?

    Yes, as long as the program is fully designed and the applicant demonstrates the capacity to implement the program immediately upon award, applications can be submitted without microenterprises identified. Applications for microenterprise assistance that include an identified list of businesses that have expressed an interest in participating will be viewed more competitively.

  • What are the criteria for infrastructure funding for non-entitlement areas and public water and sewer and storm water projects?

    Public water and sewer and storm water projects are eligible CDBG activities. These activities must benefit a predominantly low- and moderate-income area, which means that at least 51% of the persons benefitting from the improvements are low- and moderate-income individuals. Applications for NYS CDBG assistance through the CFA must be made by the Town, Village or City where the improvements are proposed. The application may need income survey or census data to demonstrate that at least 51% of the persons benefitting are low and moderate income.

  • A municipality has public sanitary sewer system and ancillary structures. The overall system needs improvements including the wastewater treatment facility and replacement of the collection lines to address inflow and infiltration (I & I). How does a municipality categorize the project description for a CFA application? The entire project will cost $12 million dollars, with a current budget shortfall of $7.5 million.

    Under the NYS CDBG public infrastructure activity, the municipality would need to identify total project need, in the example above, this is $12 million. CDBG can accept a request for assistance for a component of the larger project, provided that there is a description of how the entire need may ultimately be resolved with additional CDBG funds or with other funding agencies such as Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and/or USDA Rural Development.

  • Can we use NYS CDBG funds to tear down a vacant building?

    Yes, NYS CDBG funds can be used for demolition. The project must meet a National Objective, that is, the community is more than 51% low-and moderate income and the narrative description demonstrates why this is necessary. The activity can also meet eligibility through slums and blight area (SBA) or spot basis (SBS). This requires additional documentation, which may include compliance with a slums and blight determination. The activity may be subject to prevailing wage rates. If the site will be redeveloped with a new structure, prevailing wages will apply. If the space is to remain 'green space' in perpetuity, then wages will not apply. Documentation of post demolition intention must be included with the application.

  • Are matching funds required for NYS CDBG?

    The required leverage depends on the NYS CDBG program for which you are applying. The NYS CDBG Economic Development request may not exceed 40% of the total project cost, $15,000 per full-time equivalent job, and the $750,000 funding limit, whichever is less. The NYS CDBG Small Business request may not exceed 40% of the total project cost, $25,000 per full-time equivalent job, and the $100,000 funding limit, whichever is less. Additionally, the NYS CDBG Small Business program requires at least 20% owner equity. The NYS CDBG Microenterprise program may not exceed 90% of the total project cost. The NYS CDBG Microenterprise program also requires that microenterprise grantees contribute at least 10% owner equity to the total project. Leveraged funds must fill in any gaps between the NYS CDBG maximum funding amounts and the total project costs. Please also note that applicants documenting high percentages of committed matching and leveraged funds will receive the highest scores. For NYS CDBG Public Infrastructure and Public Facility projects, a match is not required; however bringing leveraged funds to a project may make it more competitive. Planning requires a minimum 5% cash match in non-CDBG sources. In-kind services, force account labor, and volunteer services cannot be used as demonstration of match.

  • Are costs incurred prior to award eligible for reimbursement or as match?

    No. Costs incurred prior to award are not eligible for reimbursement or as match. Additionally, applicants are advised against incurring costs prior to contract execution and environmental review.

  • Are in-kind labor and donated materials eligible as leverage for NYS CBDG?

    Leverage for NYS CDBG projects cannot be in-kind services or materials for economic development, small business assistance, microenterprise and planning. In-kind labor and donated materials public infrastructure and public facility projects may be eligible with proper documentation.

  • Can tax credits be used as leverage?

    Tax credits are not eligible as leverage for the NYS CDBG program for Economic Development, Small Business Assistance and Microenterprise activities. While leverage is not required for public infrastructure or public facilities, tax credits may be eligible for funding in certain instances as it applies to infrastructure. Check with OCR prior to submitting the CDBG application.

  • Are financial commitment letters for other funding sources required?

    Applications demonstrating formally committed funds will score more competitively that those without funds committed. Examples may include a commitment from a private bank, or a commitment of funding from another agency such as Empire State Development Corporation, NYSERDA, EFC or USDA.

  • How much time will we have to complete a NYS CDBG project?

    NYS CDBG Economic Development, Small Business, Microenterprise, Public Facility, and Public Infrastructure projects must be completed and all accomplishments reported within 24 months. NYS CDBG Planning activities must be completed and the final plan submitted to the OCR within 14 months.

  • What do you mean by ready-to-go projects?

    A ready to go project will have all required non-CDBG funding and local approvals in place, and experience no difficulty in completing the project in a 24-month timeframe. Please note, however, the project must not commence prior to award. Projects that begin prior to award, contract execution and environmental review may not be eligible for reimbursement.

  • New York Main Street (NYMS) Program
  • I own a downtown mixed-use building, can I apply for a NYMS grant?

    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.

  • 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 multi-project building renovation program.

  • We have a project that could use New York Main Street Technical Assistance funds and New York Main Street Building Renovation funds. Can we submit an application for both?

    No. NYMS Technical Assistance proposals must be for future NYMS projects. Given the two year contract term, it is not feasible to fund a technical assistance project for a building renovation project that does not have an anticipated construction start date.

  • Can we apply for both a Traditional NYMS Target Area Building Renovation Program and a NYMS Downtown Anchor Project?

    No. Applicants are encouraged to focus their efforts on either a Downtown Anchor Project or a Target Area Building Renovation Program. For this reason, NYMS Downtown Anchor Project funds may not be requested in addition to a NYMS Target Area Building Renovation Program.

  • 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, the rent limit will be imposed for the five year term. This Declaration document must be filed with the County to secure the investment.

  • If a residential unit is assisted with NYMS funds -does the owner have to verify tenant income?

    Assisted residential units must be marketed to and made affordable to persons of low to moderate income. This requirement is met through a rent limit imposed on the assisted unit(s) during the five year regulatory term.

  • If windows are being replaced in a residential unit, but no other interior work is completed within the unit, do rental restrictions still apply?

    Repairing or replacing windows can be considered an exterior improvement and the rent regulations may not apply. Please note that if renovation projects, such as work on windows, disturb lead based paint and impact a residential unit the Local Program Administrator must refer to the NYMS Lead-Based Paint Policy.

  • If a building has existing vinyl windows, do they have to be replaced in order for the building to participate in the New York Main Street program?

    Generally, existing vinyl windows or siding will not preclude a building from participating in the NYMS Program. Each Local Program Administrator must develop project selection criteria and design guidelines and work with participating property owners to develop agreed upon scopes of work. The State Historic Preservation Office reviews the scope of work for each participating building to ensure that the planned renovation will not have an adverse impact on historic resources.

  • 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 or tear down a vacant building?

    No, NYMS funds cannot be used for new construction or demolition.

  • For the New York Main Street (NYMS) program, please explain the difference between match and leverage.

    The NYMS program requires a minimum of 25% match, which is documented per building. Additional funding included in the project budget is considered leverage and is considered in the application review process.

  • Are in-kind labor and donated materials eligible as match for NYMS?

    No. Match for NYMS projects must be realized on building by building basis, and eligible expenses and payments will be verified prior to reimbursement.

  • Our City Hall needs repairs, can we use NYMS funds for renovations?

    No, municipally-owned buildings, used for municipal purposes are not eligible to receive NYMS program funds.

  • Are costs incurred prior to award eligible for reimbursement or as match?

    No. Costs incurred prior to award are not eligible for reimbursement or as match. Additionally, applicants are advised against incurring costs prior to contract execution and environmental review.

  • 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 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.

  • Do specific buildings need to be identified in the application and are financial commitment letters required for those projects?

    A NYMS Target Area Building Renovation Program application that identifies specific buildings proposed to be assisted is generally more competitive because project readiness is demonstrated. Applications demonstrating formally committed funds will also score more competitively than those without funds committed. NYMS Downtown Anchor Project applications must identify the specific project and identify funding commitments and construction financing since this project activity is for "shovel ready" projects only.

  • Are there any pre-application requirements?

    Yes, each municipality in which the proposed program or project will function must approve a formal resolution supporting an application for the proposed NYMS program or project. The resolution must be passed prior to the application deadline and attached in the documents section of the application. This requirement applies to both NYMS application types and applications without a Municipal Resolution, as described above, will be deemed ineligible

  • Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) Funding
  • When are they reimbursed – at the end of the first year, quarterly?

    For the EPF grant program administered by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, grantees are reimbursed as expenditures accrue for costs incurred from the project as outlined in the approved budget and satisfaction of program requirements. Ten percent (10%) of the grant award is withheld until the project is successfully completed and all approvals are on file.

  • What is the definition of shovel ready? Does that translate into having plans and specs ready to go for bids or could that be ready to hire architect to prepare such?

    Shovel ready means you are ready to begin. You have your permits, your match, and your administrative staff set up to begin work as soon as possible after receipt of the grant award notification letter, and our signoff on bids for construction and professional services, plans and specifications, M/WBE utilization plans, etc. You should have it outlined in your budget proposal how the grant money will be used.

  • Follow-up question: Church clients last year didn’t fare so well for grants awarded. Is that likely to change this year?

    Every application cycle is different, depending on the number and type of applications received. Each application will be reviewed for eligibility and, if determined eligible, will be rated according to the Grant Selection Criteria. Within each region, applications are ranked according to project category, competing only against others in their region and category.

  • There was one award for a Church last year – a repurpose.

    Correct

  • If the Church building is not on national registry but would be eligible, if I got a letter for eligibility would that suffice?

    Historic properties must be listed on the State or National Registers of Historic Places. Properties not currently listed, but scheduled for nomination review at the State Board for Historic Preservation meeting of June 12, 2014 or September 11, 2014, are eligible to apply.

  • If we start a project, can we still collect those receipts from the start for reimbursement or would only the expenses after the approval be accepted?

    For the EPF grant program administered by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, work completed prior to award is not eligible for reimbursement or for match. The EPF grant program has two exceptions: 1) Professional services and materials purchased or donated but not installed up to three years prior to the application deadline may be applied toward the matching share and 2) Acquisition costs retroactive no more than one year prior to the application deadline are eligible costs. Project costs will be eligible for reimbursement only if grant work meets State standards and the expenditures are made in compliance with State requirements.

  • What qualifies as a green improvement?

    There is a broad range of different projects. The appropriate type of green improvement is dependent on whether the proposal is for parks, historic properties or heritage areas. Examples are: low flow toilets, reduced lighting (panels vs. individual lights), solar panel roofs, reuse construction materials, upgrading filtration system for pools to reduce electrical usage, HVAC, reducing your carbon footprint.

  • Would green infrastructures apply for green historic sites?

    Yes; for historic resources, examples may include: insulation, replacing deteriorated weather stripping, storm windows and doors, energy efficient HVAC, or geo-thermal heating systems.

  • Do regions have priorities?

    The Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) have priorities specific to their region (for information on the REDCs go to www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov ). The priorities announced for ORPHP are the same statewide. The Commissioner’s priorities for the 2014 grant program are:

    • Projects that include “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, decrease long term maintenance and management costs, and enhance storm and flooding resiliency.
    • Projects 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.
    • Projects that are undertaken by partner groups in State Parks and Historic Sites.

  • Do you have incentives or criteria to foreign investments on inter-regional cooperation?

    Not specifically. You can find the criteria used in the rating process on our website at www.nysparks.com , click Grants, then Consolidated Funding Application, then CFA Selection Criteria.

  • . I am interested in turning a Historic Hotel Property in Stanford into a park – would that be something that you could help with?

    Yes; as long as both the applicant and proposal meet program requirements.

  • Is there a limit on applications you will receive and consider over a given period of time?

    There is no statutory limit on the number of grants one property or one applicant may receive, but in the interest of equity and fairness and in consideration of applicant capacity, applicants that have more than three open grants with OPRHP should not receive additional awards.

  • Directed to all Agencies-The Village of Blasdell has giant sewer structures. We are look into combine the two and Fix Overflow as well as have less closures. How do I categorize that for one of these applications? The entire project will cost Twelve million dollars. We still Need funding for another seven and a half million.

    It sounds like the type of proposal being described doesn’t fit the eligibility criteria from the perspective of the EPF program administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Funding available under the EPF Municipal Grant Program is for the acquisition, planning, development, and improvement of parks (playgrounds, courts, rinks, community gardens, and facilities for swimming, boating, picnicking, hunting, fishing, camping or other recreational activities), historic properties ( to improve, protect, preserve, rehabilitate, restore or acquire properties listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places), and heritage areas (to acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures, identified in the approved management plans for Heritage Areas). If there are any components that fit into one of these categories, the Regional Grants Administrator assigned to your county, will be able to help you. Go to our website at: www.nysparks.com , click on Grants, then Consolidated Funding Application, then Regional Grants Administrator.

  • For the Historic Preservation program: With respect to the amount of funds requested, is there minimum limit criteria?

    There is no minimum grant request; however, an administrative cap of $500,000 has been set for this application cycle.

  • Re: Historical Preservation program: Are there restrictions re source of matching funds?

    Yes; Environmental Protection Funds (EPF) cannot be used to match other EPF funds. For example, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Department of State (DOS) both administer EPF funds; you wouldn’t be able to use EPF funds awarded from DOS to fulfill the matching funds obligation for an EPF project awarded from OPRHP.

  • [For Parks & Rec] Does the historic property have to be open year round? (i.e: Will buildings that only open during the summer qualify?)

    In order to ensure that a public benefit shall accrue from the use of public funds, the EPF program requires that the pubic have reasonable access to or use of the project. The method and term of access is determined based on the resource involved and the type of work being undertaken. All grant awards under this program come with long term protections, either through parkland alienation law, conservation easements, or public access or preservation covenants recorded against the deeds.

  • We are considering partnering with Blue Ray Trails; do we have to include a municipal agreement in our CFA?

    A municipal agreement is not specifically required as part of the application. If a grant proposal includes partnering with additional organizations, the relationship between the parties should be made very clear in the application, including the roles and responsibilities of each in the undertaking of the proposed project.

  • A representative from a volunteer organization whose mission is to restore the pavilion located at Stewart Park (located at the foot of Cayuga Lake – historically the site of Wharton Studios – a silent film company): Would they qualify for funds?

    Generally, municipalities and not-for-profit corporations with an ownership interest in the property are eligible to apply. Both the applicant and the proposal would need to meet program eligibility requirements.

  • A representative from the Science Center located in Ithaca: Might they qualify for funds to improve walking trails located on the premises?

    Generally, municipalities and not-for-profit corporations with an ownership interest in the property are eligible to apply. Both the applicant and the proposal would need to meet program eligibility requirements.

  • For Parks and Recreation, would you not be able to apply to a grant if you have 3 other LWIP grants?

    Applicants that have multiple open grants with OPRHP are eligible to apply. There is no statutory limit on the number of grants one property or one applicant may receive, but in the interest of equity and fairness and in consideration of applicant capacity, applicants that have more than three open grants with OPRHP should not receive additional awards.

  • We are looking to make an accessible playground for those with special needs. Can we look at Parks & Recreation for funding?

    Yes; assistance is available for the adaptation of new or existing recreation facilities and support facilities for use by persons with special needs. However, recreation facilities to be used exclusively by disabled persons are not eligible unless such facilities are available to the general public or are part of a recreation area that serves the general public.

  • Do municipalities apply the same way as other organizations?

    Yes; all applicants apply through the Consolidated Funding Application.

  • How do I get my document ID number?

    There are several ID’s associated with each applicant and their proposal. The Regional Grants Administrator assigned to your county, will be able to provide you with answers on the specific document ID you are asking about. Go to our website at: www.nysparks.com , click on Grants, then Consolidated Funding Application, then Regional Grants Administrator.

  • Is there a minimum amount for awards?

    There is no minimum grant request, but there is an administrative cap of $500,000.

  • Do any of the programs deal with wetlands?

    EPF funds are not specifically geared toward wetlands, although wetlands may occur within the boundary of an EPF project. The environmental impact of each EPF grant awarded is assessed by the appropriate review agency.

  • Can funding be applied for improvements to privately owned land?

    Yes; if the parties involved and proposal meet the program requirements. Municipalities and not-for-profit organizations with an ownership interest in the property are eligible to apply. All parties with an ownership interest in the property, including lien holders, will be required to sign the project agreement. All lien holders must subordinate their interests to those of the State. In order to ensure that a public benefit shall accrue from the use of public funds, the EPF program requires that the pubic have reasonable access to or use of the project. All grant awards under this program come with long term protections, either through parkland alienation law, conservation easements, or public access or preservation covenants recorded against the deeds.

  • If a building is in an identified heritage area and there is a building located in the area, can the building be used for something different than originally intended?

    Yes; as long as the proposal meets program requirements. Funding under Heritage Areas is for projects to acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures, identified in the approved management plans for Heritage Areas designated under sections 35.03 and 35.05 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, and for structural assessments or planning for such projects.

  • With reference to Parks – Can the funds be used for NYC or NYS parks?

    Yes; both are eligible to receive funds. Both the applicant and proposal need to meet program requirements.

  • Discussion on non-profit or municipal application. If one has an artistic project, should they go through NYSCA OR is it considered Historical? Is it considered an artistic or historical project?

    It really depends on what is being proposed. There may be components of a larger project that meet program requirements for, and would be competitive in, more than one program being offered through the Consolidated Funding Application. In that case, you could submit the proposal to more than one agency, being clear as to which components of the project you are asking each agency to fund and how all the pieces fit together to form the larger project.

  • Would a stream cleanup project for Schoharie be eligible for Parks & Recreation CFA?

    The cost of cleanup alone is not eligible for funding under our EPF program. Funding is available under the EPF Municipal Grant Program for the acquisition, planning, development, and improvement of parks, historic properties, and heritage areas. The clean-up of the stream would need to be a component of a proposal that meets the program requirements.

  • There is a blacksmith place not structurally sound- would that count for grant from Parks & Recreation?

    Yes; if both the applicant and proposal meet program requirements.

  • NYS Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Funding
  • Question was to the entire panel. When are they reimbursed – at the end of the first year, quarterly?

    From NYS Council on Arts: Reimbursable with 50% match. First payment is 30% then 5 months later 50%. When project is done then get the final 20%. Need to make sure the match is in place.

  • Question was to the entire panel. If we start a project, can we still collect those receipts from the start for reimbursement or would only the expenses after the approval be accepted?

    From NYS Council on Arts: These must be expenses that occur January – December 2015.

  • Question was for NYS Council on Arts: is there a list of eligible applicants?

    From NYS Council on Arts: You can partner with a nonarts organization but the lead organization in the application must have a mission that is arts, culture or heritage based.

  • Question was for NYS Council on Arts: Follow-up question. What if you don’t have one in your area?

    From NYS Council on Arts: It depends on what you are applying for.

  • Question was for NYS Council on Arts: Follow-up question. Could it be a museum, theatre group, etc?

    Yes. Any arts, culture or heritage organization that shows alignment to their regional priorities and stimulates the region’s economy.

  • I noticed on the paperwork that there is a restriction if you have not had prior funding, can you explain?

    You must have 3 current years of NYSCA funding (2012, 2013, 2014) to qualify for an arts capital equipment purchase. .

  • Am I correct in reading that you cannot have a fiscal partner?

    No, you cannot.

  • If you want to upgrade and apply for a technology and parks grant – can you do both?

    Yes, you can apply to both agencies.

  • Directed to the Council on the Arts: Is it true that for the capital category requests a program would have to have three years of prior successful awards with arts council before they would be considered for that award?

    Yes! There needs to be a demonstrated history of success with the Arts Council before you will be considered for a capital category funding award.

  • Directed to all Agencies-The Village of Blasdell has giant sewer structures. We are look into combine the two and Fix Overflow as well as have less closures. How do I categorize that for one of these applications? The entire project will cost Twelve million dollars. We still Need funding for another seven and a half million.

    Create new park or come in with four different applications. Or you could divide the whole project into very distinct projects and send in separate aspects of these distinct elements in application under different agencies.

    New project may be eligible but they must be bid ready projects. Don't break ground. From a park development point of view I don't know how competitive a proposal like yours would be. We could discuss it further. You might be applying to multiple agencies. When filling in the responses to application questions Make sure you are addressing this answer for each of the agencies....not just under the one it first appears under.

  • [For Arts] I am an organization under a $500K budget. Can I partner with another organization under $50K? Would I still fall under and qualify as an organization that has under a $50K?

    [Yes.]

  • [For Arts] In relevance to the Technology Upgrade category, do I need Equipment Bids before or after the application process?

    You will need a technology assessment plan to implement as well as a detailed budget.

  • A representative from an Ithaca agency which assists disabled youth in finding employment: Would their organization qualify for funds for projects designed to enhance the interior dwelling and/or exterior (e.g. landscape) components of their facility?

    The New York State Council of the Arts may be a viable source.

  • Do municipalities apply the same way as other organizations?

    Yes

  • Can a Capital Project incorporate Art/Collections?

    Yes, but only an artistic capital equipment purchase that enhances the artistic element of your programming.

  • Would you please elaborate on the technical assessment plan?

    NYS Council on the Arts --- It is relatively straightforward --- identify what is needed, the needs of the project, and develop a plan for implementation

  • Is outside assistance necessary?

    NYSCA --- Not necessarily. If you are connected to a municipality, etc., all assistance should be available in-house. Small groups may need and can seek outside assistance.

  • Is there a difference between applying for funding via NYSCA or CFA?

    Yes, the CFA applications must be completely separate from NYSCA applications.

  • Discussion on non-profit or municipal application. If one has an artistic project, should they go through NYSCA OR is it considered Historical? Is it considered an artistic or historical project?

    Yes you should apply through NYSCA for an artistic project.

  • Department of State (DOS) Funding
  • Are matching funds needed for grant?

    Yes. Must show a local share match of 25% of the requested funds.

  • Can government funds be used?

    No federal dollars can be used as for matching. State, private, and volunteer services are acceptable sources of matching funds.

  • Can partnerships be used?

    Yes. The examples used in the slide show presentation and webinar were partnerships.

  • Do you work with Community Colleges?

    Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs), as defined in the RFA on pages 2-3, are eligible for this funding. Partnerships with entities such as community colleges, libraries, etc. are permissible. However, the lead agency must be the not-for profit and only eligible applicants can be the recipient of grant contracts for this funding opportunity.

  • Are the grants only available to specific locations?

    No. Applicants from across New York State are eligible to apply.

  • Can a Grant be used to train EMS technicians, as they lost EMS service due to lack of volunteers?

    Please see page 3 of the RFA (Section III. Eligible Activities). Training, as stated in the RFA, must prepare participants to obtain full-time skilled employment. Applicants must also propose to serve the target population at 125% of poverty level and is delivered through a Community Action Agency or Community Based Organization as defined in the RFA, a job skills training program or certification program may be eligible for funding.

  • Can consortium based application be considered for training programs?

    One applicant will receive a grant award. If a consortium is proposed, the funding will go to the lead organization of the consortium, or lead applicant, As long as the lead is a Community Action Agency (CAA) or Community Based Organization (CBO), and a nonprofit 501C3 as defined in the RFA (see pages 2-3 of the RFA), and serves a target population with income levels of up to 125% of the federal poverty line.

  • For collaborative projects, do you look at two boards?

    The Department of State will review the Board composition of the lead applicant of the consortium, which is the organization that would be considered the Contractor in the event that funding is awarded.

  • The Department of State seemed to be emphasizing that their programs were for chronically distressed communities, but the presentation only showed individuals who were poor and distressed with little reference to their actual communities.

    The funding would go to the CAA or CBO in the affected community and provide workforce development to people with income levels of up to 125% of the federal poverty line.

  • (indistinct question about infrastructure)

    CSBG funds cannot be used for the purchase or improvement of land, or the purchase, construction, or permanent improvement of any building or other facility.

  • Can Federal Funds be used as matching funds for Department of State Opportunity Agenda offerings?

    No.

  • Are there any limits on funding if we were awarded monies in the past?

    No. A prior funding award does not place any unique or additional limits on the funding available to a successful applicant under this award. The funding limitations applicable to this award are set forth in the RFA.

  • Are MWBE goals applicable for all CFA offerings?

    Yes. See Attachment 1 of the RFA.

  • Specifically what kinds of funding are included under "local share"?

    No federal dollars can be used as matching or local share. State, private, in-kind donations and volunteer services are acceptable sources of matching funds.

  • Does expansion of an existing program qualify for funding?

    Yes.

  • These projects seem geared towards non-profits. How likely are small businesses to get funding for developing employees?

    Only CAA’s and CBO’s, as defined in the RFA, are eligible to receive this funding. A for-profit small business would not qualify as a CAA or CBO. A for-profit small business may, however, be a partner to a qualified CAA or CBO applicant.

  • Are you only awarding 5 projects in the entire state? Or per region?

    The anticipated number of awards is 5 for the entire state.

  • Do last year's projects get preferential treatment?

    No.

  • You said you weren't measuring workforce development in terms of wages alone, do you really not look at wages at all?

    The Department of State does consider an improvement in wages, if proper justification for including that measure is given on the application.

  • Regarding the Department of State Funding – can you match with State Dollars?

    State, private, in-kind donations and volunteer services are acceptable sources of matching funds. Federal dollars are not acceptable.

  • I am improving a building in a highly distressed area, is it considered a business investment?

    CSBG funds cannot be used for the purchase or improvement of land, or the purchase, construction, or permanent improvement of any building or other facility.

  • Department of State: Local Government Efficiency Grant
  • Do you know if resolutions for LGE applications can be submitted after the June 16th deadline?

    Resolutions are not required to be submitted. However, resolutions and intermunicipal agreements may be attached with Question 1978 to show support for the project.

  • I am scanning a letter and resolution to you, do you require a hard copy. If so, where am I to mail it?

    We do not accept hard copy applications. If you are submitting materials in support of a CFA, please provide items with the application as an attachment. Resolutions may be attached with Question 1978 along with intermunicipal agreements executed to implement the project. Additional information may be attached with Question 2058. You may only upload a single .pdf per question. If a second pdf is uploaded the first one will be erased.

  • We just completed the cost estimate for implementation and it is approximately $1.3 million. We have enough project partners to be “eligible” for a $1.4 million grant award and we have the committed match. Can we put it in for the whole $1.3 Million grant request? Do we break it up into a (2014) Phase 3 - $700K project and apply next round for a (2015) Phase 4 - $600K project? Is it possible that if we put in the $1.3 Million request that it could be partially funded?

    Per the RFA for the program, the maximum grant award is $1.0 million. The Department of State reserves the right to award partial funding for a project. Reductions in funding may be applied due to ineligible expenses or if funds are exhausted.

  • Can you confirm that municipalities’ match may only be made with cash?

    Yes, the local match for the LGE program must be cash. In-kind is not permitted.

  • If a group of 5 municipalities is applying, and they have different "most recent" years data in the OpenBook resource, do we use 1) the most recent year's info shown for each one, or 2) the same year for all (which may be a year or 2 older than what some communities have in the system)?

    Use the most recent years for which data are available for each municipality.

  • If specific budget Codes or subcodes used by a municipality are not listed in the OpenBook resource, can we still use them in the Fiscal Impact Sheet, or do we need to choose the most relevant Code shown?

    Applicants can use either OpenBook or your own budget codes.

  • Should the same fiscal year be used on Form A and B?

    Yes, the same fiscal years should be used on Worksheets A and B.

  • City A has data from 2011 in the Open Source, but they have 2013 data internally. To match the available Real Property Taxes & Assessment YEAR available in the system, do they show 2011 expenses/revenues?

    If you have 2013 data available internally, you may use that data in lieu of dated OpenBook data.

  • Is the Local Government Efficiency grant for 3 years? Starting from when?

    For the 2014/2015 grant, any expenses after April 1, 2014, are eligible for reimbursement. The contract period is for three years.

  • Can you provide some examples of grants that have been approved?

    Examples include school district reorganization studies, functional consolidations of police services between a town and village, cooperative service agreements to share employees or facilities and the regionalization of water and wastewater infrastructure services. A complete listing of previous grant awards may be found on the Department of State’s website at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/lge/projects.html.

  • Are School Districts eligible for the Local Government Efficiency Program?

    Yes, school districts have been funded for projects that include the consolidation of services such as transportation, distance learning and maintenance, as well as the full reorganization of multiple districts.

  • I am with public benefit corporation, Erie Community College? Would we be able to apply for any of these opportunities?

    No, public benefit corporations are not an eligible entity.

  • What were the points for leverage in public works?

    Funding leverage is encouraged and will be considered as a strength of a proposal.

  • Do municipalities apply the same way as other organizations?

    Yes.

  • Has the basic structure/requirements of the Local Government Efficiency Program changed this year?

    No.

  • Is the planning grant harder to get than the Implementation grant?

    The objective of the LGE program is to implement quality projects that reduce local government expenses and increase efficiencies. Since identifying the financial benefits from a planning project can be more difficult than for an implementation project, planning grants may have a more difficult time justifying direct benefits.

  • Is the maximum grant of $1 million for the total of all the municipalities?

    Yes. The limit for an individual municipality is $200,000 for implementation grants, which is capped at $1 million for a project. At least five municipalities would need to work together in order to be eligible for full implementation funding of $1 million.

  • Does consolidation have to be consolidation of agencies?

    No, it does not have to be a full consolidation of government agencies, although often these projects can produce the most benefit. Other examples may include the functional consolidation of services between agencies or departments.

  • Local governments often have multiple departments, like code enforcement, economic development and community development. Each often have their own procedures and processes for collecting data. Would a project to install software and implement procedures to streamline these processes be eligible?

    Yes.

  • A county is looking to create a database to keep track of infrastructure and road construction projects. Would this be something that is covered by any of these grants?

    Yes, this may be eligible for implementation funding under the Local Government Efficiency Program based on the question, particularly if the county was working with other local governments to institute efficiencies in infrastructure management. Each applicant would be required to illustrate the potential cost savings that will be realized through implementation.

  • What is the funding for implementation?

    Local governments may apply for funds to implement cost saving projects, the maximum award amount is $200,000 per municipality up to $1,000,000. For implementation projects there is a 10% local cash match requirement. Implementation expenses may include new technology, capital or equipment expenses, contractual services and other expenses that are integral to implementation.

  • May a Village and Town to apply for a LGE dissolution implementation grant of $400,000.

    Under the LGE implementation program, local governments can apply for funding to implement consolidation or dissolutions. See pages 2-3 of the RFA for funding amounts.

  • In Worksheet of the Fiscal Impact spreadsheet the sheet asks for "before" and "after" estimates on expenses. We can take the "before" figure from the budget, but how, for the purposes of developing a study, can we estimate the anticipated revenues (without having gone through the study)?

    To estimate the 'after' amounts you may use similar projects from other local governments to estimate the future cost savings if the project is implemented. Additional information may be found at the DOS website, http://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/lge/projects.html. You may be able to review these previous awards to help estimate future savings. In the narrative (Question 3370) you should indicate how you determined the estimated cost savings.

  • We are preparing the deficit eligibility form for the LGE application. The Open Book NY report tool is behaving differently than what is presented in the instructions. For example there is no option to de-select 'proceeds of debt.' Could you clarify whether for the revenue figures we should be using should be total revenue, or total revenue less proceeds of debt?

    Applicants should use total revenues less proceeds of debt. Open Book New York has changed their website since the instructions were originally written. You will now have to subtract “Proceeds of Debt” from “Total Revenues” manually. An updated Deficit Eligibility Worksheet has been added to the DOS website.

  • Department of State: Local Water Revitalization Program
  • Question was to the entire panel. When are they reimbursed – at the end of the first year, quarterly?

    DOS LWRP – Reimbursement payment requests can be submitted as often as once per month.

  • Question was to the entire panel. If we start a project, can we still collect those receipts from the start for reimbursement or would only the expenses after the approval be accepted?

    DOS LWRP - The earliest contract start date is April 1, 2014. Costs incurred prior to that date are not eligible for reimbursement. See page 18 of RFA #14-LWRP-6. Contract periods shall not exceed three years from the start of the project. No extensions are anticipated. As stated on page 2 of RFA #14-LWRP-6, Introduction (fourth paragraph), applicants are required to demonstrate that projects are ready to move forward quickly. To ensure timely completion, the Department strongly encourages submission of an application for a discrete phase of a project. Applicants will be required to prepare and submit a project work schedule and timeline that includes major tasks and milestones with completion dates.

  • Question was to Department of State LWRP – if we have a portion of historic canal corridor but it no longer has any water, can they qualify?

    DOS LWRP - The Department is reviewing information to make a determination on the full geographic extent of the New York State Barge Canal System relative to the definition of designated inland waterways under Executive Law Article 42 and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant eligibility. Applications may be submitted, pending such determination.

  • Question was to Department of State and NYS Canal Corp. Follow-up question. Some of the water is beneath Erie Blvd in Dewitt.

    DOS LWRP - The Department is reviewing information to make a determination on the full geographic extent of the New York State Barge Canal System relative to the definition of designated inland waterways under Executive Law Article 42 and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant eligibility. Applications may be submitted, pending such determination.

  • Question was to Department of State LWRP. Oswego River is not designated as an inland water way (not on list provided).

    Oswego River drains to Lake Ontario, which is part of New York State’s Coastal Area. A portion of the river is also included in New York’s Coastal Area. Visiting the Coastal Atlas http://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/atlas/ will allow you to view the extent of New York State’s Coastal Area. Additionally, portions of the Oswego River are part of the New York State Barge Canal System, which is included in the list of Designated Inland Waterways.

  • Question was to Department of State LWRP and NYS Canal Corp. Is it [Oswego River] listed as canal system?

    DOS LWRP – Portions of the Oswego River are part of the State Barge Canal System, and a designated Inland Waterway under Executive Law Article 42.

  • What if a waterway is not on the list – I notice that Chenango River is not on the list?

    It would have to be a legislative designation. Contact the Department of State Office of Planning and Development for information on the process of designating an inland waterway.

  • If we have not adopted an LWRP by the deadline can we still apply for the grant?

    DOS – LWRP Yes, applicants with an approved LWRP or the relevant LWRP component substantially completed are encouraged to apply for funding for construction of projects needed to advance eligible activities. Applicants currently preparing an LWRP or component, or with an approved LWRP or component are encouraged to apply for funding for project-specific planning, feasibility, design, and/or marketing needed to advance eligible activities. See Eligible Applicants on pages 2 to 3 of RFA #14-LWRP-6. Also see Eligible Activities, page 4 of RFA #14-LWRP-6, which notes that “Applicants may prepare and/or implement a full LWRP or component strategies that are the framework for developing LWRPs, such as: strategies for redeveloping hamlets, downtowns and urban waterfronts; or planning or constructing land and water based trails; or preparing or implementing a lakewide or watershed revitalization plan.”

  • Can you provide some examples of grants that have been approved?

    DOS LWRP - Eligibility for EPF LWRP grants is defined in the RFA at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/rfa-14-lwrp-6/index.html See Eligible Applicants on page 2, Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties (with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities) which are located along New York’s coasts or inland waterways designated pursuant to Executive Law, Article 42. A list of coastal waterbodies and designated inland waterways is available at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/. Applicants may also partner with other organizations; however, only applications from eligible applicants will be evaluated for funding. If successful, all applicable procurement requirements must be met for such partnerships. 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.

  • Re Historical Preservation program: Are there restrictions re source of matching funds?

    No, but you cannot utilize funds obtained from one agency to fulfill the matching requirement for another agency. For example both the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of State award matching grants through the Environmental Protection Funds You wouldn’t be able to use EPF funds obtained from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to fulfill the local match obligation for a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program project application to the Department of State.

  • Directed to DOS LWRP – What if the city is the lead applicant in conjunction with other villages and/or towns? Do they need to go through a formal resolution process?

    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 Department of State. The Department of State does not prescribe the format of a municipal resolution, however, it should indicate authorization to enter into a contract with the Department of State for the purpose of receiving an LWRP award, and indicate a commitment to provide the required local match.

  • Directed to Department of State LWRP – Can not-for-profits apply?

    No. Eligibility for EPF LWRP grants is defined in the RFA at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/rfa-14-lwrp-6/index.html See Eligible Applicants on page 2, Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties (with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities), which are located along New York’s coasts or inland waterways designated pursuant to Executive Law, Article 42. A list of coastal waterbodies and designated inland waterways is available at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding. Applicants may also partner with other organizations; however, only applications from eligible applicants will be evaluated for funding. If successful, all applicable procurement requirements must be met for such partnerships. 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.

  • Re a water trail project located within two different counties: Would they need to have the project approved/adopted by the legislative bodies of the two counties before submitting the application?

    No, but one of the legislative entities would need to take the lead role in the project.
    DOS - 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 Department of State.

  • A representative of the City of Binghamton: Is the Flood Resilience part of the Storm Recovery program?

    Yes

  • A representative of the City of Binghamton: Re the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grants: Is there a range/distance from the waterfront criteria to qualify for this program?

    No
    DOS - Eligibility for EPF LWRP grants is defined in the RFA at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/rfa-14-lwrp-6/index.html See Eligible Applicants on page 2, Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties (with the consent and on behalf of one or more towns, villages, or cities), which are located along New York’s coasts or inland waterways designated pursuant to Executive Law, Article 42. A list of coastal waterbodies and designated inland waterways is available at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding.

  • Do municipalities apply the same way as other organizations?

    Yes

  • We are in the process of rebuilding and adding improvements to a boat launch. Should we mention what is already funded and add on?

    Department of State: This would be a discreet project and you should mention the relationship as narrative of improvements done in the past.

  • Canal Corporation Funding
  • Question was to the entire panel. If we start a project, can we still collect those receipts from the start for reimbursement or would only the expenses after the approval be accepted?

    From NYS Canal Corp: Expenses incurred after the award letter are eligible for reimbursement.

  • Question was to Dept. of State, Div. of Coastal Resources. Oswego River is not designated as an inland water way (not on list provided).

    From Dept. of State, Div. of Coastal Resources: I noticed that too.

    From NYS Canal Corp: It is part of the canal system.

  • Question was to Dept. of State, Div. of Coastal Resources. Thinking of applying for watershed.

    From Dept. of State, Div. of Coastal Resources: They have funded projects in Fulton and Oswego.

    New project may be eligible but they must be bid ready projects. Don't break ground. From a park development point of view I don't know how competitive a proposal like yours would be. We could discuss it further. You might be applying to multiple agencies. When filling in the responses to application questions Make sure you are addressing this answer for each of the agencies....not just under the one it first appears under.

  • Re a water trail project located within two different counties: Would they need to have the project approved/adopted by the legislative bodies of the two counties before submitting the application?

    No, but one of the legislative entities would need to take the lead role in the project.

  • A representative of the City of Binghamton: Is the Flood Resilience part of the Storm Recovery program?

    Yes

  • A representative of the City of Binghamton: Re the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grants: Is there a range/distance from the waterfront criteria to qualify for this program?

    No

  • How will I know if a specific canal way will qualify for the canal CFA?

    There is a map you can go to on the website that shows what canals are included.

  • What level of details do specific projects have to include in the CFA?

    Refer to website or email.

  • Would having waterways on capital but also include an artistic program that has to do with Bicentennial qualify for the Canal CFA?

    The Canalway Grant program provides funding for capital projects. Projects with a demonstrated links to the Bicenttenial will be eligible for extra points.

  • Do municipalities apply the same way as other organizations?

    Yes

  • Is there is a list of designated waterways identified for the CFA’s?

    Yes.

  • We are in the process of rebuilding and adding improvements to a boat launch. Should we mention what is already funded and add on?

    Department of State: This would be a discreet project and you should mention in the narrative improvements done in the past.

  • HCR are all document uploaded? Last year 2 forms were paper.

    Nothing in paper all documents through the portal.

  • NY Power Authority (NYPA) Funding
  • (to NYPA): The Recharge NY program is not tied to a deadline like other programs in CFA?

    Correct.

  • (to NYPA): Do you have examples of the non-profits that have worked with you or are targeted by the programs offered?

    The New York Power Authority has worked with numerous private schools (non-SUNY) and hospitals. Other examples include museums and nursing homes. Not-for-profit organizations (as defined in subdivision five of paragraph (a) of section 102 of the not-for-profit corporation law) are eligible to apply for the ReCharge New York program.

  • Any local NYPA offices in S. Tier?

    No, the closest NYPA facility to the Southern tier would be the Marcy location or the Blenheim-Gilboa Power Plant. If this question is being asked in the sense that a business would like to meet with a representative from NYPA, we have business Account Executives that travel the state and are available to meet to discuss NYPA’s power programs.

  • Do we apply for ReCharge NY through the CFA website?

    Yes

  • Does the Funding match have to come from the municipality or can it come from another source?

    I will have to look into it.

  • For the GIGP is there any money available for a pre-engineering or feasibility study?

    No, however the money will be included in the award.

  • For the New York Power Authority funding, there is a requirement of 12 months of utility bills, what about a company that is moving in from out of state?

    We will look at those bills and make adjustments.

  • I am exploring a Micro-Grid for a Community, we are in planning stage 2, are there anything other sources of funds like NYPA or NYSERDA which could be looking into? This is for a Municipality tying in a School District, both critical facilities.

    Not from NYPA, but because you are in the planning stage, this would not be included in this round of CFA’s, instead it sounds like something you can apply for later. There are some components within the Microgrid that can be supported, for example in the state of Connecticut this is being done.

  • To NYPA – Define retail.

    The selling of goods directly to the end customer; not manufacturing or distribution/warehouse. Refer to website for complete definition.

  • To NYPA – What is available if a company wanted pollution free energy?

    Hydropower is clean-green energy and may be available if certain criteria are met. Also, 50% of the RNY program is hydropower generated at the Niagara Power Project or the St. Lawrence FDR Power Project.

  • To NYPA – Manufacturing Company in Western New York has used NYPA programs. Do we have to use CFA?

    If an existing customer is looking to extend its contract then no. For additional power needs a customer would have to apply again using the CFA (only for the RNY program). For NYPA’s Expansion Power, Replacement Power programs, customers apply directly to NYPA.

  • I am exploring a Micro-Grid for a Community, we are in planning stage 2, are there anything other sources of funds like NYPA or NYSERDA which could be looking into? This is for a Municipality tying in a School District, both critical facilities.

    Not from NYPA, but because you are in the planning stage, this would not be included in this round of CFA’s, instead it sounds like something you can apply for later. There are some components within the Microgrid that can be supported, for example in the state of Connecticut this is being done.

  • Are there ways that tie these programs into workforce development?

    <NYPA> We track and check commitments from customer plans and projects.

    <NYSERDA> Anything that involves jobs would be important to ESD, and Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) will help.

    <NYS EFC> For example, the NYC Department of Transportation has a permeable pavement test project. So this is workforce development because now their staff knows how to use and implement these pavement strips.

    <NYSERDA> The NYS Department of Labor might have more information on workforce development programs.

  • Although decisions are made based on the written (June) application submissions, is there an opportunity to talk to the Regional Councils first?

    <NYS EFC> Yes, sometimes the Regional Councils hold meetings that have prospective applicants come in and present their projects. All meetings have a public component, and it also doesn’t hurt to get in touch with Joseph Tazewell to check how your project aligns with the economic goals.

    <NYPA> Also, some of our programs are year-round, so you’re not limited by the May application deadline.

  • What is the difference between NYSERDA and Power Authority?

    NYSERDA-New construction derives funds from Systems Benefit Charge (SBC), there are incentives for financing. PA- We act as a utility and offer cheaper power. We provide customers that meet certain legislative criteria lower cost power in return for commitments to retain/create jobs and invest capital in their facilities.

  • Could a ski area qualify for (PA)?

    A ski resort is primarily retail and probably wouldn’t fit the criteria. However, a beer manufacturer could qualify but not on the retail side, just on the manufacturing/distribution side to help keep down the cost of the product by reducing power costs.

  • Does ReCharge New York (RNY) have a deadline?

    No deadline, can apply year-round as long as power is available.

  • If an entity applies for CFA and misses deadline, can they still do (Power Authority programs)?

    PA-They could still apply for RNY but other parts of CFA funding, probably not if they have deadlines.

  • Is municipal electric eligible to increase their allocation?

    In terms of the power served directly to NYPA’s Muni/Coop customers under Preference Power prices, this may be a possibility, but further discussion with NYPA Account Executives would be needed. In regards to NYPA awarding allocations to businesses within Muni/Coop service areas, then technically, yes a new allocation could be applied for. However, NYPA staff has reviewed these types of allocations made in the past and the economics are not there because these customers already receive lower-cost power directly from the Muni/Coop.

  • I am exploring a Micro-Grid for a Community, we are in planning stage 2, Are there anything other sources of funds like NYPA or NYSERDA which we could be looking into? This is for a Municipality tying in a School District, both critical facilities.

    Not from NYPA, but because you are in the planning stage, this would not be included in this round of CFA’s, instead it sounds like something you can apply for later. There are some components within the Micro Grid that can be supported, for example in the state of Connecticut this is being done.

  • Small generation facilities, is there a matching grant for Cleaner Greener?

    Yes, 25 % match

  • Are municipalities eligible?

    They are not recommended

  • What type of companies apply?

    Manufacturers, distributors, data centers, Hospitals, private schools. These are just examples. I would encourage you to apply and let EDPAB make the determination of whether the company is eligible or not.

  • How do you establish the power rates through ReCharge NY?

    NYPA has a separate tariff (Service Tariff No. RNY -1) where NYPA has established base rates under the program. Also, there is a section that details the rate adjustment process as well where NYPA reviews several economic indices to determine whether a rate increase is warranted or not. Historically, NYPA rates are lower than what a standard electric utility could offer.

  • What is the average percentage of savings through ReCharge NY?

    The savings on power cost will vary depending on the operating characteristics of the business (service class, voltage level, load factor). NYPA staff have seen savings ranging anywhere from 5% - 30%.

  • Can municipalities participate in ReCharge NY?

    Municipalities can, but a municipal’s power cost is usually lower. Therefore the economics are not there under the RNY program. Municipalities can contact NYPA directly for further information and to discuss rates.

  • I am unsure if our new construction project will meet the guidelines of the Cleaner/Greener Grant. Is there someone that can assist with determining if it will?

    Yes. You can refer to the Regional Outreach Contractors for NYSERDA. Local contact information is available on handout.

  • Is a large paved recreational eligible for GIGP grant? Do you need an engineering report for this type of project? Would you need an engineer report for this type of project?

    Yes this is a project that can be considered. A feasibility study would need to be completed; an engineer can complete a feasibility study. You can contact Suzanna Randall or efc.ny.gov for further information/questions on GIGP.

  • Is a large paved recreational eligible for GIGP grant? Do you need an engineering report for this type of project? Would you need an engineer report for this type of project?

    Yes this is a project that can be considered. A feasibility study would need to be completed; an engineer can complete a feasibility study. You can contact Suzanna Randall or efc.ny.gov for further information/questions on GIGP.

  • Would a manufacturer in a municipality be eligible?

    Yes, but a municipality’s power cost is usually lower. Therefore the economics are not there under the RNY program. NYPA has made awards in the past, but there are no savings when compared to what the Municipalities can offer under NYPA’s Preference Power rates.

  • For the GIGP, does the funding have to be specifically tied to municipal storm water?

    No.

  • Can you explain how the discount is reported on the billing invoice?

    Customers can save on the Systems Benefit Charge (SBC) the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) on the delivery side of the bill. For NYPA customers this charge is $0. Also, for RNY customers, National Grid charges a cheaper rate for the Incremental State Assessment, so this is another delivery savings for RNY customer. Another major discount is on the supply side with the lower cost hydropower being supplied by NYPA. Participating organization will receive two (maybe three) bills – one from their regular power supplier and one from the New York Power Authority and one from their third party supplier (ESCo) if applicable.

  • Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) Funding
  • What is a Feasibility Study and what are the required components?

    The Feasibility Study is a written document which is signed and stamped by a Qualified Professional. This document provides the basis/justification for design. Applicants are required to submit sufficient information to demonstrate the proposed Green Infrastructure (GI) practice is feasible. Please refer to the Table entitled “Technical Guidance for Green Infrastructure Projects,” which can be found here. It should be noted that EFC and DEC must approve the Feasibility Study prior to the execution of a GIGP Grant Agreement with EFC.

  • 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. 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” which can be found here. 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 New York State 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. Please note, depending on how the action is classified under SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act), public hearings may be required as part of your compliance with local and State laws.

  • Can the local match be accomplished using in-kind services or come from a private company?

    Yes, both of these options are acceptable. Appropriate contractual commitments would need to be demonstrated by successful grant applicants.

  • What are the acceptable sources for a match for the required 10% match in the GIGP?

    Any local, state, private, non-federal funding, in-kind goods, and in-kind services can also be used towards the local match. Before EFC will enter into Grant Agreement, the recipient must demonstrate that they have sufficient financing in place to complete the project.

  • Is there any minimum or maximum grant award?

    No. We encourage you to review the previous projects on EFC’s website (www.efc.by.gov/gigp) to get a better idea of the range that past funding awarded.

  • Are design and planning costs eligible?

    Yes, the design and planning costs directly related to the GIGP eligible construction costs are eligible.

  • What is SERP?

    SERP is the State Environmental Review Process. This review is conducted for environmental impacts here in the State of New York, and is facilitated through NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). A guidance document on the SERP and SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) requirements in NYS can be found here.

  • 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 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?

    All GIGP funding 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.

  • Do we have to comply with NYS Prevailing Wage requirements?

    All GIGP funding must comply with prevailing wage requirements under Article 8 of the NYS Labor Law.

  • 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 authorizing 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.

  • Who is an eligible applicant?

    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. Where there are multiple partners, the entity that will own, operate and maintain the GIGP eligible project for the duration of its useful life should be the primary applicant for a GIGP project. The authorized representatives executing the Grant Agreement with EFC must be able to make all the representations and covenants in the Grant Agreement. A sample of the GIGP Grant Agreement can be found on EFC’s website (www.efc.ny.gov/gigp).

  • If you lease property, can you apply for GIGP funds?

    Yes, however you must demonstrate that you have the legal right to operate and maintain the project for the useful life defined in the Grant Agreement. It can range from 10 to 30 years, depending on the green practices implemented.

  • Can I submit an engineering report in place of a conceptual site plan AND feasibility study?

    If the engineering report covers all of the required elements of a feasibility study, it may be submitted in place of a feasibility study. Please note, a conceptual site plan is still required.

  • 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.

  • If the project has already been constructed can I still apply?

    Yes, however EFC strongly encourages applicants to wait to begin construction until after grant awards have been made. Projects are required to comply with all contracting and technical approvals, and work completed before this has occurred may not comply with grant requirements and that could jeopardize funding eligibility.

  • 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.

  • Is the installation of water meters eligible and/or competitive? What about installing solar panels and/or energy efficient pumps at a treatment facility?

    Both of these projects are great for water conservation and energy efficiency, but these are NOT eligible for GIGP. GIGP will only provide funding for green stormwater infrastructure projects. Eligible activities for GIGP can be found on our Application Process page by clicking here.

  • Does GIGP fund culverts?

    Culverts are not a green infrastructure practice per se. However, if a culvert was a piece of a larger green infrastructure project it might be an eligible component. A project that simply proposes a culvert would not be eligible.

  • Is porous asphalt more expensive than regular asphalt or about the same?

    The cost will vary by region and by job, based on the economies of scale.

  • Does porous pavement hold up in the winter?

    Yes, when designed, installed, and maintained properly, porous pavement can outperform traditional pavement in the winter.

  • Can GIGP funds be used for mitigation projects?

    No. The program is provides funding for the construction and restoration of wetlands.

  • 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 here.
    • The US EPA Office of Water’s Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL) found here.

    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.

  • How do I stay informed of the latest news and updates regarding the Green Innovation Grant Program?

    Sign up to our Email List.

  • Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Funding
  • What types of projects is the funding intended to be used for?

    The funds are for planning associated with publicly owned wastewater infrastructure projects. The funds are not intended for salt storage or dam restoration projects.

  • Are the funds only for planning activities?

    Yes, the grant is to be used to fund planning services such as costs related to preparation of an engineering report, including, but not limited to site investigations, flow metering, sewer televising, the cost of environmental review services related to SEQR and the costs of obtaining SHPO approval for the proposed project. The funds cannot be used to pay for design costs or construction costs.

  • Can funds be utilized to prepare a Map Plan & Report (MPR)/Engineers report for a new wastewater collection system or a new wastewater management district?

    Yes, as long as the project is a publicly owned wastewater infrastructure project. A MPR is typically produced to support the creation of a new sewer district, so the local municipality would need to supply the local share (20%) to satisfy the grant condition.

  • Can funds be sought to plan/engineer slip lining of an existing collection system where known environmental issues exist?

    Funds could be provided to prepare an engineering report for the slip lining project, however, costs would not be authorized for design services.

  • Can more than one eligible municipality apply for the same joint project?

    If two or more municipalities have an agreement to pursue a project, they may apply for the grant. However, it would be most preferred if one municipality took the lead and applied for the grant. In any case, funding will be provided for the completion of one engineering report per project for a maximum of $50,000 per project for municipalities with a population of 50,000 or greater, or $30,000 per project for municipalities with a population of less than 50,000 according to the United States Census 2010, American Community Survey. If the proposed cost for the planning exceeds $25,000, state Minority and Women's Business Enterprise (M/WBE) requirements apply.

  • Can I apply for both the New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant and the Green Innovations Grant Program (GIGP) with the same project in this round of funding?

    No, The GIGP program requires submission of a Feasibility Report for a stormwater project. The New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant program is providing funding for the production of an engineering report for wastewater infrastructure.

  • Can a municipality apply for a project that is already listed on the Intended Use Plan (IUP)?

    Yes, if a municipality has already commissioned the production of an engineering report for an eligible activity, and the project is not on the annual (2013) list, the report could qualify for consideration. However, if the value of the contract for Engineering Services exceeds $25,000, state Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) requirements apply. Information regarding MWBE requirements can be found at the web page: www.efc.ny.gov/mwbe.

    MWBE Forms: MWBE/EEO Workplan; EEO Staffing Plan; EEO Policy Statement; MWBE Utilization Plan (http://www.efc.ny.gov/Default.aspx?TabID=76&fid=428)

    MWBE Guidance Documents: Contract Language; Bid Packet for Service Providers; Goals (http://www.efc.ny.gov/Default.aspx?TabID=76&fid=429)

    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 definitions in the DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant Program Overview (PDF, 189 KB).

  • I do not find the municipality I am interested in on the Census page to verify the median household income.

    Directions (PDF, 110 KB) have been developed to help applicants navigate to their census data.

  • What population and MHI data should an applicant use when submitting their application, (i.e., County, Town, City, Village or service area)?

    Cities and Villages should use municipal wide 2010 data. Towns and Counties should use the 2010 Census data for the area that is being served. In cases where the service area has not been established, provide an estimate for the envisioned service area. Directions (PDF, 110 KB) have been developed to help applicants navigate to their census data.

  • Are Indian Nations eligible?

    Yes, any Indian reservation wholly within New York State is eligible. Below is the definition of municipalities, which includes the reference to Indian reservations.

    "Municipality - means any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, Indian reservation wholly within New York State, any public benefit corporation or public authority established pursuant to the laws of New York or any agency of New York State which is empowered to construct and operate a project, or any two or more of the foregoing which are acting jointly in connection with a project. [Reference: 21 NYCRR 2602.2(a)(49) New York State Clean Water Revolving Fund Regulations]"

  • Can a municipality use State Funds as their cash match?

    No, State (or federal) grants may not be used for local match. Match can include cash, in-kind services and/or loans.

  • What types of activities can be used as "in-kind services"?

    "In-kind services" can be eligible services performed by staff employed with the municipality and are necessary for the development of an engineering report, provided the applicant's staff are capable and qualified to provide the services. Field reconnaissance services and engineering services are acceptable as long as it is done under the direction of a NYS licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.).

  • The municipality has an old sewer system and they want to do an analysis to determine what needs to be replaced and what is still functioning. Can this work be considered as "in-kind services?"

    Yes, "In-kind services" can be eligible services performed by staff employed with the municipality and are necessary for the development of an engineering report, provided the applicant's staff are capable and qualified to provide the services. The plan must be written consistent with the DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant requirements. Field reconnaissance services and engineering services are acceptable as long as it is done under the direction of a NYS licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.).

  • The municipality wants to apply for a grant and does not have a SPDES permit, but has failing septic systems. Can they still apply?

    Yes, eligible municipalities can apply for the DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning grant to develop a plan for constructing public collection and treatment systems that will eliminate failing septic systems.

  • 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 be required, as a condition of the enforcement order or SPDES Permit, to implement the recommendations of the engineering report. The intent of this grant program is to offer funding to allow municipalities to develop approvable engineering reports for the purpose of applying for CWSRF funding assistance, and then proceed to design and construction to address the identified water quality problem.

  • 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 and required to consider a decentralized approach to resolve the identified water quality problems. The engineering report must include consideration of a municipally owned decentralized wastewater system as a solution to the water quality issues.

  • If my application is selected to receive New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant financial assistance, what are the requirements necessary to execute an assistance agreement?

    1. Submit an executed Engineering Contract for Planning Services outlining the scope of work and budget for review and approval. If the Planning contract amount exceeds $25,000, it must meet state M/WBE requirements, or be modified to include these provisions. If the planning will be undertaken directly by the municipality, a Technical Force Account must be submitted with a budgeted cost for services as well as a list of personnel assigned to the task.
    2. Complete State Environmental Review requirements for the Planning Grant. A municipal resolution would need to be passed declaring the SEQR for the planning activity (typically a Type II action - 6 NYCRR Part 617.5(21)), and the planning effort must be submitted to SHPO declaring the planning activity for the development of the engineering report does not negatively affect state historic resources. EFC will work with the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to obtain a blanket SHPO clearance for the projects selected to receive an Engineering Planning Grant. However, if this blanket clearance cannot be issued by SHPO, individual project reviews for SHPO compliance will be required. EFC will inform you if you will need to submit your project to SHPO for review.
    3. Submit a Budget for the planning project as well as a resolution identifying the local match (20%) for the grant.
    4. Submit a Resolution identifying the Authorized Representative to execute the grant agreement.
    5. Submit a completed MWBE Work Plan and Utilization Plan (and MWBE Waiver Request Form if applicable). The MWBE Work Plan and Utilization Plan are only applicable if the Engineering Contract for Planning Services exceeds $25,000. The MWBE Work Plan and Utilization Plan will need to be approved by EFC before an assistance agreement can be executed.
  • If I receive funding from this grant will I have to conduct a SEQR review and a SHPO review?

    Yes, awardees have to complete both a SEQR and SHPO review for the planning activity. A municipal resolution would need to be passed declaring the SEQR for the planning activity (typically a Type II action - 6 NYCRR Part 617.5(21)), and the planning effort must be submitted to SHPO declaring the planning activity for the development of the engineering report does not negatively affect state historic resources The SEQR resolution and endorsement by SHPO must be completed before a grant agreement with EFC can be executed.

    For SHPO approval, EFC will work with the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to obtain a blanket SHPO clearance for the projects selected to receive an Engineering Planning Grant. However, if this blanket clearance cannot be issued by SHPO, individual project reviews for SHPO compliance will be required. EFC will inform you if you will need to submit your project to SHPO for review.

    However, to be clear, the scope of work for the Planning Grant may include the costs to conduct an environmental review (SEQR and SHPO activities) for the proposed project identified in the engineering report. These project "environmental review requirements" are necessary to authorize approval and eligibility of the project under the CWSRF program to pursue financial assistance.

  • If a municipality is part of a sewer district, can the municipality apply for the grant?

    Yes, a municipality that is part of a sewer district can apply for grant funding under the following conditions:

    • If a municipality is part of a sewer district and they own their wastewater infrastructure, but they discharge their wastewater to another district, then the municipality can apply and their eligibility is dependent upon their MHI.
    • If the municipality is part of a county district and the county district owns all of the wastewater infrastructure that serves that municipality, then the county would apply and the eligibility is dependent upon the county district's MHI.
  • If a municipality wants to form a sewer district that would discharge wastewater to an existing county district, who should apply for the grant?

    If a municipality has not connected to a county or town sewer district, and neither owns its own wastewater infrastructure or wants to consider creating its own infrastructure, they cannot directly apply for the grant. They would need a "municipal sponsor" to apply on their behalf. The municipal sponsor would be the town or the county district that they are planning to connect with.

  • Are green infrastructure projects that will address a CSO issue eligible?

    Yes, these projects are eligible under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and therefore are eligible to apply for funding under the New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) program.

  • Are stormwater infrastructure projects eligible?

    Yes, these projects are eligible under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and therefore are eligible to apply for funding under the New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) program. However, priority will be given to municipalities proposing planning projects with a documented water quality impairment:

    • required by an executed Order on Consent;
    • required by a SPDES permit;
    • upgrade or replace an existing wastewater system;
    • construct a wastewater treatment and/or collection system for an unsewered area.
    • identified in a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
  • Is the development of a Comprehensive Performance Evaluation for a Wastewater Treatment Plant an eligible activity under the New York State DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG)?

    No, the intent of the EPG program is to provide funding to municipalities for the completion of an engineering report that would leading to the implementation of a capital improvement project.

  • HCR - Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • How can we find out if we are eligible for NYS CDBG funding?

    Eligible applicants are non-entitlement units of general local government (villages, cities, towns or counties), excluding metropolitan cities, urban counties and Indian Tribes that are designated entitlement communities. Non-entitlement areas are defined as cities, towns and villages with populations of less than 50,000, except those designated principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and counties with populations of less than 200,000. The NYS CDBG program does not provide direct financial assistance to businesses. For a list of eligible communities, please visit: http://nysdhcr.gov/Programs/NYS-CDBG/EligibleCommunities.htm

  • What are the criteria for infrastructure funding for non-entitlement areas and public water and sewer and storm water projects?

    Public water and sewer and storm water projects are eligible CDBG activities. These activities must benefit a predominantly low-and moderate income area, which means that at least 51% of the persons benefiting from the improvements are low- and moderate income individuals. Application for NYS CDBG assistance through the CFA must be made by the Town, Village or City where the improvements are proposed. The application may need income survey or census data to demonstrate that at least 51% of the persons benefiting are low-and moderate income.

  • Regarding project funding limits: if a town applies for more than one project, is the maximum dollar amount per project, or per community that is applying?

    A community can apply for NYS CDBG assistance up to the maximum amount available per eligible activity. For example, the Town of Upstate has identified the need for a water project in one neighborhood and a separate application for an economic development project. This would require the Town to submit two separate applications, one for public water and one for economic development, the Town could request up to $600,000 for the water project, and up to $750,000 for economic development.

  • Under Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) economic development program is there still funding available for micro-enterprises?

    No, micro-enterprises are not covered in the CDBG program included in the CFA.

  • Is my project subject to environmental review?

    Yes, all projects funded with NYS CDBG funds are subject to environmental review. CDBG funds are federal funds and are subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The project is also subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Collectively, the NEPA review and SEQRA review is referred to as the Environmental Review Record (ERR) which must be completed and submitted to the Office of Community Renewal (OCR) for approval prior to incurring any project costs. If a project is receiving funds from multiple sources, the ERR must be completed for all sources. An approval for the release of funds must be issued by OCR prior to incurring any non-exempt project costs. Any non-exempt project costs incurred prior to OCR’s approval for release of funds will be ineligible for NYS CDBG reimbursement. A complete description of the environmental review process is available on the OCR website at: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/NYS-CDBG/GAMChapter2.pdf

  • With the NYMS Program, why is the funding cap lower than last year?

    The funding cap has been decreased to $200,000 due to the limited amount of funding available, and the statewide demand for the funding.

  • I own a downtown mixed-use building, can I apply for a NYMS grant?

    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.

  • 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 support letter does not meet this requirement. A copy of the resolution must be attached to the application where requested. The resolution must include 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 2013 application - The resolution must be on official stationary and should hold the official seal Please contact HCR_CFA@nyshcr.org for a template resolution.

  • We are planning to apply for both New York Main Street and Urban Initiatives, do we need two separate municipal resolutions?

    A single resolution is acceptable if the text clearly states both program names and identifies that the resolution is for this year’s funding cycle.

  • We have a project that could use New York Main Street Technical Assistance funds and New York Main Street Building Renovation funds. Can we submit an application for both?

    No. NYMS Technical Assistance proposals must be for future NYMS projects. Given the two year contract term, it is not feasible to fund a technical assistance project for a building renovation project that does not have an anticipated construction start date.

  • 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

  • Can we apply for Main Street for multiple building projects or should the application propose a single renovation project?

    NYMS is a comprehensive grant program that provides resources for the purpose of assisting New York communities with their Main Street and downtown revitalization efforts. NYMS provides funds to stimulate reinvestment in mixed-use (commercial-civic-residential) “main street” buildings. 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 a competitive Main Street application typically assists several buildings within a three block target area. If your project involves a single building, review the Urban Initiatives and Rural Area Revitalization Projects Resource Guides to determine if one of these funding sources is a better fit for your project.

  • 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.

  • Are in-kind labor and donated materials eligible as match for NYMS?

    No. Match for NYMS projects must be realized on building by building basis, and eligible expenses and payments will be verified prior to reimbursement.

  • Who can apply for the Rural Area Revitalization Projects (RARP) and Urban Initiatives (UI) programs?

    Not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for RARP and UI. Not-for-profits must attach a copy of the organization’s Certificate of Incorporation and filing receipt to the application.

  • How much time will we have to complete a UI and RARP project?

    UI and RARP projects must be completed within 24 months.

  • Is it acceptable to submit an application without the buildings to be assisted identified?

    UI and RARP applications should not propose a scattered site approach. UI and RARP applications should present single, identified, ready to go projects.

  • 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. Please note, however, the project must not commence prior to award. Projects that begin construction prior to award, contract execution and environmental review may not be eligible for reimbursement.

  • Does this fund the demolition and removal of dangerous buildings?

    Building demolition is an eligible expense if it is part of a larger construction or renovation project that will be completed in the 24 month term.

  • Are matching funds required for UI or RARP?

    Yes, both programs require matching funds. The UI or RARP request may not exceed 75% of the total project cost. Please also note that applicants documenting high percentages of committed matching and leveraged funds will receive the highest scores.

  • 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. Please review the projects funded in 2012 on the Regional Councils website: http://www.nyscfaprojectdata.ny.gov/2012/cfadatatable

  • Is a parking lot an eligible UI or RARP project?

    No, UI and RARP funds may not be used for site work or ancillary activities on a property including grading, parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, fences, free standing signs or general maintenance. Additional ineligible uses of UI and RARP include, but are not limited to: general organizational operating expenses; capitalizing a revolving loan fund; improvements to structures owned by religious or private membership organizations; improvements to municipally-owned buildings used for municipal purposes; the purchase of non-permanent fixtures, such as furnishings, appliances, electronics, and business equipment; and pre-development planning and associated expenses, as RARP projects must result in a completed, occupied space.

  • Does new construction in urban areas qualify under UI program?

    New construction is an eligible activity if an applicant can be demonstrated that funding and approvals are in place, and the project will be completed within a 24 month timeframe.

  • Are restrictions placed on buildings that receive RARP or UI funds?

    Property owners participating in the RARP or UI Program must sign a Property Maintenance Declaration. The Property Maintenance Declaration states that the property owner will maintain all RARP or UI assisted improvements in good condition for a five year term. If residential units are assisted, income verification of occupants will be required. This Declaration document must be filed with the County to secure the investment.

  • Are costs incurred prior to award eligible for reimbursement or as match?

    No. Costs incurred prior to award are not eligible for reimbursement or as match. Additionally, applicants are advised against incurring costs prior to contract execution and environmental review.

  • Do municipalities need to identify the engineer up front?

    No, an engineer does not have to be selected during the application process. However, once an award is announced, a grant recipient is expected to be able to complete the required paperwork and sign a contract in a timely fashion. The process of developing the RFP should begin soon after the grant is awarded, including the process of selecting an engineering firm.

  • How can we find out if we are eligible for NYS CDBG funding?

    Eligible applicants are non-entitlement units of general local government (villages, cities, towns or counties), excluding metropolitan cities, urban counties and Indian Tribes that are designated entitlement communities. Non-entitlement areas are defined as cities, towns and villages with populations of less than 50,000, except those designated principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and counties with populations of less than 200,000. The NYS CDBG program does not provide direct financial assistance to businesses. For a list of eligible communities, please visit: http://nysdhcr.gov/Programs/NYS-CDBG/EligibleCommunities.htm

  • What are the criteria for infrastructure funding for non-entitlement areas and public water and sewer and storm water projects?

    Public water and sewer and storm water projects are eligible CDBG activities. These activities must benefit a predominantly low-and moderate income area, which means that at least 51% of the persons benefiting from the improvements are low- and moderate income individuals. Application for NYS CDBG assistance through the CFA must be made by the Town, Village or City where the improvements are proposed. The application may need income survey or census data to demonstrate that at least 51% of the persons benefiting are low-and moderate income.

  • Regarding project funding limits: if a town applies for more than one project, is the maximum dollar amount per project, or per community that is applying?

    A community can apply for NYS CDBG assistance up to the maximum amount available per eligible activity. For example, the Town of Upstate has identified the need for a water project in one neighborhood and a separate application for an economic development project. This would require the Town to submit two separate applications, one for public water and one for economic development, the Town could request up to $600,000 for the water project, and up to $750,000 for economic development.

  • Under Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) economic development program is there still funding available for micro-enterprises?

    No, micro-enterprises are not covered in the CDBG program included in the CFA.

  • Is my project subject to environmental review?

    Yes, all projects funded with NYS CDBG funds are subject to environmental review. CDBG funds are federal funds and are subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The project is also subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Collectively, the NEPA review and SEQRA review is referred to as the Environmental Review Record (ERR) which must be completed and submitted to the Office of Community Renewal (OCR) for approval prior to incurring any project costs. If a project is receiving funds from multiple sources, the ERR must be completed for all sources. An approval for the release of funds must be issued by OCR prior to incurring any non-exempt project costs. Any non-exempt project costs incurred prior to OCR’s approval for release of funds will be ineligible for NYS CDBG reimbursement. A complete description of the environmental review process is available on the OCR website at: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/NYS-CDBG/GAMChapter2.pdf

  • With the NYMS Program, why is the funding cap lower than last year?

    The funding cap has been decreased to $200,000 due to the limited amount of funding available, and the statewide demand for the funding.

  • I own a downtown mixed-use building, can I apply for a NYMS grant?

    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.

  • 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 support letter does not meet this requirement. A copy of the resolution must be attached to the application where requested. The resolution must include 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 2013 application - The resolution must be on official stationary and should hold the official seal Please contact HCR_CFA@nyshcr.org for a template resolution.

  • We are planning to apply for both New York Main Street and Urban Initiatives, do we need two separate municipal resolutions?

    A single resolution is acceptable if the text clearly states both program names and identifies that the resolution is for this year’s funding cycle.

  • We have a project that could use New York Main Street Technical Assistance funds and New York Main Street Building Renovation funds. Can we submit an application for both?

    No. NYMS Technical Assistance proposals must be for future NYMS projects. Given the two year contract term, it is not feasible to fund a technical assistance project for a building renovation project that does not have an anticipated construction start date.

  • 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.

  • Can we apply for Main Street for multiple building projects or should the application propose a single renovation project?

    NYMS is a comprehensive grant program that provides resources for the purpose of assisting New York communities with their Main Street and downtown revitalization efforts. NYMS provides funds to stimulate reinvestment in mixed-use (commercial-civic-residential) “main street” buildings. 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 a competitive Main Street application typically assists several buildings within a three block target area. If your project involves a single building, review the Urban Initiatives and Rural Area Revitalization Projects Resource Guides to determine if one of these funding sources is a better fit for your project.

  • 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.

  • Are in-kind labor and donated materials eligible as match for NYMS?

    No. Match for NYMS projects must be realized on building by building basis, and eligible expenses and payments will be verified prior to reimbursement.

  • Who can apply for the Rural Area Revitalization Projects (RARP) and Urban Initiatives (UI) programs?

    Not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for RARP and UI. Not-for-profits must attach a copy of the organization’s Certificate of Incorporation and filing receipt to the application.

  • How much time will we have to complete a UI and RARP project?

    UI and RARP projects must be completed within 24 months.

  • Is it acceptable to submit an application without the buildings to be assisted identified?

    UI and RARP applications should not propose a scattered site approach. UI and RARP applications should present single, identified, ready to go projects.

  • 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. Please note, however, the project must not commence prior to award. Projects that begin construction prior to award, contract execution and environmental review may not be eligible for reimbursement.

  • Does this fund the demolition and removal of dangerous buildings?

    Building demolition is an eligible expense if it is part of a larger construction or renovation project that will be completed in the 24 month term.

  • Are matching funds required for UI or RARP?

    Yes, both programs require matching funds. The UI or RARP request may not exceed 75% of the total project cost. Please also note that applicants documenting high percentages of committed matching and leveraged funds will receive the highest scores.

  • 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. Please review the projects funded in 2012 on the Regional Councils website: http://www.nyscfaprojectdata.ny.gov/2012/cfadatatable

  • Is a parking lot an eligible UI or RARP project?

    No, UI and RARP funds may not be used for site work or ancillary activities on a property including grading, parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, fences, free standing signs or general maintenance. Additional ineligible uses of UI and RARP include, but are not limited to: general organizational operating expenses; capitalizing a revolving loan fund; improvements to structures owned by religious or private membership organizations; improvements to municipally-owned buildings used for municipal purposes; the purchase of non-permanent fixtures, such as furnishings, appliances, electronics, and business equipment; and pre-development planning and associated expenses, as RARP projects must result in a completed, occupied space.

  • Does new construction in urban areas qualify under UI program?

    New construction is an eligible activity if an applicant can be demonstrated that funding and approvals are in place, and the project will be completed within a 24 month timeframe.

  • Are restrictions placed on buildings that receive RARP or UI funds?

    Property owners participating in the RARP or UI Program must sign a Property Maintenance Declaration. The Property Maintenance Declaration states that the property owner will maintain all RARP or UI assisted improvements in good condition for a five year term. If residential units are assisted, income verification of occupants will be required. This Declaration document must be filed with the County to secure the investment.

  • Are costs incurred prior to award eligible for reimbursement or as match?

    No. Costs incurred prior to award are not eligible for reimbursement or as match. Additionally, applicants are advised against incurring costs prior to contract execution and environmental review.

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