Economic Development Grants

Under this announcement, EDA is seeking applications for the following programs under PWEDA: (i) Public Works; (ii) Planning; (iii) Local Technical Assistance; and (iv) Economic Adjustment Assistance. EDA will provide Public Works investments to support the construction or rehabilitation of essential public infrastructure and facilities necessary to generate or retain private sector jobs and investments, attract private sector capital, and promote regional competitiveness, including investments that expand and upgrade infrastructure to attract new industry, support technology-led development, accelerate new business development, and enhance the ability of regions to capitalize on opportunities presented by free trade. The Planning Program helps support planning organizations, including District Organizations and Indian Tribes, in the development, implementation, revision or replacement of comprehensive economic development strategies (CEDS), and for related short-term planning investments and State plans designed to create and retain higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, particularly for the unemployed and underemployed in the nation’s most economically distressed regions. The Local Technical Assistance Program helps fill the knowledge and information gaps that may prevent leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors in economically distressed regions from making optimal decisions on local economic development issues. The Economic Adjustment Assistance Program provides a wide range of technical, planning and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. This program is designed to respond flexibly to pressing economic recovery issues and is well suited to help address challenges faced by U.S. communities and regions.

Eligible applicants include:
County governments
City or township governments
Special district governments
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education

Contact your GFA client rep for more information!

Economic Development Grants

Planning Grants, Due Aug 26

America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations grants support projects in the humanities that explore stories, ideas, and beliefs that deepen our understanding of our lives and our world. The Division of Public Programs supports the development of humanities content and interactivity that excite, inform, and stir thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity, and history in creative and new ways. Grants for America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations should encourage dialogue, discussion, and civic engagement, and they should foster learning among people of all ages. To that end, the Division of Public Programs urges applicants to consider more than one format for presenting humanities ideas to the public.

Planning grants are available for projects that may need further development before applying for implementation. This planning can include the identification and refinement of the project’s main humanities ideas and questions, consultation with scholars in order to strengthen the humanities content, preliminary audience evaluation, preliminary design of the proposed interpretive formats, beta testing of digital formats, development of complementary programming, research at archives or sites whose resources might be used, or the drafting of interpretive materials.

Planning grants may be used for:

meetings with scholars and other content advisers, program partners, and representatives of target audiences or other key personnel involved in the project;
preliminary audience evaluation and beta testing of digital materials;
travel to archives, collections, sites, or other resources;
drafting of text for program or discussion guides, exhibition labels, brochures, publications, or other interpretive materials;
preliminary design for any of the interpretive formats to be used;
general preparation of the associated programs and materials for dissemination; and
planning for training for docents, discussion coordinators, or other relevant interpretive leaders for the project.

Planning grants may not be used for
single-site temporary exhibitions;
purchase of art, artifacts, or collections;
professional development;
expenses for program venues in foreign countries;
dramatic adaptations of literary works;
projects that will satisfy requirements for educational degrees or formal professional training;
programs primarily for students in formal learning environments;
general operations, renovation, restoration, rehabilitation, or construction;
projects primarily devoted to basic background research on a subject, as opposed to actual refinement of interpretive ideas and formats;
projects for preservation, cataloging, or archiving;
projects that seek to persuade participants of a particular political, philosophical, religious, or ideological point of view;
projects that advocate a particular program of social action; or
print publications that are not an integral part of a larger set of interpretive activities for which funding is being requested.

Grants typically provide 50-60% of project costs.

Source: NEH

Planning Grants, Due Aug 26

Rooftop Greenery

Noticed any green roofs around you lately? If you haven’t, you may need to take a closer look! Green roofs are popping up all over, large and small. The first photo is a recycling center in Grand Haven (photo: Liveroof website) and the second is the Regatta Building on Union Street in Traverse City (photo: Liveroof website). Not only is Michigan a great spot for viewing green roof examples, it is also a great spot for purchasing green roof materials!

Liveroof, based in Spring Lake MI, is an easily accessible source of green roof supplies. They offer many options for green roof aficionados, including a plant catalog.

Global green roofs is another source, a little further downstate in Grand Rapids:

If you’re ready to delve further into the potential of green roofs, the MDEQ has prepared a primer:

GFA continually strives to make our business practices as green as possible. Internally employees voluntarily recycle paper, batteries, computer equipment and cell phones – recycling around four 50 gallon bags of paper each week. GFA recently made a sizable donation of computer equipment to the Kingsley Area Schools, providing the schools with more computer capacity and saving the used equipment from a landfill. Other green practices include: outdated and obsolete cell phones are donated to local crisis centers for reuse as 911 phones, printed materials are prepared with an eye toward recycling by the end user.

Rooftop Greenery

ORV Trail Grants, Due Aug 1

Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trail Improvement Program

This program provides funding for maintenance of established ORV trails and facilities as part of the designated statewide trail system, development of new trails and facilities, and restoration of natural resources damaged by ORV use.

Applications for trail, route, or area maintenance and/or development must be for facilities that are open to the public. Applications for damage restoration funds must be for lands under public ownership.

Applicant must be a public agency or nonprofit, incorporated club or organization. Individuals are not eligible.

Grant applications are due August 1 of each year.

The time period from grant application to grant award is approximately four months.

Dollar Amount(s) Available:

Maximum allowable is up to 100 percent of cost, not to exceed the actual grant allocation; there is no minimum.

Grant applications are prioritized to address existing trail maintenance and restoration needs on public land. New trail, route and scramble area development proposals also will be considered.

A separate application is available for grants to eligible county sheriff departments to enforce ORV regulations. Counties that have either designated ORV trails or abandoned railroad rights-of-way that are being converted into Michigan Trailways are eligible for law enforcement funding.

Contact your GFA client rep for more information!

Source(s) of Funds:

ORV Trail Improvement Fund.

ORV Trail Grants, Due Aug 1

DNR Trust Fund Land Acquisition Grants, Due Aug 3

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has been in place since 1976. It provides financial assistance to local governments and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase land or rights in land for public recreation or protection of land because of its environmental importance or its scenic beauty. It also assists in the appropriate development of land for public outdoor recreation.

The MNRTF is supported by annual revenues from the development of State-owned mineral resources, largely oil and gas. It is governed by Article 9, Section 35 of the State Constitution and Part 19 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 451 PA 1994, as amended. The program is administered by the MNRTF Board of Trustees and the Grants Management office of the DNR. The MNRTF Board of Trustees meets six times a year and all meetings are open to the public.

MNRTF projects provide for natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. By law, no more than 25 percent of the Trust Fund revenues available for appropriation each year can be used for development, therefore the majority of funding is allocated for acquisition projects. Applications are accepted annually as follows:

April 1 – Land acquisition and recreation development project application deadline. Development project applications must be submitted by April 1.
August 3 – Secondary application deadline for land acquisition projects only.

Grant awards are dependent on the appropriations process, but project agreements are normally distributed within 12 to 18 months after the application submission.

No minimum/maximum limits on land acquisition grants. (Source: MDNR Website)

Contact us for more information!

DNR Trust Fund Land Acquisition Grants, Due Aug 3

Fish Passage Grants, Due Sept. 30

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the availability of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for habitat restoration through the National Fish Passage Program. The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act authorizes the Secretary of Interior to provide technical and financial assistance through the National Fish Passage Program to partners interested in restoring, enhancing, and managing fish and wildlife habitats. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 additional funding is available for habitat restoration through the National Fish passage Program These Recovery Act funds are available for habitat restoration projects that address high priority aquatic habitats. Projects must provide direct benefits to Federal Trust species (i.e., migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, inter-jurisdictional fish, certain marine mammals, and species of international concern).

It is a goal of the program to secure at least 50 percent of project costs from non-Service sources, but this goal applies regionally as a whole, and does not have to be achieved on a project-by-project basis.

Private landowners, Tribal Governments, local governments, state governments, educational institutions and organizations are all eligible to apply.

Contact us if you are interested in applying for this grant!

Fish Passage Grants, Due Sept. 30

MPSC Wind Analysis Released Yesterday

The Wind Energy Resource Zone Board released an analysis of the state’s wind energy potential yesterday, naming areas of Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim and Charlevoix as some of the top gust-producing areas in the state. Other areas named included the tip of the thumb and the shoreline of Allegan County. An excerpt of the report’s Exhibit 2 Map shows the identified areas.

The board was established in December 2008 pursuant to Public Act 295 of 2008 (PA 295), also known as the “Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act.” The 11-member board includes representatives from cities and villages, townships, the state attorney general’s office, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), the renewable energy industry, the electric utility industry, independent transmission companies, environmental organizations, alternative energy suppliers, and the public at large. The board is required to issue a report that, among other things, includes a list of regions in the state with the “highest level of wind energy harvest potential.”

The board issued its proposed report detailing its findings on June 2, 2009. The proposed report is being provided to the legislative bodes of all the local units of government – cities, villages, townships, and counties – within the regions identified by the board as having the highest wind potential. This comment period will conclude at 3 p.m. on August 4, 2009. At the conclusion of the local government comment period, the Board will continue to accept comments as part of the public hearing process on the proposed report.

See to provide comments on the board’s proposed report.

The board has scheduled two public hearings:
Public Hearing 1 – Thumb Area
11a.m. on Monday, August 24, 2009
Huron County Expo Center
170 West Soper RoadBad Axe, MI 48413
See map or contact the Expo Center at (989) 269-2720.

Public Hearing 2 – West Michigan
11a.m. on Monday, August 31, 2009
West Shore Community College Auditorium in the Administrative and Conference Building
300 North Stiles RoadScottville, MI 49454

Information credit: Michigan Public Service Commission

MPSC Wind Analysis Released Yesterday

Rural Energy for America Grants, Due July 31

The Rural Energy for America Program will provide funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems. The Rural Energy for America Program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation’s critical energy needs. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up to 25% of total eligible project costs. Grants are limited to $50,000 for renewable energy feasibility studies.

Eligible applicants are agricultural producers and rural small businesses. All agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who gain 50% or more of their gross income from the agricultural operations are eligible. Small businesses that are located in a rural area can also apply. Rural electric cooperatives may also be eligible to apply. Additional Information on Eligibility: Citizenship – To be eligible, applicants must be individuals or entities at least 51 percent owned by persons who are either: 1) citizens of the United States (U.S.),the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or American Samoa; or 2) legally admitted permanent residents residing in the U.S. Project – The project must be to conduct a feasibility study for a renewable energy system. Eligible technologies include: projects that produce energy from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro power and hydrogen-based sources. All projects must be located in a rural area and must be owned by the applicant. Legal authority and responsibility – Each applicant must have, or obtain, the legal authority necessary to carry out the purpose of the grant.

Contact GFA for more information!

Rural Energy for America Grants, Due July 31