Streamline - Fall 2015 - (Page 31)

UsDA Rural Development/Virginia BY JANICE STROUD-BICKES, PROGRAM DIRECTOR uSDa ruraL DeveLoPmenT supports projects that develop long-term community and economic growth strategies. We have always sought to purposefully invest our financial and technical assistance resources in projects that will return long lasting benefits to a community. Section 6025 of the 2014 Farm Bill empowers us to work more strategically with rural communities to align Agency funds with identified multi-jurisdictional plans. In Fiscal Year 2016 (which begins October 1, 2015), Rural Development through our Community Facilities and our Water and Waste loans and grants, as well as through some of our Rural Business Programs, will reserve 10% of our allocation specifically for rural projects that support an identified need in an approved multi-jurisdictional community development plan. What does this mean? This means that applicants whose projects support the implementation of a multi-jurisdictional strategic community development plan may apply for priority funding, including set aside funding for loan and grant funds. Each state receives its own allocation of both loan and grant funds. This fiscal year Virginia received $9.2 million of grant funds and $21.4 million of loan funds and the National Office received $365 million of grant funds. Grant funds, both on a state and a national level, are always very competitive. Insuring that your proposed project supports multiple municipalities as cited in an approved regional strategic plan will increase your chances of securing grant and loan funds in a competitive situation. In order to be eligible for Regional Development priority, the project must: a. meet the underlying program's eligibility criteria; b. be carried out solely in a rural area; c. support a multi-jurisdictional strategic community plan. Jurisdictions are defined as a unit of government as a city, county, special purpose district or town. Each year, the Agency will set aside 10% of our allocated grant and loan dollars for projects supporting regional strategies identified in a strategic plan. RD form 1980-88 will have to be completed by the applicant for consideration of the set aside funds and for consideration of priority funding. This form cites the municipalities that will be served, the plan that strategically outlines the need for your proposed project, and identifies any other financial or technical assistance resources dedicated to the project. Each of these considerations will result in a higher priority score for your project. Rural Development will work with you to help you identify ways your application will be as competitive as possible. We want to invest every dollar we can into eligible and financially feasible projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We recommend that you contact your local Planning District Commission (PDC). Most of the Virginia PDCs have an up-to-date Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plan. It can be modified to include a proposed project. Many counties also have Comprehensive County Plan which has infrastructure needs included. Please note that funds reserved under this program IF NOT UTILIZED before We have always sought to purposefully invest our financial and technical assistance resources in projects that will return long lasting benefits to a community. the end of June will no longer be set aside. That means the 10% set aside of all national funds will end on June 30 and these funds will be reabsorbed into our regular allocation. If you want to compete for these funds, we need them in the Area Office by June 1 so we can get them approved by National Office before the June 30 deadline. It's not too early to start thinking about how we fund next year's projects! 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2015

From the President: What if the Hokey Pokey Really is What it’s All About?
From the Executive Director: The Value of Membership
VRWA’s 2015 Expo Wrap Up
Membership is Free, but its Value to your Utility may be Priceless!!
How to Prepare for a Lab Audit
Tomorrow’s Leaders: Attracting Young Professionals
Amherst Source Water Protection
USDA Rural Development/Virginia
Comparative Advantage
Keeping Workers Safe During Night-Time Repairs
Affordable Mixers Now Available for Southern Corrosion Engineered Tank Care Customers
When Consolidation Makes cents
NRWA Recap
VRWA Offers New Member Benefits
Throwing My Loop: Another View
Booster Club
e-Learning Benefits
Membership Application
Do you know what your VRWA Benefits are?
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Fall 2015