Announcement of the Availability of Disaster Relief Act 2019 Grant Funds for Community Facilities

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 175 (Tuesday, September 10, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 175 (Tuesday, September 10, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47477-47479]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19552]
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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Rural Housing Service
Announcement of the Availability of Disaster Relief Act 2019
Grant Funds for Community Facilities
AGENCY: Rural Housing Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of funds availability.
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SUMMARY: As part of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for
Disaster Relief Act, 2019, the Rural Housing Service's Community
Facilities Program (CF) received supplemental grant funding available
for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes
Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018,
tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural
disasters, to remain available until expended. The authority for the
Agency to administer the Community Facilities Grant Program is provided
in the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONAct). The grant
funds will be administered in accordance with this notice of funds
availability.
DATES: Applications will be accepted on a continual basis, beginning on
the publication date of this Notice, until funds are exhausted.
ADDRESSES: Applications will be submitted to a processing office as
designated by the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state
where the applicant's project is located. Agency state office contact
information is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/offices/state-offices.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Peiffer, USDA Rural Development,
Community Facilities Program at (515) 238-6668 or via email at
[email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Language for Funding Opportunities
    The Agency encourages applications that will help improve life in
rural America. See information on the Interagency Task Force on
Agriculture and Rural Prosperity found at www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity.
Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable
results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable
economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships
and innovation.
    Key strategies include:
 Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
 Developing the Rural Economy
 Harnessing Technological Innovation
 Supporting a Rural Workforce
 Improving Quality of Life
    To leverage investments in rural property, the Agency also
encourages projects located in rural Opportunity Zones where projects
should provide measurable results in helping communities build robust
and sustainable economies. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-
distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions,
may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as
Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by
the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of
the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal
Revenue Service.
    To combat a key threat to economic prosperity, rural workforce and
quality of life, the Agency also encourages applications that will
support the Administration's goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality
associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in
high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address
prevention, treatment and/or recovery at the community, county, state,
and/or regional levels:
    Key strategies include:
     Prevention: Reducing the occurrence of Substance Use
Disorder (including opioid misuse) and fatal substance-related
overdoses through community and provider education and harm reduction
measures such as the strategic placement of overdose reversing devices,
such as naloxone;
     Treatment: Implementing or expanding access to evidence-
based treatment practices for Substance Use Disorder (including opioid
misuse) such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT); and
     Recovery: Expanding peer recovery and treatment options
that help people start and stay in recovery.
    To focus investments in areas with the largest opportunity for
growth in prosperity, the Agency encourages applications that serve the
smallest communities with the lowest incomes, with an emphasis on areas
where at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty,
according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts (or
Reservation boundary for Indian tribes).
Paperwork Reduction Act
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the
information collection requirements associated with the CF Program, as
covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management
Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0575-0173.
Overview
    Federal Agency Name: Rural Housing Service (``RHS,'' an Agency of
USDA in the Rural Development mission area).
    Solicitation Opportunity Title: Announcement of the Availability of
Disaster Relief Act 2019 Grant Funds for Community Facilities.
    Announcement Type: Notice of Funds Availability.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.766.
[[Page 47478]]
    Dates: Applications will be accepted on a continual basis,
beginning on the publication date of this Notice, until funds are
exhausted.
A. Program Description
    This program is designed to provide supplemental grant funding for
eligible CF applicants and eligible CF projects related to the
consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring
in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year
2019, and other natural disasters.
    Details on eligible CF applicants and eligible CF projects may be
found in Section C. Eligibility Information below.
    The applicable Statutory or Regulatory authorities for this action
are incorporated by reference and include the following:
     Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief
Act, 2019, Public Law 116-20, dated June 6, 2019, Rural Development
Rural Community Facilities Program Account.
     7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(19), The Consolidated Farm and Rural
Development Act.
     2 CFR parts 200 and 400, uniform Federal grant awards
regulations.
     7 CFR 3570, subpart B, Community Facilities Grant Program
regulations.
B. Federal Award Description--Disaster Relief Act 2019
    The Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act,
2019, Public Law 116-20, dated June 6, 2019, provides the Rural Housing
Service's CF Program $150,000,000 in supplemental grant funding of
which $150,000,000 is available for eligible CF applicants and eligible
CF projects related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and
Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and
floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters.
    Funds will be allocated to the USDA Rural Development State Offices
with a disaster(s) identified in the Disaster Relief Act 2019. The
allocation of funds will be based on an adaption of 7 CFR 1940, subpart
L, Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program
Funds.
C. Eligibility Information
    1. Applicant eligibility. An eligible CF applicant must:
    (i) Be one of the types of entities outlined in 7 CFR 3570.61(a);
    (ii) Be unable to finance the proposed project from its own
resources, or through commercial credit as outlined in 7 CFR
3570.61(c); and
    (iii) Have the legal authority and responsibility to own,
construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facility as outlined in 7
CFR 3570.61(e).
    2. Project Eligibility. An eligible CF project must:
    (i) Be an eligible facility as outlined in 7 CFR 3570.61(b);
    (ii) Be financially feasible as outlined in 7 CFR 3570.61(d); and
    (iii) Be for public use as outlined in 7 CFR 3570.61(f).
    3. Eligible use of grant funds.
    (i) Grant funds may be used for purposes outlined in 7 CFR 3570.62;
    (ii) Grant funds may not be used for purposes outlined in 7 CFR
3570.63(a); and
    (iii) The project expenses do not need to be in direct relationship
or a result of an eligible Disaster Relief Act 2019 disaster.
    4. Project Location Eligibility. To be eligible for CF grant funds
under this Notice:
    (i) The eligible CF project must be located in a rural area in a
county (or a rural area of a Reservation for Indian tribes) with a
Major Disaster Declaration as declared by the President of the United
States;
    (ii) The Major Disaster Declaration must be related to the
consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring
in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year
2019, and other natural disasters.
    (iii) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must have
provided a notice declaring the Major Disaster Declaration and assigned
a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number.
    The term rural or rural area is defined in section 343(a)(13)(C) of
the CONAct (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)) as a city, town or, unincorporated
area that has a population of not more than 20,000 inhabitants. The
boundaries for unincorporated areas in determining populations will be
based on the Census Designated Places(s)(CDP). Data from the most
recent decennial census of the United States will be used in
determining population. Any rural community impacted by a major
declared disaster DR-4407 may have the governor in the affected state,
or the governor's designee, certify the area's population as a rural
area with respect to eligibility for loans, grants, and technical
assistance under rural development programs funded by the Department of
Agriculture until data from the 2020 United States Census is available.
The certification will be provided to the Rural Development State
Director of California.
    For information on determining if a project is located in an area
with a Major Disaster Declaration, go to the Community Facilities
section of the Rural Development Disaster Assistance site located at:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/services/rural-development-disaster-assistance.
    5. Eligible grant amounts. Grant assistance will be provided on a
graduated scale with smaller communities with the lowest median
household income being eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds.
Grant funds will be limited to:
    (i) The percentages of eligible projects costs outlined in 7 CFR
3570.63(b); and
    (ii) The maximum grant assistance allowed in accordance with 7 CFR
3570.66.
D. Application and Submission Information
    The requirements for submitting an application can be found at 7
CFR 3570.65. Applications will be processed in the processing office
designated by the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state
where the applicant's project is located. Agency state office contact
information is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/offices/state-offices. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until
funds are exhausted.
E. Application Review Information
    Applications will be reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR 3570.71 (a)-
(d) and scored on a priority basis in accordance with 7 CFR 3570.67. If
at anytime the demand for grant funds is greater than the amount of
grant funds available, a priority ranking scoring system will be used
to determine which projects are funded.
F. Federal Award Information
    Applicants selected for funding will be provided a Letter of
Conditions. Upon acceptance of the conditions, the applicant will sign
and return to the processing office Forms RD 1942-46, ``Letter of
Intent to Meet Conditions,'' and RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of
Funds.'' The grant is approved on the date an Agency signed copy of
Form RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of Funds,'' is mailed to the
applicant.
    Prior to the disbursement of grant funds, applicants approved for
funding will be required to sign an Agency approved Grant Agreement,
meet any pre-disbursement conditions outlined in the Letter of
Conditions, and meet the applicable Statutory or Regulatory authority
for this action listed in Section A. Program Description.
[[Page 47479]]
    In the event the application is not approved, the applicant will be
notified in writing of the reasons for rejection and provided
applicable review and appeal rights in accordance with 7 CFR part 11.
G. Federal Awarding Contacts
    USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the
applicant's project is located. Agency state office contact information
is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/offices/state-offices.
H. Other Information
    1. Civil Rights. Programs referenced in this Notice are subject to
applicable Civil Rights Laws. These laws include the Equal Credit
Opportunity Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VIII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended in 1988, and Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
    2. Non-Discrimination Statement. In accordance with Federal civil
rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights
regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, employees,
and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are
prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin,
religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual
orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial/parental status,
income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or
reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program
or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all
programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or
incident.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of
communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print,
audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible
Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or
contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages
other than English.
    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA
Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or
write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the
information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint
form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA
by:
    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC
20250-9410;
    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    (3) Email: [email protected].
    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
Bruce W. Lammers,
Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-19552 Filed 9-9-19; 8:45 am]
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