The League has initiated a new, in-house grants services for our members. Caran Curry has joined the League as grants attorney, and brings extensive grant writing and management experience to the team. She will be working to disseminate information about grant opportunities, coach local grant writers through application processes, and coordinate and and teach education classes.
NEW: For information on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), please visit the League's dedicated page by clicking here.
NEW: EDA American Rescue Plan Webinars
The U.S. Economic Development Administration is hosting a series of webinars in August about funding opportunities through the American Rescue Plan. The
application process is now open. Recording of the webinars will be available on the EDA website soon. https://eda.gov/arpa/resources/
If you are interested in a specific grant, please contact Caran Curry for more information and assistance.
Water & Wastewater Projects, American Rescue Plan Act, pass through from the State of Arkansas, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Division (ARND) Deadline: November 4, 2022, 4 p.m. Cost Share: Sliding scale for the cost share or match that is based on the median household income (MHI) of the service area. Those at the lowest MHI will not have a match while those whose MHI is at the highest level will have a 50% cost share. Application and more information: agriculture.arkansas.gov/american-rescue-plan-funding-water-and-wastewater-grant-program/. In-Person Training: (limited seating)
Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Arkansas Municipal League, NLR
Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m., Arkansas Municipal League, NLR
Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Dumas Community Center, Dumas
Oct. 19, 1-3 p.m., Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, Jonesboro
Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Hope Community Center, Hope
Match is determined based on the economic severity of the area (range 0-50%), in-kind is permitted, leveraged funds help the application’s competitiveness.
Provides economically distressed communities with resources to address a wide variety of economic needs. Supports work for the creation and retention of jobs and to increase private investment, advance innovation, enhance manufacturing capacities, provide workforce development opportunities and grow ecosystems that attract foreign direct investment.
It supports construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects.
Permits administration costs.
Next step if interested, contact your regional Planning and Development District.
Arkansas Rural Connect (first round of the State of Arkansas broadband grant initiative) Deadline: Extended indefinitely. Please submit your applications as soon as possible. Eligibility: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) apply for the funding, however, they are required to have a local partner (city, town, or county) “sponsor” them. Communities with a population of 500 or fewer may now apply, but 20% of the community must lack access to broadband. However, communities that do not meet the eligibility criteria can partner with other communities to meet the criteria and participate in this program. Also, the area must not have been a recent recipient of a federal grant for broadband updates. Information and Application:https://broadband.arkansas.gov/ar-rural-connect/
Arkansas Rural Connect currently has $30 million available, with the potential for additional funding at a future date. The grants will be distributed to ISPs to expand into unserved and underserved areas of the state. ISPs are eligible to receive up to $3,000 per location (homes or business) to upgrade, although it is anticipated that some projects will not be that expensive.
The ISPs and the Arkansas State Broadband Office do most of the work on the grant application process. The ISPs will submit applications which include technical and financial analysis of the proposal. The Arkansas State Broadband Office will have a team of technical reviewers analyze the ISPs’ proposals. A city’s or town’s role will be to “sponsor” one or more ISP by certifying to report on the project’s status twice a year, notifying the Arkansas State Broadband Office about complaints about the ISP, and notifying the State when the ISP has completed the installation. Mayors will also be asked to provide a short explanation about any outreach with the community before deciding to participate.
Department of Treasury, pass through to UAMS: Rural Broadband I.D. Expenses Trust Fund Grant to Execute Due Diligence Studies Deadline: Funding distributed on a first come, first served basis until funding runs out Eligible: Cities, Towns, Counties Maximum number of awards: 30 up to $75K each; if the federal governments awards certain broadband grants to the grantees, then an additional award of $200K will be awarded to each grantee to defray certain expenses of the new federal grant, provided it is before June 30 2021. Award start date: ASAP Information and Application: Institute for Digital Health & Innovation https://idhi.uams.edu/rural-broadband-grant/grant-application/ Contact Information:IDHI@uams.edu or 855-234-3348.
One time funding.
Neither previous award or current pursuit of such an award will disqualify cities applying for this grant.
The grant is to cover expenses for broadband due-diligence business studies incurred by prospective federal broadband program grant applicants.
No match required.
Eligible costs include broadband due-diligence business studies, defined as analytical research designed to acquire the data necessary to support applications for federal grants or loans for broadband development programs. Without limitation, broadband due-diligence business studies include:
Full feasibility determinations, including economic business plans
Twenty-year financial break-even analysis
Competitive broadband analysis
Demographic analysis, with comparison to other projects
The ordering of construction plans to maximize return
Analysis of federal funding opportunities
Some examples of eligible expenses include but are not limited to:
Broadband needs assessments through which community members can be surveyed for a desire for broadband, current accessibility to broadband, and limitations of current broadband, while broadband coverage can also be tested and mapped to correct any inaccuracies in advertised speeds.
Mentorships through consultation with other local governments and/or electrical cooperatives that have secured foundation, state, or federal broadband funding or have leveraged taxes or private investments to fund improved broadband infrastructure.
Formation of a Broadband Taskforce, comprising of community officials and community members to carry out the activities of the broadband due diligence business studies.
Securing consultative or contractual support as necessary to enhance local government knowledge in the diversity of options to improve broadband infrastructure, to include private contractors, broadband lawyers, and others with the expertise to advise on a broadband due-diligence business plan for local government.
Securing broadband lawyers to better negotiate and mediate with Internet Service Providers and/or electric cooperatives that could enhance targeted area broadband infrastructure.
Participation in education, both local or nationally, to improve the understanding of broadband and grant writing among local government leaders.
Hiring a CPA to perform audits and other financial analyses required for grant proposals.
Hiring contractors as necessary to assist in pursuing and writing broadband funding grants and loans.