Direct Funding Component ("Local Pot")
Projects Approved for Local Pot Funding
The following projects were reviewed and approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners at their February 18, 2015 meeting
- Coral Restoration Program: $550,000
- Unincorporated Monroe County’s Canal Restoration Projects: $450,000
- Islamorada’s Canal Restoration Projects: $100,000
With awarded projects, staff will now develop a “Multi-Year Implementation Plan” as required by law. That plan will then be posted on this site for public review, presented to the County Commission for its approval, and then submitted to the US Department of Treasury.
Process for County Application for Local Pot Funds
A major part of the final Treasury rule is the department’s guidance on the application process for Local Pot funds. View the guidance provided by the Treasury Department.
Such guidance includes the following:
Treasury is the agency that will receive application for and administer the “Direct Component” grant funds, including monitoring the use of funds for compliance with the Act and Treasury’s regulations. To clarify the terminology: “Direct Component” is the formal term for “Local Pot.” This funding streams directly to Monroe County, We, at the local level, have the authority to determine what RESTORE Act-eligible projects we wish to fund with these dollars.
Monroe County will receive $1,163,546 in Direct Component/Local Pot funds. This amount for Monroe is determined by a formula applied to the funds currently in the Treasury as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
At this point, only settlement dollars from Trans-ocean have been paid to the Treasury. It’s important to note that the rules clarify that we may not apply for any funds other than this amount that is currently available. In other words, we may not apply for any funds anticipated through a settlement or fine with BP at this time.
- The first step in the process is the development of the Multi-Year Implementation Plan (“multiyear plan”). Treasury has provided a template for a Matrix and Narrative for the multiyear plan. The multiyear plan will consist of the projects/activities that the Local Committee ranks/recommends and BOCC approves.
- The Matrix is a chart that lists the projects/activities and outlines completion time-frames, high-level milestones, and budget information.
- The Narrative will include information like: project/activity description, how the project/activity meets all the requirements under the RESTORE Act, and how success will be measured.
- In addition to project information, the Narrative also asks for information on our process for selecting projects -- how we prioritized projects and what criteria was used; how we considered public input and obtained broad-based participation; how we ensured public review and comment on the final plan (once the plan/application is completed we will have to make it available for public review and comment for 45 days).
This is where we will describe the following: County’s convening of a Local Advisory Committee with its diverse membership to ensure public participation and broad-based representation of Keys’ stakeholders; all meetings have been public; all meetings have been announced via media advertisements and web postings; agendas and minutes of all meetings have been posted on website; public discussions of project selection and criteria at both Local Committee and BOCC meetings; various agenda items and discussions in front of the BOCC; a broadly advertised and well-participated project solicitation process; public posting of all projects on website; a public project selection process, including evaluation and rankings at public committee meeting(s) and review and approval by BOCC; review and approval of the final Multi-Year Plan by BOCC; and posting of the County’s final Multi-year Plan for 45 days, etc.)
- The next step is the Treasury will review the County’s multiyear plan for completeness and conformity with regulations, then notify us that we can begin to submit grant applications. The County will have to complete a separate grant application package for each proposed project/activity. The grant application will require much more project/activity detail and specificity, including meeting the “best available science” requirement, and an environmental checklist. Federal procurement and other OMB grant requirements and guidelines will apply. (If two more projects are related or similar, a pair or group of projects can apply in a single application, with Treasury’s approval.)
The County is responsible for overseeing compliance if awarding funds to another entity to implement a project. If the County awards funds to another entity to complete a project (or “sub-recipient) that sub-recipient will be subject to all of the same requirements as the County. They will enter into an agreement with the County that will require extension of all the requirements the County is subject to also to the sub-recipient (the County will include a copy of the County’s Agreement with Treasury so it is clear what the obligations are for compliance). This will be a legally binding document upon the sub-recipient.
All sub-recipients must account for the receipt, obligation and expenditure of funds. If the sub-recipient fails to comply with these obligations, the County may impose conditions, temporarily withhold cash payments, disallow costs, suspend or terminate the Federal award and take other actions.
The County, if it chooses, will be able to apply for initial funds to develop its Multi-Year Implementation Plan. The County may also be able to secure funds to create a system to review grant applications, award grants to sub-recipients, monitor grants, set up audit procedures, track payments, set up internal controls. The County may also be able to seek reimbursement for some funds already expended in furtherance of the RESTORE Act and public involvement activities.
The Multiyear Plan and subsequent grant applications will be submitted and managed via Treasury’s on-line grant system called GrantSolutions.com. The County has already enrolled in the system, and is scheduled to receive training. Treasury will utilize another on-line system for grant disbursement payments called Automatic Standard Application for Payments (ASAP.gov). Treasury has issued a schedule of trainings for these systems.
Project Funding Submissions for RESTORE Act Local Pot
The Monroe County RESTORE Act Local Pot funding application cycle has closed. The Monroe County RESTORE Act Local Advisory Committee will convene at a public meeting (the date for which has not yet been determined) to review, evaluate and rank these project submissions.
- View summary list of project submissions and request amounts.
- View all submissions in their entirety.
RESTORE Act Local Pot Funding:
Due Date: December 20, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR FIRST ROUND APPLICANTS:
For those of you who applied in the first round, and who wish to maintain their same submission, please note that if your project budget included an amount for administrative expenses, it is recommended that you modify your project budgets by removing the administrative expenses and re-submit the updated information. This direction is per the recommendation of the Local Advisory Committee that applicants should assume that they will receive no reimbursement for this expense given the parameters of the program legislation and draft rule.
This budget modification may result in necessary changes to your total request amount and the various percentages on the application cover sheet. Please be sure that all your numbers and information are corrected accordingly before re-submitting.
UPDATE ON ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS:
Many of you have asked questions related to this issue. It is simply too early to respond with detailed information on what exactly constitutes administrative costs, or what exactly constitutes direct vs. indirect costs. Any guidance we would give you at this point would be premature and speculative. We would like to think Treasury will apply typical cost principles to these types of costs that we are all familiar with, but we cannot guarantee that because the law is vague and the Draft Rule doesn't address it at this time. Because we have little information on what constitutes administrative costs or how administrative costs reimbursement will or will not flow from the recipient to sub-recipients, please leave these costs out of your budgets. (We very much recognize that there are administrative costs associated with all of your projects, so that’s a given.)
The purpose of this process right now is to evaluate projects on their merit, which we can do with your ACTUAL project costs. So, for the purposes of your budgets, please just list ACTUAL project costs, ie expenses which are directly chargeable to your projects: labor/contractors to implement the project (not manage it), equipment to build or monitor, materials, permits, construction, date collection costs, etc.
To not include administrative costs now does not mean they can never be included in some fashion (although please be mindful that this is a definite possibility), it just means they should not be included now in the evaluation process. We may have to revisit all project budgets once the Rule is finalized, and we can answer these questions and the many more that will likely crop up.
Monroe County will receive funding under this program, when it becomes available. Funding is for eligible environmental and economic development uses. The Monroe County RESTORE Act Local Advisory Committee will review, rank and recommend projects for the use of these funds to the County Commission.
The Project Submittal Extension Form must be completed in full and submitted by 3 p.m. on December 20, 2013. Further information and instructions are provided on the Project Submittal Form. Please be sure to read them carefully.