Hello from the Bell Tower Team! We hope you had a great Earth Day and are ready to take on the resilience grant opportunities featured in this month’s newsletter, including the Resilient Florida Grant Program and two sustainability grants from the US Department of Transportation: the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant and the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program. This month also features Miami Dade’s Department of Cultural Affairs Community Grant Program, neighborhood revitalization efforts, and safety initiatives for roadways and police officers. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your project ideas. Click the “Schedule a call” button to reach us.

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant
Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration
Due Date: May 30, 2023
Match: 20%
Funding: Up to $700 million

The CFI grant is divided into 2 categories:
1) Community Program Grants: Up to $350 million to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure located on public roads in other publicly accessible locations with prioritization in low-and-moderate income areas and communities with a low ratio of parking spaces.
2) Alternative Fuel Corridor Grants (Corridor Program): Up to $350 million to strategically deploy charging and alternative fueling infrastructure located along designated alternative fuel corridors.
Priorities include: 1) Safety; 2) Climate Change; 3) Equity and Justice40, addressing gaps in the most disadvantaged communities; 4) Workforce Development, Job Quality, and Wealth Creation; and 5) Accessibility
Eligible entities include: 1) States or political subdivisions of states; 2) Metropolitan planning organizations; 3) Units of local government; 4) Special purpose districts or public authorities, with a transportation function, including a port authority; 5) Indian Tribes 

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Federal Emergency Management (FEMA)
Due Date: May 31, 2023
Match: 25%
Funding: Varies by county, please see solicitation for funding allocations in your area

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (Division) is pleased to announce the availability of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HGMP) funds as a result of the recent Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Ian (FEMA 4673-DR-FL). HMGP is authorized by Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act. This funding helps communities implement measures to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. The Division encourages all potential applicants to submit applications for projects that address eligible mitigation activities. The amount of HMGP funding available to the state is based on the total federal disaster assistance for the Presidential Disaster Declaration.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program can fund a wide variety of mitigation activities including:

  • Development and adoption of Hazard Mitigation Plans;
  • Acquisition of hazard-prone homes;
  • Post-disaster code enforcement;
  • Elevation of flood-prone structures;
  • Infrastructure protection measures;
  • Stormwater management improvements;
  • Minor structure flood control;
  • Flood diversion and storage;
  • Aquifier storage and recovery;
  • Floodplain and stream restoration;
  • Residential and community safe room construction; and/or
  • Generators for a critical facility, provided they are cost-effective, contribute to a long-term solution to the problem that they are intended to address, and meet other project eligibility criteria as required by 44 CFR Statute 206.434(c).

An eligible project must conform to the Florida State Hazard Mitigation Plan and the respective community’s Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS); conform to the funding priorities for the disaster, as established in the appropriate LMS; demonstrate cost-effectiveness; be technically feasible; benefit the designated disaster area; conform to all applicable environmental laws and regulations, as well as Executive Orders; solve a problem independently or constitute a functional part of a solution; benefit a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); and meet all applicable State and local codes and standards.

Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Due Date: June 6, 2023
Match: Minimum of 5%
Funding: Up to $10,000,000

The Choice Neighborhoods Program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with severely distressed public housing and/or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and other stakeholders such as public housing agencies, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood.
To this end, Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals: Housing, People, Neighborhood. In accordance with these goals, the HUD Strategic Plan has outlined the following goals and objectives: 1) Support Underserved Communities; 2) Invest in the Success of Communities; 3) Ensure Access to and Increase the Production of Affordable Housing; 4) Increase the Supply of Housing; 5) Advance Sustainable Communities; 6) Guide Investment in Climate Resilience; 7) Strengthen Environmental Justice.

Department of Cultural Affairs FY2023-24 Community Grant Program
Miami Dade County
Due Date: June 23, 2023
Match: 1:1
Funding: Up to $7,500 per project for first-time applicants and one-time events, and up to $15,000 for a major, annually occurring event budgeted at $150,000

The Community Grants (CG) Program accepts grant applications on a quarterly basis for the development of publicly accessible community-based cultural (dance, theater, music, visual arts) programs as well as projects and events, such as fairs, parades, neighborhood festivals, and publications that have a strong artistic and cultural engagement component. The CG Panel will consider projects only if they have a strong community involvement and/or outreach component. The CG Program is particularly sensitive to the needs of:

  • Indigenous cultural neighborhood activities and projects encouraging the preservation of heritage, traditions, and culture.
  • Social service organizations and cultural groups developing collaborative intervention projects using the arts.

Please note: All first-time applicants must attend a pre-submission workshop. Click here to RSVP for a CG workshop.

Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership
Department of Justice
Due Date: June 26, 2023
Match: Yes
Funding: TBD

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998 is a unique U.S. Department of Justice Initiative designed to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement.
In the BVP Program, “uniquely fitted vests” means protective (ballistic or stab-resistant) armor vests that conform to the individual wearer to provide the best possible fit and coverage, through a combination of: 1) correctly-sized panels and carrier, determined through appropriate measurement, and 2) properly adjusted straps, harnesses, fasteners, flaps, or other adjustable features. The requirement that body armor be “uniquely fitted” does not necessarily require body armor that is individually manufactured based on the measurements of an individual wearer. In support of the Office of Justice Programs’ efforts to improve officer safety, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has made available the Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Personal Armor Fit Assessment checklist is excerpted from ASTM E3003.
Uniquely Fitted Armor Vest Requirement: The BVP Reauthorization Act of 2015 included a provision that states that BJA give preferential consideration to BVP recipients that provide armor vests uniquely fitted to individual female law enforcement officers. This provision is applicable to FY 17 BVP awards moving forward. Please see the BVP Reauthorization Act of 2015 amendment for reference

 

On the horizon…

Safe Streets for All (SS4A)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Due Date: July 10, 2023
Match: 1:1
Funding: Up to $1 billion

The SS4A program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to support planning, infrastructure, behavioral, and operational initiatives to prevent death and serious injury on roadways, involving all road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation, personal conveyance, and micro mobility users; motorists and commercial vehicle operators. Funding supports the development of tools to help strengthen a community’s approach to roadway safety and save lives and is designed to meet the needs of diverse local, Tribal, and regional communities that differ dramatically in size, location, and experience administering federal funding.

Priorities for this grant program include: promoting safety to prevent death and serious injuries on public roadways; employing low-cost, high-impact strategies that can improve safety over a wide geographic area; ensuring equitable investment in underserved communities, including both urban and rural communities; incorporating evidence-based  projects and strategies and adopting innovative technologies and strategies; demonstrating engagement with a variety of public and private stakeholders; aligning with the Department’s mission and Strategic Goals, such as safety, climate change, sustainability, equity and Justice40, and workforce development, job quality, and wealth creation. 

Grants are separated into two main types: Planning and Demonstration Grants for comprehensive safety action plans, including supplemental safety planning, and/or safety demonstration activities; and Implementation Grants 

Please note applications must be submitted through Valid Eval, not Grants.gov.

Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant Program (MPDGP)
Department of Transportation
Due Date: To be released in Spring 2023
Match: TBD
Funding: Varies based on grant category

The MPDGP allows applicants to use one application to apply for up to three separate discretionary grant programs.
INFRA Grant Program (known statutorily as the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects): awards competitive grants for multimodal freight and highway projects of national or regional significance to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight in and across rural and urban areas. Eligible uses include: projects that improve safety, generate economic benefits, reduce congestion, enhance resiliency, and hold the greatest promise to eliminate freight bottlenecks and improve critical freight movements.
Mega Grant Program (known statutorily as the National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program): will support large complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: highway or bridge projects carried out on the National Multimodal Freight Network or the National Highway System, railway-highway grade separation or elimination projects, and intercity passenger rail projects.
Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program: supports projects to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional and economic growth and improve quality of life. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: certain highway, bridge, or tunnel projects that meet eligibility requirements, highway safety improvement projects, projects on a publicly owned highway or bridge that improve access to certain facilities that support the economy of a rural area, integrated mobility management systems, or on-demand mobility services.

Biscayne Bay, Spring Coast, and Indian River Lagoon Water Quality Improvement Grant Program
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Due Date: To be released in June or July 2023
Match: TBD
Funding: TBD

Through Protecting Florida Together, this grant program continues the state’s partnership with local governmental entities to address water quality challenges. Project proposals may include stormwater management, wastewater, and other projects that will help improve the water quality in Biscayne Bay, Springs Coast, and Indian River Lagoon Water Quality Improvement Grant Program.

PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Due Date: August 18, 2023
Match: Not required for Planning Grants, but 20% for Resilience Grants
Funding: Up to $848 million

The vision of the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program is to fund projects that address the climate crisis by improving the resilience of the surface transportation system, including highways, public transportation, ports, and intercity passenger rail. Projects selected under this program should be grounded in the best available scientific understanding of climate change risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities. They should support the continued operation or rapid recovery of crucial, local, regional, or national local surface transportation facilities. Furthermore, selected projects should utilize innovative and collaborative approaches to risk reduction, including the use of natural infrastructure, which is explicitly eligible under this program. Also called nature-based solutions, these strategies include conservation, restoration, or construction of riparian and streambed treatments, marshes, wetlands, native vegetation, stormwater bioswales, breakwaters, reefs, dunes, parks, urban forests, and shade trees. These nature-based solutions reduce flood risks, erosion, wave damage, and heat impacts while also creating habitat, filtering pollutants, and providing recreational benefits.

Through funding projects that improve resilience to natural hazards and climate change impacts, the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program aims to reduce damage and disruption to the transportation system as well as improve the safety of the traveling public and improve equity by addressing needs in the most disadvantaged communities who are most vulnerable to hazards. Funds can be used for activities that are primarily for the purpose of resilience or inherently resilience related. 

This grant program is broken into four different grant types: 1) Planning Grants; 2) Resilience Improvement; 3) Community Resilience and Evacuation Routes; 4) At-Risk Coastal Infrastructure Projects

Resilient Florida
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Due Date: September 1, 2023
Match: Not required
Funding: Up to $20,000,000

The Resilient Florida Program includes a selection of grants for counties, municipalities, water management districts, flood control districts, and regional resilience entities. To effectively address the impacts of flooding and sea level rise that the state faces, eligible applicants may receive funding assistance to analyze and plan for vulnerabilities, as well as implement projects for adaptation and mitigation.
Please refer to section 380.093, F.S., for more information on the eligible project and grant types and the requirements to apply.
Grants are separated into two project types: 1) Planning and regional resilience entity projects, and 2) Implementation projects to be included in the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan.

Planning projects and regional resilience entity projects are for communities that have yet to perform a Vulnerability Assessment pursuant to statutory requirements. These communities will be prioritized for funding for this project type. These projects will be funded with Fiscal Year 2023-24 funds.

Implementation projects are for local governments that have already conducted a vulnerability assessment, evaluation, report, or other similar document that demonstrates a risk of flooding or risks due to sea level rise to a critical asset or the project area. Beginning in 2024, a Vulnerability Assessment meeting the requirements of section 380.093, F.S., will be a requirement to receive funding. Projects will be funded with Fiscal Year 2023-24 and 2024-25 funds.

Founded in 2009, BellTower Consulting Group has assisted nonprofit organizations and municipalities in securing grant funding for youth programs, social services, infrastructure, parks and recreation, arts programming and much more.

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