RULES GOVERNING THE DISTRICT SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAM
Section 1. Authority.
These rules and regulations of the Board of County Commissioners are adopted pursuant to and in accordance with Wyoming Statute 16-3-103.
Section 2. Short Title.
These rules and regulations shall be known, cited, and referred to as the District Support Grant Regulations of Campbell County, Wyoming and are administered as the District Support Grant Program.
Section 3. Purpose.
(a) These rules and regulations set forth the procedures under which the Board of County Commissioners may give financial assistance to improvement and service districts, or water and/or sewer districts. Eligible applicants shall meet the requirements set forth in these rules and regulations.
(b) The reasons for promulgating these rules are:
(i) To provide criteria for determining eligibility for grant assistance.
(ii) To advise political subdivisions of the proper procedures to follow in obtaining financial assistance.
(iii) To assure that grant funds are properly expended.
Section 4. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
(a) “Administrator” means the administrator of the District Support Grant Program.
(b) “Board” means the Campbell County Board of County Commissioners.
(c) “District” means an unincorporated political subdivision of the State formed to acquire, construct, operate and maintain improvements of local necessity and convenience; obtain improvements and services by contracting with other entities; and furnish or perform any special local service which enhances the use or enjoyment of any improvement or facility under the laws of the State of Wyoming.
(d) “Project” means any activity involving planning and/or construction of public facilities. Operating, maintenance, and administrative expenses, other than reasonable costs directly associated with the formation of a district or construction of a funded project, will not be eligible.
Section 5. General Provisions, Policy and Administration.
(a) It shall be the purpose of the District Support Grant Program to provide financial assistance to Districts within Campbell County.
(b) Funds for this program are intended for planning or building capital construction projects such as road and street improvements, water supply and distribution facilities, wastewater collection and treatment facilities, storm water control works, etc. The Program may also provide, in accordance with the guidelines in this chapter, for the formation of an improvement and service district or water and/or sewer district.
(c) Grants shall be made in a manner and to those applicants as shall, in the judgement of the Board, insure to the greatest benefit of Campbell County and represent a wise and lawful use of county funds.
(d) The Director of the Department of Public Works is designated the District Support Grant Program Administrator and shall be responsible for the performance of duties outlined in these regulations.
Section 6. Application for Grants.
(a) An eligible applicant is any Campbell County improvement and service district or water and/or sewer district, demonstrating a need for improvements in accordance with these rules and regulations.
(b) All applicants for grants under these rules shall submit two (2) copies of the application to the Board through the Administrator. Applications are to be in reasonable form and shall include the following information in detail.
(i) A full description of the project proposed to be funded, including, but not necessarily limited to, a phased construction schedule, if applicable; a detailed budget broken into six month intervals delineating all costs of the project and the portion proposed to be funded; and an engineer’s report of the feasibility of the project with an itemized cost estimate.
(ii) District information concerning the governing board, geographical area served (a complete legal description), date of formation, resolution of district formation, population, ratio of developed and undeveloped land, whether the area is platted, present zoning designation or copy of covenants including enforcement provisions.
(iii) A financial statement of the applicant including, but not necessarily limited to:
(A) Assessed valuation of the district, if applicable.
(C) Mill levy for the district.
(D) Income Statement and Balance Sheet.
(E) Water and sewer rates, tap fees, plant investment fees, association or district dues, if applicable, including collection procedures and authority to enforce collection, as appropriate.
(iv) A statement whether the proposed project can be expected to generate user fees, charges, other revenues or income, and if so, a projection of income expected and method of determining and establishing fees and charges.
(v) A list and description of other sources from which the project is to be funded such as State Loan & Investment Board grants or loans; other federal, state or local grants or loans; landowner or homeowner assessments; improvement and service district levies; etc., and the portion of the cost expected to be funded from each source.
(vi) A description of all pending applications for grants, loans or other means of financing made by the applicant to any federal, state, local or private entity which will or could be used for the project, and a statement of the present status of the applications.
(vii) The names of land developers or others whose business ventures will directly benefit from the project and a showing whether funding or other assistance has been requested, received or pledged from these or other sources.
(viii) A showing that the charges to be imposed on those listed in paragraph (vii) of this subsection are reasonable.
(ix) If the application is only for the formation of an improvement and service district, water and sewer district, or for planning, a statement whether the applicant will seek additional funds from the Board at some future date for a project implementing the plans. This statement should also include the amount of project funding and the percentage of project funding that will be requested.
(x) Applications shall be made in the name of the applicant and shall be properly executed by the officers of the applicant.
(xi) A letter from the Campbell County Clerk’s Office stating that the district is in compliance with all appropriate statutes.
Section 7. Evaluation Process.
(a) Two (2) copies of each application shall be filed with the Administrator no less than thirty (30) days before a regularly scheduled meeting at which the application is intended for consideration by the Board.
(b) Upon receipt of the application, the Administrator shall:
(i) Refer the application to the appropriate county departments or agencies for review and evaluation.
(ii) Each county department or agency will forward its comments and recommendations in writing to the Administrator, who will make them available to the applicant, upon request.
(iii) After receipt of the comments, evaluations, and recommendations, the applicant may request a conference with the Administrator and representatives of the referenced agencies for the purpose of considering whether the application should be amended or whether any further investigation is necessary or desirable before the application is submitted to the Board for its consideration.
(iv) The Administrator shall recommend to the Board, in writing, the amount that the Board should grant for each application and any other provisions or restrictions which may apply. Applications to fund the organization of districts and project development will be considered at the next available Board meeting after sufficient information and adequate review time are provided to the Administrator. The recommendation shall be based on the criteria provided in these rules. The Administrator shall also furnish the application to the Board including comments and recommendations of the reviewing departments.
Section 8. Evaluation Criteria
The Administrator and any county department or agency responsible for reviewing applications for grants shall utilize the following criteria:
(i) Funding for organization of districts has the highest priority.
(ii) Funding for project development, including estimates, designs, and other grant applications shall have a higher priority than construction to provide the initial thrust to get the projects started.
(iii) An application which demonstrates significant benefit for the health, safety and welfare of an area will be rated higher than one that fails to adequately demonstrate this need.
(iv) An application which will benefit the greatest number of citizens will gain a more favorable review and response. An application should show a willingness to coordinate efforts with other nearby subdivisions or entities.
(v) In consideration of construction requests:
(A) Sewer and water projects including all facilities up to property lines shall be given highest priority.
(B) County road improvement shall be given the second highest priority. Hard surfaced paved roads will have a higher priority than gravel roads. Gravel roads must at least conform to the County’s Minimum Requirements for Road Sections. All road projects must also address drainage both along and across the improved roads in a manner approved by the Director of Public Works.
(C) Construction of roads to the specifications and standards set forth on the County’s Minimum Requirements for Road Section or any other criteria for grant participation shall not guarantee or imply acceptance by the County nor guarantee that the roads will be taken over for maintenance by the County. Nothing in this chapter shall bind the County to acceptance or maintenance of the project roads. The district shall be and remain responsible for all construction and maintenance of its roads unless the County otherwise specifically agrees in writing.
(D) Other construction projects will generally be given a lower priority unless an emergency condition exists.
(b) Financial Conditions:
(i) The applicant shall show that it is making a diligent effort to provide the services required by its residents from its own sources. The Administrator and other departments may use the following financial information to evaluate the applicant’s financial condition.
(A) Mills levied by the district and other local tax efforts, if applicable.
(B) Investments and cash balance.
(C) Bonded indebtedness.
(D) Association fees, district levies, user fees, tap fees, and plant investment fees, including enforcement and success of collection procedures.
(E) Historical financial records of the applicant.
(c) Projects which would solely and/or directly benefit developers of raw land are not eligible for grants under this program. Projects with less raw land involvement will have a higher priority unless it can be shown that the raw land owners are not receiving special benefit from this program. Showing of extra contributions by raw land owners will tend to improve a projects priority over projects with raw land and no extra contributions.
(d) The Administrator shall review the scope of the project to assure its size is justified by both the needs of and benefits to the applicant.
Section 9. Consideration and Approval by the Board of County Commissioners.
(a) The Board shall consider grant applications at a regularly scheduled meeting held the first or third Tuesday of each month.
(b) The Board’s decision to award a grant will include the following criteria:
(i) The application for the proposed project has been submitted and reviewed in accordance with these rules and regulations.
(ii) The proposed project is needed and the applicant is qualified.
(c) The Board will determine the priority of awards to be made from the funds available. The priority will include the following considerations:
(ii) The urgency, timeliness and benefit of the proposed project.
(iii) Financial condition of the applicant.
(d) The Board will generally award a grant not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the estimated project cost. An entity may normally receive a one hundred percent (100%) grant for the justified costs of district formation up to a maximum amount of $4,500. Grants for preparing applications to other grant sources and preliminary engineering will normally be limited to $7,500.00. Unless otherwise justified and approved by the Board, only one request for funds to apply to other grant sources will be funded at one hundred percent (100%). (This initial 100% level of funding is provided with the understanding that new districts have not been in existence long enough to generate their own funds through the sources available to them.) Subsequent requests will normally be funded only at a twenty-five (25%) level. It is within the prerogative of the Administrator to recommend and/or the Board to approve grants in excess of these maximums based on analysis and consideration of additional justifying information provided by the applicant.
(e) Grants will generally not exceed $50,000 per legal entity per fiscal year. Normally, grant amounts will be further limited to no more than $1,000 per residence over a five-year period unless otherwise requested and justified by the applicant and approved by the Board. When comparing two or more requests that are otherwise relatively equal, additional consideration will be given to the request with a longer period of time since the last grant.
(f) The Board may award a grant during a special meeting if an emergency is deemed to exist as determined by the Administrator and/or the Board. The request and the reason for requesting emergency action shall be submitted in writing to the Administrator by the officers of the applicant.
(g) The Board has final determination on the grant approval. There is no appeal from its decision.
Section 10. Grant Distribution and Administration.
(a) Prior to the disbursement of funds, the applicant must execute an Agreement which defines the scope of the project, eligible costs, the manner in which funds will be managed and other requirements as needed. This agreement shall also depict and provide the form in which requests for funds shall be submitted.
(b) Grant funds shall be disbursed to the Applicant only as needed to discharge obligations incurred. Requests for disbursement shall be made to the Administrator on forms and in a manner prescribed by him. Grantees shall provide a full and complete accounting of the use and distribution of the funds. If, upon completion of the project for which funds were granted, the entire amount of the grant has not been expended, the unused portion of the grant shall be available to the Board for other grants. After six months from the date of grant approval, the Administrator may request that the Grantee show cause why it should not release any unused funds. Absent a showing, or at the direction of the Board due to lack of justification, the Administrator shall notify the Grantee that the unused portions of its grant have been returned to the Program to be used for other grants. The Grantee shall also be notified that it is eligible to reapply when it is in more immediate need of funding.
(c) The following will generally be considered ineligible costs, unless acceptable documentation and information is submitted with the application explaining the necessity of including the costs.
(i) Tap fees, sewer fees, plant investment fees, association fees.
(ii) Landscaping costs.
(iii) Land acquisition, rights of way purchases.
(iv) Any costs incurred prior to the date of grant approval.
(v) Costs for the preparation of the grant application or for attending the grant meetings.
(vi) Attorney fees except for formation of the district.
Section 11. Audits.
All grantees may be required to submit to an audit.
Section 12. Inspections.
The Administrator and his representatives may inspect any project for which grant funds are used at any time during or after construction. Failure of the Grantee to allow an inspection could result in a termination and/or repayment of grant funds.
Section 13. Time Lines.
(a) Grants will revert back to the Program if not used within eighteen (18) months from disbursement. The district may reapply for these funds, however no guarantee of award is made.
(b) A one time six (6) month extension may be granted if project completion is eminent.
(c) This section may be disregarded if a project is unusually complex and is requested at the time of application.