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Notice

Inviting Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program Preapplications for Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation Systems

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

Start Printed Page 13341

SUMMARY:

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an Agency within the Rural Development mission area, announces the availability of two individual grants: one single $495,000 grant from the passenger transportation funds appropriated for the RBS Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program and another single $247,500 grant from the Federally Recognized Native American Tribes' (FRNAT) funds appropriated for RBS under the RBEG program for fiscal year (FY) 2006. Each grant is to be competitively awarded to a qualified national organization. These grants are to provide technical assistance for rural transportation.

DATES:

The deadline for receipt of preapplications in the Rural Development State Office is April 14, 2006. Preapplications received at a Rural Development State Office after that date would not be considered for FY 2006 funding.

ADDRESSES:

For further information, entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact a Rural Development State Office to obtain copies of the pre-application package. A list of Rural Development State Offices follows:

District of Columbia

Rural Development Business Programs, USDA, Specialty Lenders Division, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 3225, Room 6867, Washington, DC 20250-3225, (202) 720-1400.

Alabama

USDA Rural Development State Office, Sterling Centre, Suite 601, 4121 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106-3683, (334) 279-3400.

Alaska

USDA Rural Development State Office, 800 West Evergreen, Suite 201, Palmer, AK 99645-6539, (907) 761-7705.

Arizona

USDA Rural Development State Office, 230 N. First Avenue, Suite 206, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1706, (602) 280-8700.

Arkansas

USDA Rural Development State Office, 700 West Capitol Avenue, Room 3416, Little Rock, AR 72201-3225, (501) 301-3200.

California

USDA Rural Development State Office, 430 G Street, Agency 4169, Davis, CA 95616-4169, (530) 792-5800/TDD (530) 792-5848.

Colorado

USDA Rural Development State Office, 655 Parfet Street, Room E-100, Lakewood, CO 80215, (720) 544-2903/TDD (720) 544-2976.

Delaware-Maryland

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1221 College Park Drive, Suite 200, Dover, DE 19904, (302) 857-3580/TDD (302) 857-3585.

Florida/Virgin Islands

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4440 NW 25th Place, P.O. Box 147010, Gainesville, FL 32614-7010, (352) 338-3400/TDD (352) 338-3450.

Georgia

USDA Rural Development State Office, Stephens Federal Building, 355 E. Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601-2768, (706) 546-2162.

Hawaii

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 311, 154 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720, (808) 933-8380/(808) 933-8321.

Idaho

USDA Rural Development State Office, 9173 West Barnes Drive, Suite A1, Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5600/TDD (208) 378-5644.

Illinois

USDA Rural Development State Office, 2118 West Park Court, Suite A, Champaign, IL 61821, (217) 403-6200/TDD (217) 403-6240.

Indiana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 5975 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46278, (317) 290-3100/TDD (317) 290-3340.

Iowa

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 873, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 284-4663/TDD (515) 284-4858

Kansas

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1303 SW First American Place, Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66604-4040, (785) 271-2700/TDD (785) 271-2767.

Kentucky

USDA Rural Development State Office, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, KY 40503, (859) 224-7300/TDD (859) 224-7422.

Louisiana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3727 Government Street, Alexandria, LA 71302, (318) 473-7920/TDD (318) 473-7655.

Maine

USDA Rural Development State Office, 967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 4, P.O. Box 405, Bangor, ME 04402-0405, (207) 990-9160/TDD (207) 942-7331.

Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Connecticut

USDA Rural Development State Office, 451 West Street, Suite 2, Amherst, MA 01002-2999, (413) 253-4300/TDD (413) 253-4318.

Michigan

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200, East Lansing, MI 48823, (517) 324-5100/TDD (517) 337-6795.

Minnesota

USDA Rural Development State Office, 410 AgriBank Building, 375 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-1853, (651) 602-7800/TDD (651) 602-3799.

Mississippi

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Suite 831, 100 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39269, (601) 965-4316/TDD (601) 965-5850.

Missouri

USDA Rural Development State Office, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Parkade Center, Suite 235, Columbia, MO 65203, (573) 876-0976/TDD (573) 876-9480.

Montana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 900 Technology Blvd., Unit 1, Suite B, P.O. Box 850, Bozeman, MT 59771, (406) 585-2580/TDD (406) 585-2562.

Nebraska

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 437-5551/TDD (402) 437-5093.

Nevada

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1390 South Curry Street, Carson City, NV 89703-9910, (775) 887-1222/TDD (775) 885-0841.

New Jersey

USDA Rural Development State Office, 5th Floor North, Suite 500, 8000 Midlantic Drive, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054, (856) 787-7700/TDD (856) 787-7784.

New Mexico

USDA Rural Development State Office, 6200 Jefferson Street NE, Room 255, Albuquerque, NM 87109, (505) 761-4950/TDD (505) 761-4976.

New York

USDA Rural Development State Office, The Galleries of Syracuse, 441 South Salina Street, Suite 357, Syracuse, NY 13202-2541, (315) 477-6400/TDD (315) 477-6447.

North Carolina

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4405 Bland Road, Suite 260, Raleigh, NC 27609, (919) 873-2000/TDD (919) 873-2003.

North Dakota

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 208, 220 East Rosser, P.O. Box 1737, Bismarck, ND 58502-1737, (701) 530-2037/TDD (701) 530-2113.

Ohio

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 507, 200 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-2418, (614) 255-2400/TDD (614) 255-2554.

Oklahoma

USDA Rural Development State Office, 100 USDA, Suite 108, Stillwater, OK 74074-2654, (405) 742-1000/TDD (405) 742-1007. Start Printed Page 13342

Oregon

USDA Rural Development State Office, 101 SW Main Street, Suite 1410, Portland, OR 97204-3222, (503) 414-3300/TDD (503) 414-3387.

Pennsylvania

USDA Rural Development State Office, One Credit Union Place, Suite 330, Harrisburg, PA 17110-2996, (717) 237-2299/TDD (717) 237-2261.

Puerto Rico

USDA Rural Development State Office, IBM Building, 654 Munoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 601, San Juan, PR 00918-6106, (787) 766-5095/TDD (787) 766-5332.

South Carolina

USDA Rural Development State Office, Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly Street, Room 1007, Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 765-5163/TDD (803) 765-5697.

South Dakota

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 210, 200 4th Street, SW., Huron, SD 57350, (605) 352-1100/TDD (605) 352-1147.

Tennessee

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3322 West End Avenue, Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37203-1084, (615) 783-1300.

Texas

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Suite 102, 101 South Main Street, Temple, TX 76501, (254) 742-9700/TDD (254) 742-9712.

Utah

USDA Rural Development State Office, Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4311, Salt Lake City, UT 84138, (801) 524-4320/TDD (801) 524-3309.

Vermont/New Hampshire

USDA Rural Development State Office, City Center, 3rd Floor, 89 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, (802) 828-6000/TDD (802) 223-6365.

Virginia

USDA Rural Development State Office, Culpeper Building, Suite 238, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, Richmond, VA 23229, (804) 287-1550/TDD (804) 287-1753.

Washington

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1835 Black Lake Boulevard, SW., Suite B, Olympia, WA 98512-5715, (360) 704-7740.

West Virginia

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, 75 High Street, Room 320, Morgantown, WV 26505-7500, (304) 284-4860/TDD (304) 284-4836.

Wisconsin

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4949 Kirschling Court, Stevens Point, WI 54481, (715) 345-7600/TDD (715) 345-7614.

Wyoming

USDA Rural Development State Office, 100 East B, Federal Building, Room 1005, P.O. Box 11005, Casper, WY 82602-5006, (307) 261-6300/TDD (307) 233-6733.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The passenger transportation portion of the RBEG program is authorized by section 310B(c)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1932(c)(2)). The RBEG program is administered on behalf of RBS at the State level by the Rural Development State Offices. The primary objective of the program is to improve the economic conditions of rural areas. Assistance provided to rural areas under this program may include on-site technical assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related nonprofit and for-profit organizations in rural areas; the development of training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in rural areas.

Awards under the RBEG passenger transportation program are made on a competitive basis using specific selection criteria contained in 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G, and in accordance with section 310B(c)(2) of the CONACT. That subpart also contains the information required to be in the application package. For the FRNAT grant, at least 75 percent of the benefits of the project must be received by members of Federally Recognized Tribes. The project that scores the greatest number of points based on the selection criteria and Administrator's points will be selected for each grant. Preapplications will be tentatively scored by the State Offices and submitted to the National Office for review, final scoring, and selection.

To be considered “national,” a qualified organization is required to provide evidence that it operates in multi-State areas. There is not a requirement to use the grant funds in a multi-State area. Under this notice, grants will be made to qualified, private, non-profit organizations for the provision of technical assistance and training to rural communities for the purpose of improving passenger transportation services or facilities. Public bodies are not eligible for passenger transportation RBEG grants.

The information collection requirements contained within this Notice have received approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0022 (7 CFR part 1942, subpart G).

Fiscal Year 2006 Preapplications Submission

Each application received in a Rural Development State Office will be reviewed to determine if this application is consistent with the eligible purposes contained in section 310B(c)(2) of the CONACT. Each selection priority criterion outlined in 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G, section 1942.305(b)(3), must be addressed in the application. Failure to address any of the criteria will result in a zero-point score for that criterion and impact the overall evaluation of the application. Copies of 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G, will be provided to any interested applicant making a request to a Rural Development State Office listed in this notice. All projects to receive technical assistance through these passenger transportation grant funds are to be identified when the preapplications are submitted to the Rural Development State Office. Multiple project preapplications must identify each individual project, indicate the amount of funding requested for each individual project, and address the criteria as stated above for each individual project. For multiple-project preapplications, the average of the individual project scores will be the score for that application.

All eligible preapplications, along with tentative scoring sheets and the Rural Development State Director's recommendation, will be referred to the National Office no later than May 25, 2006, for final scoring and selection for an award.

The National Office will score preapplications based on the grant selection criteria and weights contained in 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G and will select a grantee subject to the grantee's satisfactory submission of a formal application and related materials in the manner and timeframe established by RBS in accordance with 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G. It is anticipated that the grantees will be selected by July 7, 2006. All applicants will be notified by RBS of the Agency's decision on the awards.

Nondiscrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all Start Printed Page 13343prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). “USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.”

Start Signature

Dated: February 23, 2006.

Jackie J. Gleason,

Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-3761 Filed 3-14-06; 8:45 am]

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