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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.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an Agency within the USDA Rural Development mission area, announces the availability of two individual grants: one grant from the passenger transportation funds appropriated for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program and another grant for Federally Recognized Native American Tribes' (FRNAT) from funds appropriated for the RBEG program. USDA Rural Development will administer these awards under the RBEG program and 7 U.S.C. 1932(c)(2) for fiscal year (FY) 2008. Historically, Congress has appropriated funding for these specific programs. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a FY 2008 Appropriations Act, which may or may not provide an appropriation for these programs, to allow applicants sufficient time to leverage financing, submit applications, and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. A subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the appropriations will be published, if any. Each grant is to be competitively awarded to a qualified national organization. One grant is for the provision of technical assistance to rural transportation projects. The other grant is for the provision of technical assistance to rural transportation projects operated by FRNAT's only. This notice will be amended to publish final funding levels, if any.

DATES:

The deadline for receipt of preapplications in the USDA Rural Development State Office is January 31, 2008. Applications received at a USDA Rural Development State Office after that date will not be considered for FY 2008 funding.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cindy Mason, Loan Specialist, USDA Rural Development, USDA, STOP 3225, Room 6866, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3225. Telephone: (202) 690-1433, Fax: (202) 720-2213.

End Further Info

ADDRESSES:

For additional information, entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact a USDA Rural Development State Office to obtain copies of the application package. A list of USDA 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/TDD (334) 279-3495.

Alaska, USDA Rural Development State Office, 800 West Evergreen, Suite 201, Palmer, AK 99645-6539, (907) 761-7705/TDD (907) 761-8905.

Arizona, USDA Rural Development State Office, 230 N. 1st Ave., Suite 206, Phoenix, AZ 85003, (602) 280-8701/TDD (602) 280-8705.

Arkansas, USDA Rural Development State Office, 700 West Capitol Avenue, Room 3416, Little Rock, AR 72201-3225, (501) 301-3200/TDD (501) 301-3279.

California, USDA Rural Development State Office, 430 G Street, # 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) 338-3499.

Georgia, USDA Rural Development State Office, Stephens Federal Building, 355 E. Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601-2768, (706) 546-2162/TDD (706) 546-2034.

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

Idaho, USDA Rural Development State Office, 9173 West Barnes Dr., 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) 290-3343.

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) 473-7921/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) 253-4590.

Michigan, USDA Rural Development State Office, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200, East Lansing, MI 48823, (517) 324-5190/TDD (517) 324-5169.

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

Mississippi, USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Suite 831, 100 W. 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 Boulevard, 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 89703-5146, (775) 887-1222/TDD (775) 885-0633. Start Printed Page 66132

New Jersey, USDA Rural Development State Office, 8000 Midlantic Drive, 5th Floor North, Suite 500, 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) 761-4938.

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.

Oregon, USDA Rural Development State Office, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 801, Portland, OR 97232, (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, Suite 601, 654 Munos Rivera Avenue, 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 Fourth 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, 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, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 238, Richmond, VA 23229-5014, (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/TDD (360) 704-7760.

West Virginia, USDA Rural Development State Office, 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) 233-6700/TDD (307) 233-6733.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Overview

Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Rural Development).

Funding Opportunity Title: Rural Business Enterprise Grants.

Announcement Type: Initial Announcement.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.769.

Dates: Application Deadline: Completed applications must be received in the USDA Rural Development State Office no later than January 31, 2008, to be eligible for FY 2008 grant funding. Applications received after this date will not be eligible for FY 2008 grant funding.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

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)). Regulations are contained in 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G. The primary objective of the program is to improve the economic conditions of rural areas. The program is administered on behalf of RBS at the State level by the USDA Rural Development State Offices. 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 will be 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. Information required to be in the application package include Forms SF 424; “Application for Federal Assistance;” RD 1940-20, “Request for Environmental Information;” Scope of Work Narrative; Income Statement; Balance Sheet or Audit for previous 3 years; AD-1047, “Debarment/Suspension Certification;” AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion;” AD-1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements;” Restrictions on Lobbying, RD 400-1; “Equal Opportunity Agreement;” RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement;” Letter stating Board authorization to obtain assistance; and Letter certifying citizenship, as referenced in 7 CFR 1942.307(b). For the FRNAT grant, which must benefit Federally Recognized Native American Tribes, at least 75 percent of the benefits of the project must be received by members of Federally Recognized Native American Tribes. The project that scores the greatest number of points based on the RBEG selection criteria and the discretionary points will be selected for each grant. Applications will be tentatively scored by the State Offices and submitted to the National Office for review, final scoring, and selection.

Applicants must be qualified national nonprofit organizations with experience in providing technical assistance and training to rural communities for the purpose of improving passenger transportation service or facilities. To be considered “national” RBS requires a qualified organization to provide evidence that it operates rural transportation assistance programming in multiple States. 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, nonprofit organizations for the provision of technical assistance and training to rural communities for the purpose of improving passenger transportation services or facilities.

Definitions

The definitions are published at 7 CFR 1942.304. Start Printed Page 66133

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Grant.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008.

Total Funding: To be determined by appropriations bill.

Approximate Number of Awards: Two.

Average Award: Will be determined by amount received in appropriations. This Notice will be amended to provide this information once an appropriation has been enacted.

Anticipated Award Date: April 30, 2008.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

To be considered eligible, an entity must be a public body or private non-profit corporation serving rural areas. Grants will be competitively awarded to one or more qualified national organizations.

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

Matching funds are not required.

C. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applications will only be accepted from qualified national organizations to provide technical assistance for rural transportation.

D. Completeness Eligibility

Applications will not be considered for funding if they do not provide sufficient information to determine eligibility or are missing required elements.

IV. Fiscal Year 2008 Application and Submission Information:

A. Address To Request Application Package

For further information, entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact the USDA Rural Development State Office identified in this NOFA to obtain copies of the application package.

B. Content and Form of Submission

An application must contain all of the required elements. Each application received in a USDA Rural Development State Office will be reviewed to determine if it is consistent with the eligible purposes contacted in section 310B(c) of the CONACT. Each selection priority criterion outlined in 7 CFR 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 will impact the overall evaluation of the application. Copies of 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G, will be provided by any interested applicant making a request to a USDA 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 applications are submitted to the USDA Rural Development State Office. Multiple project applications 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 applications, the average of the individual project scores will be the score for that application.

C. Submission Dates and Times

Application Deadline Date: January 31, 2008.

Explanation of Deadlines: Applications must be in the USDA Rural Development State Office by the deadline date.

V. Application Review Information

The National Office will score applications 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 the additional items required by 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G and the USDA Rural Development Letter of Conditions.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

Successful applicants will receive notification for funding from the USDA Rural Development State Office. Applicants must comply with all applicable statutes and regulations before the grant award will be approved. Unsuccessful applications will receive notification by mail.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in the 7 CFR 1942, subpart G and 7 CFR chapter XXX.

VII. Agency Contacts

For general questions about this announcement, please contact your USDA Rural Development State Office identified in this NOFA.

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 prohibited 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: November 19, 2007.

Ben Anderson,

Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-22986 Filed 11-26-07; 8:45 am]

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