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Notice

Announcement of the Availability of Disaster Relief Act 2019 Grant Funds for the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of funds availability.

SUMMARY:

As part of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, dated June 6, 2019, the Rural Housing Service's Community Facilities (CF) Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grant Program is making available $7,500,000 in supplemental grant funding for eligible expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters. Any funds not awarded under this funding notice will be transferred to the CF Disaster Grant Program. The authority for the Agency to administer the CF TAT Grant Program is provided in Section 6006 of the Agriculture Act of 2014. The grant funds will be administered in accordance with this notice of funds availability.

DATES:

The Agency must receive applications in paper postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight by 4:00 p.m. local time on May 5, 2020. Electronic applications must be submitted via grants.gov by Midnight Eastern time on April 30, 2020. Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as such requests are made prior to April 27, 2020. Technical assistance is not meant to be an analysis or assessment of the quality of the materials submitted, a substitute for agency review of completed applications, nor a determination of eligibility, if such determination requires in-depth analysis. The Agency will not solicit or consider scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline. The Agency reserves the right to contact applicants to seek clarification information on materials contained in the submitted application.

ADDRESSES:

Applications will be submitted to the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the applicant's headquarters is located. A listing of each State Office Start Printed Page 9727can be found at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​files/​CF_​State_​Office_​Contacts.pdf. If you want to submit an electronic application, follow the instructions for the TAT funding announcement on http://www.grants.gov. For those applicants located in the District of Columbia, applications will be submitted to the National Office in care of Shirley Stevenson, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 0787, Room 0175-S, Washington, DC 20250. Electronic applications will be submitted via http://www.grants.gov. All applicants can access application materials at http://www.grants.gov.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The Rural Development office in which the applicant is located. A list of the Rural Development State Office contacts can be found at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​files/​CF_​State_​Office_​Contacts.pdf. Applicants located in Washington, DC can contact Shirley Stevenson at (202) 205-9685 or via email at Shirley.Stevenson@usda.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Rural Housing Service, an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) herein referred to as the Agency, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on January 14, 2016, implementing Section 6006 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) which provides authority to make CF TAT Grants. The purpose of this Notice is to solicit applications for the CF TAT Grant funds made available as part of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, Public Law 116-20, dated June 6, 2019. This program is designed to provide supplemental grant funding for eligible CF applicants and eligible CF projects related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters.

Language for Funding Opportunities

The Agency encourages applications that will help improve life in rural America. (See information on the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity found at www.usda.gov/​ruralprosperity.) Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation.

Key strategies include:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life

To leverage investments in rural property, the Agency also encourages projects located in rural Opportunity Zones where projects should provide measurable results in helping communities build robust and sustainable economies. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service.

To combat a key threat to economic prosperity, rural workforce and quality of life, the Agency also encourages applications that will support the Administration's goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address prevention, treatment and/or recovery at the community, county, state, and/or regional levels. See https://www.cdc.gov/​pwid/​vulnerable-counties-data.html.

Key strategies include:

  • Prevention: Reducing the occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) and fatal substance-related overdoses through community and provider education and harm reduction measures, such as the strategic placement of overdose reversing devices;
  • Treatment: Implementing or expanding access to evidence-based treatment practices for Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse), such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT); and
  • Recovery: Expanding peer recovery and treatment options that help people start and stay in recovery.

To focus investments in areas with the largest opportunity for growth in prosperity, the Agency encourages applications that serve the smallest communities with the lowest incomes, with an emphasis on areas where at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty, according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts (or Reservation boundary for Indian tribes). State Director and Administrator discretionary points will be awarded to applications that address these Agency Goals.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The paperwork burden has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0575-0198.

National Environmental Policy Act

All recipients under this Notice are subject to the requirements of 7 CFR part 1970. However, awards for technical assistance and training under this Notice are classified as a Categorical Exclusion according to 7 CFR 1970.53(b), and usually do not require any additional documentation. The Agency will review each grant application to determine its compliance with 7 CFR part 1970. The applicant may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to assist the Agency with this determination.

Executive Order (E.O.) 13175 Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This Executive Order imposes requirements on Rural Development in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. Rural Development has determined that this Notice does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, this Notice is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. Tribal Consultation inquiries and comments should be directed to RD's Native American Coordinator at aian@wdc.usda.gov or (720) 544-2911.

Overview

Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service.

Funding Opportunity Title: Community Facilities Disaster Technical Assistance and Training Grant.

Announcement Type: Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.766.

Dates: To apply for funds, the Agency must receive mailed-in applications by 4:00 p.m. local time on May 5, 2020. Electronic applications must be submitted via grants.gov by Midnight Eastern time on April 30, 2020. The Agency will not consider any application received after this deadline. Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as Start Printed Page 9728such requests are made prior to April 27, 2020. Technical assistance is not meant to be an analysis or assessment of the quality of the materials submitted, a substitute for agency review of completed applications, nor a determination of eligibility, if such determination requires in-depth analysis. The Agency will not solicit or consider scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline. The Agency reserves the right to contact applicants to seek clarification information on materials contained in the submitted application.

Availability of Notice: This Notice is available through the USDA Rural Development site at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/​newsroom/​notices-solicitation-applications-nosas.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Purpose

Congress authorized the CF TAT Grant program in Title VI, Section 6006 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79). Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 3570, subpart F, which are incorporated by reference in this Notice. As part of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, Public Law 116-20, dated June 6, 2019, Congress appropriated additional CF TAT Grant. The purpose of this Notice is to seek applications from entities that will provide technical assistance and/or training with respect to essential community facilities programs. It is the intent of this program to assist entities in rural areas in accessing funding under the Rural Housing Service's CF Programs in accordance with 7 CFR part 3570, subpart F. Funding priority will be made to private, nonprofit or public organizations that have experience in providing technical assistance and training to rural entities. In addition to the requirements listed above, the Agency is seeking applications that are related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters.

II. Award Information

Type of Awards: Grants will be made to eligible entities who will then provide technical assistance and/or training to eligible ultimate recipients.

Available Funds: The Agency is making available $7,500,000. Up to ten percent of the available funds may be awarded to the highest scoring Ultimate Recipient(s) as long as they score a minimum score of at least 70.

Award Amounts: Grant awards for Technical Assistance Providers assisting Ultimate Recipients within one state may not exceed $250,000. Grant awards made to Ultimate Recipients will not exceed $50,000. The Agency reserves the right to reduce funding amounts based on the Agency's determination of available funding or other Agency funding priorities.

Award Dates: Awards will be made from available funding prior to September 30, 2020.

III. Eligibility Information

Both the applicant and the use of funds must meet eligibility requirements. The applicant eligibility requirements can be found at 7 CFR 3570.262. Eligible project purposes can be found at 7 CFR 3570.263. Ineligible project purposes can be found at 7 CFR 3570.264. Restrictions substantially similar to Sections 743, 744, 745, and 746 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113) will apply unless noted on the Rural Development website (https://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​community-facilities-technical-assistance-and-training-grant). Any corporation (i) that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or (ii) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government. In addition, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act may be available for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with an entity that requires employees or contractors of such entity seeking to report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or contractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such information. Additionally, no funds appropriated in this or any other Act may be used to implement or enforce the agreements in Standard Forms 312 and 4414 of the Government or any other nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement if such policy, form, or agreement does not contain the following provisions: “These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection.” In addition to the eligibility requirements found at 7 CFR 3570, subpart F (3570.262) and (3570.263), the following requirements must be met:

(i) The eligible CF project must be located in a rural area in a county with a Major Disaster Declaration as declared by the President of the United States. The term rural or rural area is defined in section 343(a)(13)(C) of the CONAct (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)) as a city, town or, unincorporated area that has a population of not more than 20,000 inhabitants. The boundaries for unincorporated areas in determining populations will be based on the CDP. Data from the most recent decennial census of the United States will be used in determining population. Any rural community impacted by a major declared disaster DR-4407 may have the governor in the affected state, or the governor's designee, certify the area's population as a rural area with respect to eligibility for loans, grants, and technical assistance under rural development programs funded by the Department of Agriculture until data from the 2020 United States Census is available. The certification will be provided to the Rural Development State Director of California.

For information on determining if a project is located in an area with a Major Disaster Declaration, go to the CF section of the Rural Development Disaster Assistance site located at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​services/​rural-development-disaster-assistance;​

(ii) The project expenses do not need to be in direct relationship or a result of an eligible Disaster Relief Act 2019 disaster;

(iii) The Major Disaster Declaration must be related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters; andStart Printed Page 9729

(iv) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must have provided a notice declaring the Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number.

IV. Application and Submission Information

The requirements for submitting an application can be found at 7 CFR 3570.267. All Applicants can access application materials at http://www.grants.gov. In addition to the requirements set forth at 7 CFR 3570.267, all Applicants must provide documentation that the project is located in a disaster area as listed in Section III of this Notice. Applications must be received by the Agency by the due date listed in the DATES section of this Notice. Applications received after that due date will not be considered for funding. Paper copies of the applications will be submitted to the State Office in which the applicant is headquartered. Electronic submissions should be submitted at http://www.grants.gov. A listing of the Rural Development State Offices may be found at https://www.rd.usda.gov/​files/​CF_​State_​Office_​Contacts.pdf. For applicants whose headquarters are in the District of Columbia, they will submit their application to the National Office in care of Shirley Stevenson, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, STOP 0787, Room 0175-S, Washington, DC 20250. Both paper and electronic applications must be received by the Agency by the deadlines stated in the DATES section of this Notice. The use of a courier and package tracking for paper applications is strongly encouraged. An applicant can only submit one application for funding.

Application information for electronic submissions may be found at http://www.grants.gov.

Applications will not be accepted via FAX or electronic email.

V. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Awards Management (SAM)

Grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in SAM at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation in accordance to 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

An applicant, unless excepted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c), or (d), is required to:

(a) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application;

(b) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and

(c) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency.

The Federal awarding agency may not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant applications must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at 1-866-705-5711 or via internet at http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for SAM at https://www.sam.gov or by calling 1-866-606-8220.

The applicant must provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number. If the applicant does not provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number, the application will not be considered for funding.

VI. Application Processing

Applications will be processed and scored in accordance with this NOFA and 7 CFR 3570.273. Those applications receiving the highest points using the scoring factors found at 7 CFR 3570.273 will be selected for funding. Up to 10% of the available funds may be awarded to the highest scoring Ultimate Recipient(s) as long as they score a minimum score of at least 70. In the case of a tie, the first tie breaker will go to the applicant who scores the highest on matching funds. If two or more applications are still tied after using this tie breaker, the next tie breaker will go to the applicant who scores the highest in the multi-jurisdictional category.

Once the successful applicants are announced, the State Office will be responsible for obligating the grant funds, executing all obligation documents, and the grant agreement, as provided by the agency.

VII. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding official of the Agency shall make grants in ranked order to eligible applicants under the procedures set forth in this Notice and the grant regulation 7 CFR 3570, subpart F.

Successful applicants will receive a letter in the mail containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with execution and performance of the award. This letter is not an authorization to begin performance. In addition, selected applicants will be requested to verify that components of the application have not changed at the time of selection and on the award date, if requested by the Agency.

The award is not approved until all information has been verified, and the awarding official of the Agency has signed Form RD 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds” and the grant agreement.

Unsuccessful and ineligible applicants will receive written notification of their review and appeal rights.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. Grantees will be required to do the following:

(a) Execute a Grant Agreement.

(b) Execute Form RD 1940-1.

(c) Use Form SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement” to request reimbursement. Provide receipts for expenditures, timesheets, and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement.

(d) Provide financial status and project performance reports as set forth at 7 CFR 3570.276.

(e) Maintain a financial management system that is acceptable to the Agency.

(f) Ensure that records are maintained to document all activities and expenditures utilizing CF TAT grant funds and any matching funds, if Start Printed Page 9730applicable. Receipts for expenditures will be included in this documentation.

(g) Provide audits or financial information as set forth in 7 CFR 3570.277.

(h) Complete Form 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.” Each prospective recipient must sign Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement, which assures USDA that the recipient is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 7 CFR part 15 and other Agency regulations. It also assures that no person will be discriminated against based on race, color or national origin, in regard to any program or activity for which the re-lender receives Federal financial assistance. Finally, it assures that nondiscrimination statements are in the recipient's advertisements and brochures.

(i) Collect and maintain data provided by ultimate recipients on race, sex, and national origin and ensure Ultimate Recipients collect and maintain this data. Race and ethnicity data will be collected in accordance with OMB Federal Register notice, “Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity,” (62 FR 58782), October 30, 1997. Sex data will be collected in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These items should not be submitted with the application but should be available upon request by the Agency.

(j) Provide a final performance report as set forth at 7 CFR 3570.276(a)(7).

(k) Identify and report any association or relationship with Rural Development employees.

(l) The applicant and the ultimate recipient must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Executive Order 12250, Executive Order 13166 Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E. The grantee must comply with policies, guidance, and requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations and any successor regulations:

(1) 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards).

(2) 2 CFR parts 417 and 180 (Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement)).

(m) Form AD-3031, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants” must be signed by corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice.

3. Reporting.

Reporting requirements for this grant as set forth at 7 CFR 3570.276.

VIII. Federal Awarding Agency Contact

Contact the Rural Development state office in the state where the applicant's headquarters is located. A list of Rural Development State Offices can be found at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/​files/​CF_​State_​Office_​Contacts.pdf. For Applicants located in Washington, DC, please contact Shirley Stevenson at (202) 205-9685 or via email at Shirley.Stevenson@wdc.usda.gov.

IX. Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/​complaint_​filing_​cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) By mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Start Signature

Bruce W. Lammers,

Administrator, Rural Housing Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-03309 Filed 2-19-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P