PART 1774 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households Program (SEARCH)

To make predevelopment planning grants for feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance, to financially distressed communities in rural areas with populations of 2,500 or fewer inhabitants for water and waste disposal projects.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

May fund up to 100 percent of the eligible grant costs, not to exceed $30,000.

Grants can only be made to financially distressed communities in rural areas with populations of 2,500 or fewer inhabitants for water and waste disposal projects.

Grants can only be made to financially distressed communities in rural areas with populations of 2,500 or fewer inhabitants.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State (includes District of Columbia, public institutions of higher education and hospitals): Housing.

Local (includes State-designated lndian Tribes, excludes institutions of higher education and hospitals: Housing.

Public nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals): Housing.

U.S.

Territories and possessions (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals): Housing.

Native American Organizations (includes lndian groups, cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, associations): Housing

Beneficiary Eligibility

State; Local; Public nonprofit institution/organization; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; U.S. Territories

Credentials/Documentation

Evidence of legal existence and authority, organizational documents, certified list of directors, evidence of tax exempt status, current audit. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Public bodies or non-profit organizations may file applications with the RD State Office for the state in which the organization"s headquarters is located. Addresses may be found on the web site of the Water and Environmental Programs http:www.usda.gov/rus/water.

Intermediaries headquartered in the District of Columbia may file the application with the National Office, USDA, Rural Utilities Service, Water and Environmental Programs, STOP 1570, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-1570.

All required forms may be found on the RUS Water Programs web page at http://www.usda.gov/rus/water/program.htm; on that page, select "Revolving Fund Program".

(1) Application for Federal Assistance: Standard Form 424;
(2) Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs: Standard Form 424A;
(3) Assurances - Non-Construction Programs: Standard Form 424B;
(4) Certification of Compliance with Federal Requirements/Laws (see Exhibit E);
(5) Evidence of applicant s legal existence and authority in the form of certified copies of organizational documents and a certified list of directors and officers with their respective terms;
(6) Evidence of tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service;
(7) Current audit of the organization;
(8) Explanation of budget and accounting system in place or proposed, with the administrative cost for operating the fund expressed as a percentage of the overall budget;
(9) Form AD-1047, ""Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and
Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered Transaction.
(10) Form AD 1049, ""Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants) Alternative I-For Grantees Other Than Individuals.
(11) Form AD 1048, ""Certification Regarding Debarment.
(12) Attachment regarding assistance provided to Rural Development Employees as required by RD Instruction 1900-D.
(13) Form RD 400-4, ""Assurance Agreement.
(14) Form RD 400-1, ""Equal Opportunity Agreement."

Award Procedures

Selected applicant(s) will be notified by Form AD 622.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act, Public Law 110-234 (Farm Bill) amended Section 306(a)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(2)). , Title 110, Part 234, Section 306(a)(2) , 7 U.S.C 1926 (a)(2)).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 60 days.

Appeals

Generally, you have the right to appeal adverse decisions, but certain RUS decisions cannot be appealed. In the case where you are denied grant funding due to a lack of funds available for the grant program, this decision cannot be appealed. However, you may write the Area Supervisor, National Appeals Division, to review the accuracy of our finding that the decision cannot be appealed. The address for the Area Supervisor will be provided with the Form AD-622 informing you that you were eligible but not selected for funding. Your letter to the Area Supervisor must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date of the Form AD-622 notification.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not Applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Advances and reimbursements will be disbursed over the term of the grant on request of the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly or semi-annual narrative reports.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Annual audit or Management Report

Records

Not Applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1980-0-1-072.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $5,000,000; FY 10 est $5,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Up to $30,000 per grant.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 1774; RUS Instruction 1780; OMB Circular A-87, OMB Circular A-110, OMB Circular A-102 or OMB Circular A-122; Executive Order 12866; and Executive Order 12988

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Anita O"Brien 1400 Independence Ave., SW
Stop 1570, Washington, District of Columbia 20005 Email: anita.obrien@wdc.usda.gov Phone: 202-690-3789

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Projects will be selected based primarily on the funding priorities in Section 1780.17 of RUS Instruction 1780. The State Program Official discretionary points stated in Section 1780.17 (e) of RUS Instruction 1780 can also include consideration of the following criteria:

(a) Systems with limited resources.

(b) Smallest systems with lowest incomes.

(c) Funds availability.



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