Community Facilities Loans and Grants

The objective of the Community Facilities (CF) direct loan and grant program is to provide loan and/or grant funds to rural communities to construct, enlarge, expand, or otherwise improve community facilities providing essential services to rural residents.



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.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Consult your local telephone directory under U. S. Department of Agriculture for a Rural Development local field office or visit the website http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app for a State Office listing.


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Community facilities include, but are not limited to, those providing or supporting overall community development such as hospitals, fire stations, child care facilities, food recovery and distribution centers; assisted-living facilities; group homes, mental health clinics, and shelters; and education facilities.

Projects comprise community, social, health care, education, cultural, transportation, industrial park sites, fire and rescue services, access ways, and utility extensions.

All facilities financed in whole or in part with RHS funds shall be for public use.

Loan funds may not be used to finance; (a) on-site utility systems or businesses; (b) industrial buildings in connection with industrial parks; (c) community antenna television services; (d) electric generation (except for hydroelectric) or transmission facilities; (e) telecommunication systems; (f) facilities which are not modest in size, design, or cost; and (g) loan or grant finder"s fees.

In addition to meeting the requirements of this program, applicants must also comply with applicable provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and any related regulations and guidance.

For non-construction projects, this will include ARRA reporting requirements.

For construction projects, this will include the ARRA reporting requirements as well as the Davis-Bacon Act and Buy American requirements.

Contact your Rural Development State Office to determine the eligible interest rate for your area.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligibility for CF direct loan assistance is based on; (a) the type of organization applying for the loan (public body, non-profit organization, or federally recognized Indian tribe); (b) whether the applicant can demonstrate that it is unable to finance the proposed project from its own resources or from commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms; (c) whether the applicant has authority to develop, own and operate the proposed facility; and (d) whether the applicant can legally borrow money and make payments on debts obligated.

Grant assistance may be provided to an essential community facility that must be located and primarily serve a rural area(s) and where the median household income of the service area is below the higher of the poverty line or eligible percentage (60, 70, 80, 90) of the State non metropolitan median household income.

Projects are selected based on a priority point system.

Projects that received priority are those that serve small or low-income communities and those that provide health care, public safety, or public and community services.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Loans for essential community facilities are made to eligible entities who provide essential community services to the population living within the service area of the facility or being served by the facility. Beneficiaries include farmers, ranchers, rural residents, rural businesses, and other users of such public facilities in eligible applicant areas as set out above.

Credentials/Documentation

The applicant must certify in writing and provide evidence that credit for the project is not available from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms. Other supporting documentation necessary to make an eligibility determination should include financial statements, audits, and copies of organizational documents or existing debt instruments. The loan and/or grant docket should also include related forms, materials, and information. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All applications requesting assistance through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds are to be clearly identified when the applications are submitted to the USDA Rural Development Area Office.

State Directors have the authority to approve loans and award grants as long as it is within the State Director"s approval authority.

The Area Office will normally be the entry point for preapplications and serve as a local contact point.

Applications will be filed with the Area Office and loans will be processed to the maximum extent possible by the Area Office staff.

The Agency should issue Form AD-622 inviting an application within 45 calendar days from receipt of the preapplication.



This program is subject to environmental review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. For direct loans and grants, applications are made and processed at the Rural Development field office serving the county where the facility is or will be located. Applicants must file Standard Form SF-424 and provide supporting documentation at the local Rural Development Area Office.

Award Procedures

After the preapplication has been reviewed by the Rural Development Area Office, it is forwarded to the Rural Development State Office for review and processing instructions. Following review by the State Office, the applicant is notified about eligibility, availability of funds, and if an application should be filed. Eligible applicants are reviewed by the department and the Office of Management and Budget and approved for funding before final processing.

Deadlines

Mar 25, 2009 to Sep 30, 2010

Authorization

Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, Section 306, Public Law 92-419, 7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(1) and (a)(19). American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Contact the State Office for Range of Approval/Disapproval Time.

Appeals

If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are fully stated. The notification will include a statement for appeal or review of the adverse decision. The applicant may request an appeal or review of the decision.. Agency regulations providing customers with the rights for an informal review, mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or appeal to the National Appeals Division (NAD) are contained in 7 CFR Part 3550. NAD regulations are found at 7 CFR Part 11. Requests for an informal review, mediation and ADR must be received within 30 days from the date of the adverse decision. Request for an appeal to the NAD must be received within 30 days of receipt of the adverse decision.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act specified that funds must be expended not later than September 30, 2015. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Upon completion of application processing requirements and approval by the State Office, funds are made available to the Rural Development Area Office for delivery.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Program reports are not applicable.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Periodic reports are made to Rural Development.

Each borrower will monitor and report to RHS on actual performance during the construction of each project financed, or to be financed, in whole or in part with Community Facilities loan funds.

Recipients must also comply with reporting requirements established in Division A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Public Law 111-005).

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. Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient"s system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of loans and other agreements.

Records

The borrower must maintain adequate records and accounts of the operation of the facility developed.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1951-0-1-452; 12-4155-0-3-452.

Obigations

(Direct Loans) FY 09 $204,369,381; FY 10 est $1,101,960,000; FY 11 est $0. (Project Grants) FY 09 $31,117,651; FY 10 est $71,086,349; FY 11 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Direct Loans range from $3,000 to $11,000,000. An average of $847,971. Grants range from $570 to $120,750. An average of $36,753.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program regulations, administrative notices, and other program literature can be found at the USDA website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture for a Rural Development local field office or visit the website http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app for a State Office listing.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Community Programs, Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Mail Stop 0788, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-0788 Phone: (202) 720-1490.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Projects are selected for funding giving due consideration to State development strategies, serving the largest number of low income rural residents, and priority recommendation. Priority for funding will be given to those projects that will enhance public safety such as fire, police, rescue, and ambulance services, and projects for health care facilities.



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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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