CARPDC understands that providing recreational opportunities for residents in our region is an important service our local governments strive to provide their communities.
We also recognize that financial support for parks and recreation can produce a monetary strain based on the limited resources of most governments. CARPDC is therefore ready to assist with project development and grant application submission to help address identified recreational needs. Following are brief summaries of the most popular grant programs associated with outdoor recreational development.
Good Roots (Tree Grant) by the Alabama Power Foundation
This program is in partnership with the Alabama Urban Forestry Association and will supply up to $1,000 per grant to purchase trees for planting in cities, towns, communities, and at nonprofit organizations across the state.
Mid-South Resource Conservation and Development Council (Mid-South RC&D)
This program provides grants for projects that meet their mission which is to empower local citizens to develop and carry out action-oriented plans for the social, economic, and environmental enrichment of their communities. These grant applications must request a minimum of $2,000 and typically are not funded for more than $10,000. This program is on a reimbursement basis. The next deadline for this program is anticipated to be in July 2019.
ADECA Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
The maximum grant amount that can be applied for is $200,000 for non-motorized, single-use trail projects; $400,000 for non-motorized, diverse-use trail projects; $500,000 for motorized, diverse-use trail projects, or approximately $87,000 for education based on any given year’s funding level.
Only one application may be submitted by an applicant; however, an application may contain multiple sites and the non-federal matching share may exceed the minimum required to satisfy the federal matching requirement. Jurisdictions with an open RTP grant or LWCF grant cannot apply unless the project will be closed by the established application deadline. FY 2018 had a December 21, 2018 submission deadline.
ADECA Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
Federal funds for this program are often slow to be made available to the State. This year’s application deadline is December 21, 2018. This is a 50/50 grant to match ratio with a maximum grant award of $350,000. Awards for this program are estimated to be made in November 2019.
LWCF assistance can be used to acquire land and water interests for park purposes, develop new outdoor recreation facilities, and in certain instances, renovate existing recreational facilities. Virtually all public outdoor recreation activities are eligible for assistance under the program including playgrounds, ball fields (including lights – concrete poles only), court sports, picnic areas, camping area, tracks, trails, splash pads, zip lines, etc. In addition, support facilities such as concession stands, comfort stations, park access roads, parking areas, utilities, and site preparation necessary to make a recreation activity area usable may qualify for assistance. The project sponsor must either own, or have a perpetual interest in land that is developed with LWCF assistance.
ADECA CDBG Community Enhancement (CE) Fund
This funding category is one of four community development programs administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and must meet one of three HUD National Objectives. These objectives include benefitting at least 51% low-and-moderate income persons, aiding in the prevention or elimination of slum and blight, or meeting other urgent needs posing a serious threat to the health or welfare of the community. A community cannot apply for these funds if they have an open CDBG grant and only one competitive grant application may be submitted per funding cycle.
The CE fund can be used to provide funding for eligible activities that communities consider important to enhance the community in a manner beyond providing for the most basic and essential needs. This includes recreational facilities which most often addresses park improvements such as ball fields, ADA compliance, restroom facilities and the like most often outside the financial reach of our governments. The grant ceiling is $250,000 with a minimum of $50,000. There is a 10% match required.
Obtaining Grant & Loan Assistance for Economic Development
One way that CARPDC can assist with Economic Development projects is by obtaining grant and loan assistance to aid a new or existing business in creating jobs. It is important to involve CARPDC early in your economic development project so that we can help identify costs that grant or loan funding can cover so you can take that into consideration when developing incentive packages for a business. Specifically, CARPDC is available to work with you to develop your project, write a grant application, and administer the grant once it is received. Some of the grant and loan opportunities that CARPDC can help you secure include the following:
CDBG ED Grant
- “ED” (Economic Development) grants are made available through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), and provide $50,000 to $200,000 for land, facilities and infrastructure such as water lines, sewer lines, rail spurs, docks, cranes, access roads, etc., to facilitate creation and/or retention of jobs by a new or existing business. It is possible to request over $200,000 in some cases.
- At least 15 jobs must be created or retained to be eligible for ED funding, 51% of which must be to low and moderate income persons.
- A 20% local match is required.
CDBG ED Float Loan
- ED Float loans are made available by ADECA, and can be used to finance any necessary activity, including acquisition, site preparation, new construction, renovation, purchase of machinery and equipment, working capital, refinancing, and other CDBG-eligible activities approved by the State.
- The ED Float Loan program will aid in the creation of new jobs, however, in exceptional circumstances, it may be used to help retain jobs. At least 51% of associated jobs must be occupied by or made available to low and moderate income persons.
- The minimum ED Float Loan amount shall be $1 Million and the maximum shall be $10 Million with a term of one year. Extensions for an additional year may be considered.
- Generally speaking, the program is used for 100+ jobs projects at a maximum of $35,000 per job created or retained.
- “IA” (Industrial Access) grants are made available through the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) for the construction of access roads needed to create or retain jobs at new or existing businesses.
- While match is not required for IA grants, preliminary engineering and grant administration costs are not eligible for grant funding, and are therefore to be paid for by the project sponsor or applicant.
- IA applications are considered at quarterly meetings of the Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation, however grant applications are due at least 45 days prior to the quarterly meetings for evaluation by ALDOT.
CARPDC Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
- The CARPDC Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program enables CARPDC, in collaboration with a private lender, to financially assist small and medium sized businesses by making loans for start-up or expansion that will result in the creation or retention of jobs and the enhancement of private sector investments.
- Revolving loans range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $150,000, and RLF participation cannot exceed 1/3 of the total project cost.
CARPDC promotes Community Development through convening regional partnerships and coalitions of elected officials, non-profits, private business and community leaders that work together to achieve community (quality of life) development and tourism projects. CARPDC convenes such coalitions including:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
The CDBG program is by far the largest grant program CARPDC assists its local governments in accessing. This program utilizes Federal grant dollars administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to assist communities with improving serious health and welfare concerns as well as for accomplishing quality of life projects beyond the more basic and essential needs of its residents. This program offers three funding categories to accomplish these goals. They include the Competitive Fund for Counties, Large Cities and Small Cities to compete for grant funds from their respective category for projects such as water and sewer extensions, housing rehabilitation, demolition, and drainage; the Community Enhancement Fund which allows projects beyond those providing for essential needs like community and senior centers, fire protection, recreational facilities, and removal of architectural barriers; and the Planning Fund which assists local governments having a need for comprehensive planning or other planning such as elements of comprehensive plans, downtown revitalization plans, and components of regional studies.
Project River Region
Project River Region is a coalition that was started in February of 2012 through a meeting of regional partners with a common interest: developing and marketing river recreation (blue ways) as well as multi-purpose trails (green ways) in the River Region.
Blue ways and green ways in the River Region are at different stages of development. Some are already established, some are in the process of being constructed and some are in the planning stages. The Project River Region Coalition is working to share best practices and develop a unified tourism/marketing plan that will help make the River Region a destination for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, biking and outdoor recreation, while providing wonderful quality of life enhancements for residents.
The River Region Obesity Task Force
In 2010, the Montgomery, Alabama Metro Area tied with Stockton, CA for the most-obese metro area in America according to Gallup. In response, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange appointed Michael Briddell “Health and Wellness Czar” to address the issue of obesity in the River Region. Mr. Briddell tasked CARPDC with forming the River Region Obesity Task Force (RROTF), a partnership of local governments, health care providers, community organizations, employers, churches, state and regional partners.
Your Individualized Community Development Coalition
Whether you need new water or sewer infrastructure, a community park or a school garden, CARPDC is here to work with you to establish a coalition in your community.
We are stronger together.
CARPDC assists these coalitions by inviting potential partners, convening regular meetings, as well as developing grant applications for planning, infrastructure, marketing and implementation projects that meet the goals of a coalition’s partners. Please contact our office to provide feedback on projects, or to join or establish a coalition.
CARPDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), as well as both the Alabama and River Region Obesity Task Forces encourage you to Make a Good Choice: Rethink Your Drink! You can view and print ADPH’s recommended guidelines for healthy beverage consumption. Please note that there are two sets of recommendations, one for adults and one for children. Thank you!
For additional information concerning the transportation plan contact Greg Clark.