Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of Application Deadlines and Funding, 14559-14564 [2010-6685]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices being achieved. The Grantee will provide project reports as follows: 1. SF–269, ‘‘Financial Status Report (short form),’’ and a project performance activity report will be required of all grantees on a quarterly basis, due 30 days after the end of each quarter. 2. A final project performance report will be required with the last SF–269 due 90 days after the end of the last quarter in which the project is completed. The final report may serve as the last quarterly report. 3. All multi-State grantees are to submit an original of each report to the National Office. Grantees serving only one State are to submit an original of each report to the State Office. The project performance reports should detail, preferably in a narrative format, activities that have transpired for the specific time period. H. The grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements as follows: 1. Grantees expending $500,000 or more Federal funds per fiscal year will submit an audit conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A–133. The audit will be submitted within 9 months after the grantee’s fiscal year. Additional audits may be required if the project period covers more than one fiscal year. 2. Grantees expending less than $500,000 will provide annual financial statements covering the grant period, consisting of the organization’s statement of income and expense and balance sheet signed by an appropriate official of the organization. Financial statements will be submitted within 90 days after the grantee’s fiscal year. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES VII. Agency Contacts A. Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/ water. The Rural Utilities Service Web site maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for the RFP. B. Phone: 202–720–0499. C. Fax: 202–690–0649. D. E-mail: joycem.taylor@wdc.usda.gov. E. Main point of contact: Joyce Taylor, Community Programs Specialist, Water and Environmental Programs, Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Dated: March 5, 2010. Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2010–6686 Filed 3–25–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 14559 Rural Utilities Service Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of Application Deadlines and Funding Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.862. Due Date for Applications: May 31, 2010. Items in Supplementary Information DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of funding availability and solicitation of applications. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability of $993,000 in grant funds to be competitively awarded for the Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program for fiscal year 2010. RUS will make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for an existing home. The HWWS Grant Program regulations are contained in 7 CFR 1776. DATES: The deadline for completed applications for a HWWS grant is May 31, 2010. Applications in either paper or electronic format must be postmarked or time-stamped electronically on or before the deadline. Late applications will be ineligible for grant consideration. ADDRESSES: Submit electronic grant applications through https:// www.grants.gov (Grants.gov), following the instructions on that Web site. Submit completed paper applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Mail Stop #1570, Room 2233–S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250–1570. Applications should be marked ‘‘Attention: Water and Environmental Programs.’’ Application guides and materials for the HWWS Grant Program may be obtained electronically through https:// www.usda.gov/rus/water/well.htm. Call (202) 720–9589 to request paper copies of application guides and materials from the Water and Environmental Programs staff. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lorrie Davis, Community Programs Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, RUS Programs, Water and Environmental Programs, telephone: (202) 720–9631, fax: (202) 690–0649, email: Lorrie.davis@wdc.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service. Funding Opportunity Title: HWWS Grant Program. Announcement Type: Grant—Initial. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 I. Funding Opportunity: Description of the HWWS Grant Program. II. Award Information: Available funds. III. Eligibility Information: Who is eligible, what kinds of projects are eligible, what criteria determine basic eligibility. IV. Application and Submission Information: Where to get application materials, what constitutes a completed application, how and where to submit applications, deadlines, items that are eligible. V. Application Review Information: Considerations and preferences, scoring criteria, review standards, selection information. VI. Award Administration Information: Award notice information, award recipient reporting requirements. VII. Agency Contacts: Web, phone, fax, e-mail, contact name. I. Funding Opportunity A. Program Description The HWWS Grant Program has been established to help individuals with low to moderate incomes finance the costs of household water wells that they own or will own. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), 7 U.S.C. 1926e. The CONACT authorizes the RUS to make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for household water wells. As the grant recipients, private nonprofit organizations will receive HWWS grants to establish lending programs that will provide water well loans to individuals. The individuals, as loan recipients, may use the loans to construct, refurbish, and service their household well systems. A loan may not exceed $11,000 and will have a term up to 20 years at a one percent annual interest rate. B. Background The RUS supports the sound development of rural communities and the growth of our economy without endangering the environment. The RUS provides financial and technical assistance to help communities bring safe drinking water and sanitary, environmentally sound waste disposal facilities to rural Americans in greatest need. Central water systems may not be the only or best solution to drinking water problems. Distance or physical barriers make public central water systems expensive in remote areas. A significant E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1 14560 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices number of geographically isolated households without water service might require individual wells rather than connections to new or existing community systems. The goal of the RUS is not only to make funds available to those communities most in need of potable water but also to ensure that facilities used to deliver drinking water are safe and affordable. There is a role for private wells in reaching this goal. C. Purpose The purpose of the HWWS Grant Program is to provide funds to private non-profit organizations to assist them in establishing loan programs from which individuals may borrow money for HWWS. Faith-based organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply for this program. Applicants must show that the project will provide technical and financial assistance to eligible individuals to remedy household well problems. Due to the limited amount of funds available under the HWWS Grant Program, five applications may be funded from FY 2010 funds. Previously funded grant recipients must apply for a different target area to be considered for funding under this announcement. II. Award Information Funding Instrument Type: Grant. Anticipated Total Priority Area Funding: Undetermined at this time. Anticipated Number of Awards: 5. Length of Project Periods: 12-month project. Assistance Instrument: Grant Agreement with successful applicants before any grant funds are disbursed. III. Eligibility Information emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES A. Who Is Eligible for Grants? 1. An organization is eligible to receive a HWWS grant if it: a. Is a private, non-profit organization; b. Is legally established and located within one of the following: (1) A state within the United States (2) The District of Columbia (3) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (4) A United States territory c. Has the legal capacity and authority to carry out the grant purpose; d. Has sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities; e. Has sufficient expertise and experience in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned HWWS and ground water; f. Has no delinquent debt to the Federal Government or no outstanding judgments to repay a Federal debt; g. Demonstrates that it possesses the financial, technical, and managerial VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 capability to comply with Federal and State laws and requirements. 2. An individual is ineligible to receive a Household Water Well grant. An individual may receive only a loan. B. What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project? 1. Project Eligibility. To be eligible for a grant, the project must: a. Be a revolving loan fund created to provide loans to eligible individuals to construct, refurbish, and service individually-owned HWWS (see 7 CFR 1776.11 and 1776.12). Loans may not be provided for home sewer or septic system projects. b. Be established and maintained by a private, non-profit organization. c. Be located in a rural area. Rural area is defined as locations other than cities or towns of more than 50,000 people and the contiguous and adjacent urbanized area of such towns and cities. 2. Required Matching Contributions. Grant applicants must provide written evidence of a matching contribution of at least 10 percent from sources other than the proceeds of a HWWS grant. Inkind contributions will not be considered for the matching requirement. Please see 7 CFR 1776.9 for the requirement. 3. Other—Requirements a. DUNS Number. An organization must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. A DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or an electronic application through https:// www.grants.gov. To verify that your organization has a DUNS number or to receive one at no cost, call the dedicated toll-free request line at 1–866–705–5711 or request one on-line at https:// www.dnb.com. b. Eligibility for Loans. Individuals are not eligible for grants but are eligible for loans. To be eligible for a loan, an individual must: (1) Be a member of a household of which the combined household income of all members does not exceed 100 percent of the median non-metropolitan household income for the State or territory in which the individual resides. Household income is the total income from all sources received by each adult household member for the most recent 12-month period for which the information is available. It does not include income earned or received by dependent children under 18 years old or other benefits that are excluded by Federal law. The non-metropolitan household income must be based on the most recent decennial census of the United States. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 RUS publishes a list of income exclusions in 7 CFR 3550.54(b). Also, the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a list of income exclusions in the Federal Register. See ‘‘Federally Mandated Exclusions’’ Notice 66 FR 4669, April 20, 2001, pages 20318–20320. (2) Own and occupy the home being improved with the proceeds of the Household Water Well loan or be purchasing the home to occupy under a legally enforceable land purchase contract which is not in default by either the seller or the purchaser. (3) Own the home in a rural area. (4) Not use the loan for a water well system associated with the construction of a new dwelling. (5) Not use the loan to substitute a well for water service available from collective water systems. (For example, a loan may not be used to restore an old well abandoned when a dwelling was connected to a water district’s water line.) (6) Not be suspended or debarred from participation in Federal programs. IV. Application and Submission Information A. Where To Get Application Information The Household Water Well System Grant Application Guide (Application Guide), copies of necessary forms and samples, and the HWWS Grant Program regulation are available from these sources: 1. On-line for electronic copies: https://www.grants.gov or https://www.usda.gov/rus/water/ well.htm, and 2. RUS for paper copies: RUS, Water Programs Division, Room 2234 South, Stop 1570, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250–1570, Telephone: (202) 720–9589, Fax: (202) 690–0649. B. Content and Form of Application Submission 1. Rules and Guidelines a. Detailed information on each item required can be found in the HWWS Grant Program regulation (7 CFR 1776) and the Application Guide. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read and apply both the regulation and the application guide. This Notice does not change the requirements for a completed application for any form of HWWS financial assistance specified in the regulation. The regulation and application guide provide specific guidance on each of the items listed. b. Applications should be prepared in conformance with the provisions in 7 E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices CFR 1776, subpart B, and applicable regulations including 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019. Applicants should use the application guide which contains instructions and other important information in preparing their application. Completed applications must include the items found in the checklist in the next paragraph. 2. Checklist of Items in Completed Application Packages The forms in items a. through f. must be completed and signed where appropriate by an official of your organization who has authority to obligate the organization legally. The forms may be found on-line at the RUS Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/ water/wwforms.htm. See section V, ‘‘Application Review Information,’’ for instructions and guidelines on preparing Items g. through m. Application Items a. SF–424, ‘‘Application for Federal Assistance’’ b. SF–424A, ‘‘Budget Information—NonConstruction Programs’’ c. SF–424B, ‘‘Assurances—NonConstruction Programs’’ d. SF–LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying Activity’’ e. Form RD 400–1, ‘‘Equal Opportunity Agreement’’ f. Form RD 400–4, ‘‘Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964) g. Project Proposal, Project Summary, Needs Assessment, Project Goals and Objectives, Project Narrative h. Work Plan i. Budget and Budget Justification j. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence k. Documentation of private non-profit status and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Exempt Status l. List of Directors and Officers m. Financial information and sustainability (narrative) n. Assurances and Certifications of Compliance with Other Federal Statutes emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES 3. Compliance with Other Federal Statutes The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other Federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to the following: a. 7 CFR part 15, subpart A— Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture—Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 b. 7 CFR part 3015—Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 c. 7 CFR part 3017—Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) d. 7 CFR part 3018—New Restrictions on Lobbying e. 7 CFR part 3019—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Non-profit Organizations f. 7 CFR part 3021—Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance) g. Executive Order 13166, ‘‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency. ’’For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to https://www.LEP.gov h. Federal Obligation Certification on Delinquent Debt C. How Many Copies of an Application Are Required? 1. Applications Submitted on Paper. Submit one signed original and two additional copies. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by an authorized representative, and have original signatures. Do not include organizational brochures or promotional materials. 2. Applications Submitted Electronically. The additional paper copies are unnecessary if the application is submitted electronically through https://www.grants.gov. D. How and Where To Submit an Application 1. Submitting Paper Applications a. For paper applications mail or ensure delivery of an original paper application (no stamped, photocopied, or initialed signatures) and two copies by the deadline date to: RUS, Water Programs Division, Room 2234 South, Stop 1570, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250–1570. b. Applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by one of the following: (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark; (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the USPS; or (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier. c. If a deadline date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following Monday. If the date falls on a Federal holiday, it will be extended to the next business day. d. Due to screening procedures at the Department of Agriculture, packages arriving via the USPS are irradiated, PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14561 which can damage the contents. RUS encourages applicants to consider the impact of this procedure in selecting an application delivery method. 2. Submitting Electronic Applications a. Applications will not be accepted via facsimile machine transmission or electronic mail. b. Electronic applications for grants will be accepted if submitted through Grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov. c. Applicants who apply through Grants.gov should submit their applications before the deadline. d. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at Grants.gov for registering and submitting an electronic application. RUS may request original signatures on electronically submitted documents later. e. To use Grants.gov: (1) Follow the instructions on the Web site to find grant information. (2) Download a copy of an application package. (3) Complete the package off-line. (4) Upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov Web site. f. You must be registered with Grants.gov before you can submit a grant application. (1) You will need a DUNS number to access or register at any of the services. In addition to the DUNS number required of all grant applicants, your organization must be listed in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). If you have not used Grants.gov before, you will need to register with the CCR and the Credential Provider. Setting up a CCR listing (a one-time procedure with annual updates) takes up to five business days. RUS recommends that you obtain your organization’s DUNS number and CCR listing well in advance of the deadline specified in this notice. (2) The CCR registers your organization, housing your organizational information and allowing Grants.gov to use it to verify your identity. You may register for the CCR by calling the CCR Assistance Center at 1–888–227–2423 or you may register online at https://www.ccr.gov. (3) The Credential Provider gives you or your representative a username and password, as part of the Federal Government’s e-Authentication to ensure a secure transaction. You will need the username and password when you register with Grants.gov or use Grants.gov to submit your application. You must register with the Central Provider through Grants.gov at https:// apply.grants.gov/OrcRegister. E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1 14562 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices V. Application Review Information (4) If a system problem or technical difficulty occurs with an electronic application, please use the customer support resources available at the Grants.gov Web site. E. Deadlines The deadline for paper and electronic submissions is May 31, 2010. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than the closing date to be considered for FY 2010 grant funding. Electronic applications must have an electronic date and time stamp by midnight of May 31, 2010, to be considered on time. RUS will not accept applications by fax or e-mail. Applications that do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications and will not be considered. RUS will notify each late applicant that its application will not be considered. F. Funding Restrictions 1. Eligible Grant Purposes a. Grant funds must be used to establish and maintain a revolving loan fund to provide loans to eligible individuals for household water well systems. b. Individuals may use the loans to construct, refurbish, rehabilitate, or replace household water well systems up to the point of entry of a home. Point of entry for the well system is the junction where water enters into a home water delivery system after being pumped from a well. c. Grant funds may be used to pay administrative expenses associated with providing Household Water Well loans. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES 2. Ineligible Grant Purposes a. Administrative expenses incurred in any calendar year that exceeds 10 percent of the household water well loans made during the same period do not qualify for reimbursement. b. Administrative expenses incurred before RUS executes a grant agreement with the recipient do not qualify for reimbursement. c. Delinquent debt owed to the Federal Government does not qualify for reimbursement. d. Grant funds may not be used to provide loans for household sewer or septic systems. e. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of water well systems for the construction of a new house. f. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of a home plumbing system. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 A. Criteria This section contains instructions and guidelines on preparing the project proposal, work plan, and budget sections of the application. Also, guidelines are provided on the additional information required for RUS to determine eligibility and financial feasibility. 1. Project Proposal. The project proposal should outline the project in sufficient detail to provide a reader with a complete understanding of the loan program. Explain what will be accomplished by lending funds to individual well owners. Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed loan program in meeting the objectives of this grant program. The proposal should include the following elements: a. Project Summary. Present a brief project overview. Explain the purpose of the project, how it relates to RUS’ purposes, how the project will be executed, what the project will produce, and who will direct it. b. Needs Assessment. To show why the project is necessary, clearly identify the economic, social, financial, or other problems that require solutions. Demonstrate the well owners’ need for financial and technical assistance. Quantify the number of prospective borrowers or provide statistical or narrative evidence that a sufficient number of borrowers will exist to justify the grant award. Describe the service area. Provide information on the household income of the area and other demographical information. Address community needs. c. Project Goals and Objectives. Clearly state the project goals. The objectives should clearly describe the goals and be concrete and specific enough to be quantitative or observable. They should also be feasible and relate to the purpose of the grant and loan program. d. Project Narrative. The narrative should cover in more detail the items briefly described in the Project Summary. Demonstrate the grant applicant’s experience and expertise in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned household water well systems. The narrative should address the following points: (1) Document the grant applicant’s ability to manage and service a revolving fund. The narrative may describe the systems that are in place for the full life cycle of a loan from loan origination through servicing. If a servicing contractor will service the loan portfolio, the arrangement and services provided must be discussed. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (2) Show evidence that the organization can commit financial resources the organization controls. This documentation should describe the sources of funds other than the HWWS grant that will be used to pay your operational costs and provide financial assistance for projects. (3) Demonstrate that the organization has secured commitments of significant financial support from other funding sources, if appropriate. (4) List the fees and charges that borrowers will be assessed. 2. Work Plan. The work plan or scope of work must describe the tasks and activities that will be accomplished with available resources during the grant period. It must include who will carry out the activities and services to be performed and specific timeframes for completion. Describe any unusual or unique features of the project such as innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary community involvement. 3. Budget and Budget Justification. Both Federal and non-Federal resources shall be detailed and justified in the budget and narrative justification. ‘‘Federal resources’’ refers only to the HWWS Grant Program for which you are applying. ‘‘Non Federal resources’’ are all other Federal and non-Federal resources. a. Provide a budget with line item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified in section B of the Budget Information form (SF– 424A). Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. Also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 of the SF–424. b. Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived for all capital and administrative expenditures, the matching contribution, and other sources of funds necessary to complete the project. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs. Consult OMB Circular A–122: ‘‘Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations’’ for information about appropriate costs for each budget category. c. If the grant applicant will use a servicing contractor, the fees may be reimbursed as an administrative expense as provided in 7 CFR 1776.13. These fees must be discussed in the budget narrative. If the grant applicant will hire a servicing contractor, it must demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceed the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11) (currently set at $100,000). d. The indirect cost category should be used only when the grant applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Agriculture or another cognizant Federal agency. A grant applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement. If the grant applicant is in the process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, the grant applicant shall submit its indirect cost proposal to the cognizant agency immediately after the applicant is advised that an award will be made. In no event, shall the indirect cost proposal be submitted later than three months after the effective date of the award. Consult OMB Circular A–122 for information about indirect costs. 4. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence. The applicant must provide satisfactory documentation that it is legally recognized under state and Federal law as a private non-profit organization. The documentation also must show that it has the authority to enter into a grant agreement with the RUS and to perform the activities proposed under the grant application. Satisfactory documentation includes, but is not limited to, certificates from the Secretary of State, copies of state statutes or laws establishing your organization, and copies of your organization’s articles of incorporation and bylaws. Letters from IRS awarding tax-exempt status are not considered adequate evidence. 5. List of Directors and Officers. The applicant must submit a certified list of directors and officers with their respective terms. 6. IRS Tax Exempt Status. The applicant must submit evidence of tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. 7. Financial Information and Sustainability. The applicant must submit pro forma balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements for the last three years and projections for three years. Additionally, the most recent audit of the applicant’s organization must be submitted. B. Evaluation Criteria Grant applications that are complete and eligible will be scored competitively based on the following scoring criteria: Scoring criteria Points Degree of expertise and experience in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned household water well systems and ground water. Degree of expertise and successful experience in making and servicing loans to individuals ................................................. Percentage of applicant contributions. Points allowed under this paragraph will be based on written evidence of the availability of funds from sources other than the proceeds of a HWWS grant to pay part of the cost of a loan recipient’s project. In-kind contributions will not be considered. Funds from other sources as a percentage of the HWWS grant and points corresponding to such percentages are as follows: 0 to 9 percent ....................................................................................................................................................................... 10 to 25 percent ................................................................................................................................................................... 26 to 30 percent ................................................................................................................................................................... 31 to 50 percent ................................................................................................................................................................... 51 percent or more .............................................................................................................................................................. Extent to which the work plan demonstrates a well thought out, comprehensive approach to accomplishing the objectives of this part, clearly defines who will be served by the project, and appears likely to be sustainable. Extent to which the goals and objectives are clearly defined, tied to the work plan, and measurable ..................................... Lowest ratio of projected administrative expenses to loans advanced ...................................................................................... Administrator’s discretion, considering such factors as: Creative outreach ideas for marketing HWWS loans to rural residents; The amount of needs demonstrated in the work plan; Previous experiences demonstrating excellent utilization of a revolving loan fund grant; and Optimizing the use of agency resources. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES C. Review Standards 1. Incomplete applications as of the deadline for submission will not be considered. If an application is determined to be incomplete, the applicant will be notified in writing and the application will be returned with no further action. 2. Ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant with an explanation. 3. Complete, eligible applications will be evaluated competitively by a review team, composed of at least two RUS employees selected from the Water Programs Division. They will make overall recommendations based on the program elements found in 7 CFR part 1776 and the review criteria presented in this notice. They will award points as described in the scoring criteria in 7 VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 CFR 1776.9 and this notice. Each application will receive a score based on the averages of the reviewers’ scores and discretionary points awarded by the RUS Administrator. 4. Applications will be ranked and grants awarded in rank order until all grant funds are expended. 5. Regardless of the score an application receives, if RUS determines that the project is technically infeasible, RUS will notify the applicant, in writing, and the application will be returned with no further action. VI. Award Administration Information A. Award Notices RUS will notify a successful applicant by an award letter accompanied by a grant agreement. The grant agreement will contain the terms and conditions PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 14563 Sfmt 4703 Up to 30 points. Up to 20 points. Ineligible. 5 points. 10 points. 15 points. 20 points. Up to 20 points. Up to 10 points. Up to 10 points. Up to 10 points. for the grant. The applicant must execute and return the grant agreement, accompanied by any additional items required by the award letter or grant agreement. B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. This notice, the 7 CFR part 1776, and the application guide implement the appropriate administrative and national policy requirements. Grant recipients are subject to the requirements in 7 CFR part 1776. 2. Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under the HWWS Grant Program shall not be used to fund inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. Therefore, organizations that receive direct assistance should E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1 14564 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 58 / Friday, March 26, 2010 / Notices take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under the HWWS Grant Program. Regulations for the Equal Treatment for Faith-based Organizations are contained in 7 CFR part 16, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities. The regulation may be accessed at the Web site at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/ fbnp/usdafbci070904.html. C. Reporting VII. Agency Contacts emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2010–6685 Filed 3–25–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Dairy Industry Advisory Committee; Public Meeting Farm Service Agency, USDA. Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: 1. Performance Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program financial assistance must provide quarterly performance activity reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final performance report is also required. The final report may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the success of the project. 2. Financial Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the first year a portion of the financial assistance is expended. The grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements as follows: a. Grantees expending $500,000 or more Federal funds per fiscal year will submit an audit conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A–133. The audit will be submitted within 9 months after the grantee’s fiscal year. Additional audits may be required if the project period covers more than one fiscal year. b. Grantees expending less than $500,000 will provide annual financial statements covering the grant period, consisting of the organization’s statement of income and expense and balance sheet signed by an appropriate official of the organization. Financial statements will be submitted within 90 days after the grantee’s fiscal year. A. Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/ water. The RUS Web site maintains upto-date resources and contact information for the HWWS Grant Program. B. Phone: 202–720–9589. C. Fax: 202–690–0649. D. E-mail: lorrie.davis@wdc.usda.gov. E. Main point of contact: Lorrie Davis, Community Programs Specialist, Water and Environmental Programs, Water Programs Division, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture. VerDate Nov<24>2008 Dated: March 8, 2010. Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. 15:23 Mar 25, 2010 Jkt 220001 ACTION: SUMMARY: As required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announces a public meeting of the newly established Dairy Industry Advisory Committee (Dairy Committee) to review the current state of the dairy industry, discuss current dairy programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal dairy policy, hear proposals from the dairy industry, and hear public comments. The Dairy Committee is responsible for advising the Secretary on these issues. DATES: Public meeting: April 13 through April 15, 2010. Registration: To attend the meeting, register by April 6, 2010. Comments: We will consider comments that we receive by April 15, 2010. ADDRESSES: We invite you to participate in the meeting and to submit comments. The public meeting location is: The USDA headquarters, in the Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 104–A, 12th Street SW. and Jefferson Drive, Washington, DC 20250. The meeting is open to the public. Instructions regarding registering for and attending the meeting are in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Online: Go to https:// www.fsa.usda.gov/DIAC. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments, • E-mail: DIAC@wdc.usda.gov, or • Orally at the meeting; please also provide a written copy of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Solomon Whitfield, Designated Federal Official; phone: (202) 720–9886; e-mail: solomon.whitfield@wdc.usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In August 2009, USDA established the Dairy Committee. The Dairy Committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability. The Dairy Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry’s needs. The Dairy Committee will hold its first meeting April 13 through April 15, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The purpose of the meeting is to: • Discuss the current state of the dairy industry, • Review current USDA programs and Federal dairy policy, • Hear proposals from dairy industry groups, and • Allow comments from the public. The meeting is open to the public. The dairy industry and public are invited to provide comments at either the meeting on April 15, 2010, or through any of the addresses listed above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Instructions for Attending the Meeting Space for attendance at the meeting is limited. Due to USDA headquarters security and space requirements, all persons wishing to attend the meeting must send an e-mail to DIAC@wdc.usda.gov by April 6, 2010, to register the names of those planning to attend. Registrations will be accepted until maximum room capacity is reached. Upon arrival at the USDA Whitten Building, registered persons must provide a valid photo ID in order to enter. Additional information about the public meeting, including directions and how to provide comments is available at the Dairy Committee Web site: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/DIAC. Meeting agenda, materials, and minutes will be made available on the Web site for meetings, as available. The Secretary of Agriculture selected a diverse group of members representing a broad spectrum of persons interested in providing suggestions and ideas on how USDA can tailor its programs to meet the dairy industry’s needs. Equal opportunity practices were considered in all appointments to the Dairy Committee in accordance with USDA policies. The Secretary announced the members on January 6, 2010. Representatives include: producers and producer organizations, processors and processor organizations, consumers, academia, retailers, and a State representative. If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please use the contact information above. E:\FR\FM\26MRN1.SGM 26MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 58 (Friday, March 26, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14559-14564]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-6685]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of 
Application Deadlines and Funding

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of funding availability and solicitation of 
applications.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability 
of $993,000 in grant funds to be competitively awarded for the 
Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program for fiscal year 2010. 
RUS will make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to 
establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to 
construct or repair household water wells for an existing home. The 
HWWS Grant Program regulations are contained in 7 CFR 1776.

DATES: The deadline for completed applications for a HWWS grant is May 
31, 2010. Applications in either paper or electronic format must be 
postmarked or time-stamped electronically on or before the deadline. 
Late applications will be ineligible for grant consideration.

ADDRESSES: Submit electronic grant applications through https://www.grants.gov (Grants.gov), following the instructions on that Web 
site. Submit completed paper applications to the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Mail Stop 1570, Room 
2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1570. 
Applications should be marked ``Attention: Water and Environmental 
Programs.''
    Application guides and materials for the HWWS Grant Program may be 
obtained electronically through https://www.usda.gov/rus/water/well.htm. 
Call (202) 720-9589 to request paper copies of application guides and 
materials from the Water and Environmental Programs staff.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lorrie Davis, Community Programs 
Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, RUS Programs, Water and 
Environmental Programs, telephone: (202) 720-9631, fax: (202) 690-0649, 
e-mail: Lorrie.davis@wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service.
    Funding Opportunity Title: HWWS Grant Program.
    Announcement Type: Grant--Initial.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.862.
    Due Date for Applications: May 31, 2010.

Items in Supplementary Information

I. Funding Opportunity: Description of the HWWS Grant Program.
II. Award Information: Available funds.
III. Eligibility Information: Who is eligible, what kinds of 
projects are eligible, what criteria determine basic eligibility.
IV. Application and Submission Information: Where to get application 
materials, what constitutes a completed application, how and where 
to submit applications, deadlines, items that are eligible.
V. Application Review Information: Considerations and preferences, 
scoring criteria, review standards, selection information.
VI. Award Administration Information: Award notice information, 
award recipient reporting requirements.
VII. Agency Contacts: Web, phone, fax, e-mail, contact name.

I. Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

    The HWWS Grant Program has been established to help individuals 
with low to moderate incomes finance the costs of household water wells 
that they own or will own. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under 
Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 
(CONACT), 7 U.S.C. 1926e. The CONACT authorizes the RUS to make grants 
to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending 
programs for household water wells.
    As the grant recipients, private non-profit organizations will 
receive HWWS grants to establish lending programs that will provide 
water well loans to individuals. The individuals, as loan recipients, 
may use the loans to construct, refurbish, and service their household 
well systems. A loan may not exceed $11,000 and will have a term up to 
20 years at a one percent annual interest rate.

B. Background

    The RUS supports the sound development of rural communities and the 
growth of our economy without endangering the environment. The RUS 
provides financial and technical assistance to help communities bring 
safe drinking water and sanitary, environmentally sound waste disposal 
facilities to rural Americans in greatest need.
    Central water systems may not be the only or best solution to 
drinking water problems. Distance or physical barriers make public 
central water systems expensive in remote areas. A significant

[[Page 14560]]

number of geographically isolated households without water service 
might require individual wells rather than connections to new or 
existing community systems. The goal of the RUS is not only to make 
funds available to those communities most in need of potable water but 
also to ensure that facilities used to deliver drinking water are safe 
and affordable. There is a role for private wells in reaching this 
goal.

C. Purpose

    The purpose of the HWWS Grant Program is to provide funds to 
private non-profit organizations to assist them in establishing loan 
programs from which individuals may borrow money for HWWS. Faith-based 
organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply for this program. 
Applicants must show that the project will provide technical and 
financial assistance to eligible individuals to remedy household well 
problems.
    Due to the limited amount of funds available under the HWWS Grant 
Program, five applications may be funded from FY 2010 funds. Previously 
funded grant recipients must apply for a different target area to be 
considered for funding under this announcement.

II. Award Information

    Funding Instrument Type: Grant.
    Anticipated Total Priority Area Funding: Undetermined at this time.
    Anticipated Number of Awards: 5.
    Length of Project Periods: 12-month project.
    Assistance Instrument: Grant Agreement with successful applicants 
before any grant funds are disbursed.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Who Is Eligible for Grants?

    1. An organization is eligible to receive a HWWS grant if it:
    a. Is a private, non-profit organization;
    b. Is legally established and located within one of the following:
    (1) A state within the United States
    (2) The District of Columbia
    (3) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
    (4) A United States territory
    c. Has the legal capacity and authority to carry out the grant 
purpose;
    d. Has sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities;
    e. Has sufficient expertise and experience in promoting the safe 
and productive use of individually-owned HWWS and ground water;
    f. Has no delinquent debt to the Federal Government or no 
outstanding judgments to repay a Federal debt;
    g. Demonstrates that it possesses the financial, technical, and 
managerial capability to comply with Federal and State laws and 
requirements.
    2. An individual is ineligible to receive a Household Water Well 
grant. An individual may receive only a loan.

B. What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project?

    1. Project Eligibility. To be eligible for a grant, the project 
must:
    a. Be a revolving loan fund created to provide loans to eligible 
individuals to construct, refurbish, and service individually-owned 
HWWS (see 7 CFR 1776.11 and 1776.12). Loans may not be provided for 
home sewer or septic system projects.
    b. Be established and maintained by a private, non-profit 
organization.
    c. Be located in a rural area. Rural area is defined as locations 
other than cities or towns of more than 50,000 people and the 
contiguous and adjacent urbanized area of such towns and cities.
    2. Required Matching Contributions. Grant applicants must provide 
written evidence of a matching contribution of at least 10 percent from 
sources other than the proceeds of a HWWS grant. In-kind contributions 
will not be considered for the matching requirement. Please see 7 CFR 
1776.9 for the requirement.
    3. Other--Requirements
    a. DUNS Number. An organization must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data 
Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. A DUNS number will be 
required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or an 
electronic application through https://www.grants.gov. To verify that 
your organization has a DUNS number or to receive one at no cost, call 
the dedicated toll-free request line at 1-866-705-5711 or request one 
on-line at https://www.dnb.com.
    b. Eligibility for Loans. Individuals are not eligible for grants 
but are eligible for loans. To be eligible for a loan, an individual 
must:
    (1) Be a member of a household of which the combined household 
income of all members does not exceed 100 percent of the median non-
metropolitan household income for the State or territory in which the 
individual resides. Household income is the total income from all 
sources received by each adult household member for the most recent 12-
month period for which the information is available. It does not 
include income earned or received by dependent children under 18 years 
old or other benefits that are excluded by Federal law. The non-
metropolitan household income must be based on the most recent 
decennial census of the United States.
    RUS publishes a list of income exclusions in 7 CFR 3550.54(b). 
Also, the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a list 
of income exclusions in the Federal Register. See ``Federally Mandated 
Exclusions'' Notice 66 FR 4669, April 20, 2001, pages 20318-20320.
    (2) Own and occupy the home being improved with the proceeds of the 
Household Water Well loan or be purchasing the home to occupy under a 
legally enforceable land purchase contract which is not in default by 
either the seller or the purchaser.
    (3) Own the home in a rural area.
    (4) Not use the loan for a water well system associated with the 
construction of a new dwelling.
    (5) Not use the loan to substitute a well for water service 
available from collective water systems. (For example, a loan may not 
be used to restore an old well abandoned when a dwelling was connected 
to a water district's water line.)
    (6) Not be suspended or debarred from participation in Federal 
programs.

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Where To Get Application Information

    The Household Water Well System Grant Application Guide 
(Application Guide), copies of necessary forms and samples, and the 
HWWS Grant Program regulation are available from these sources:
    1. On-line for electronic copies: https://www.grants.gov or https://www.usda.gov/rus/water/well.htm, and
    2. RUS for paper copies: RUS, Water Programs Division, Room 2234 
South, Stop 1570, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-
1570, Telephone: (202) 720-9589, Fax: (202) 690-0649.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

1. Rules and Guidelines
    a. Detailed information on each item required can be found in the 
HWWS Grant Program regulation (7 CFR 1776) and the Application Guide. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to read and apply both the 
regulation and the application guide. This Notice does not change the 
requirements for a completed application for any form of HWWS financial 
assistance specified in the regulation. The regulation and application 
guide provide specific guidance on each of the items listed.
    b. Applications should be prepared in conformance with the 
provisions in 7

[[Page 14561]]

CFR 1776, subpart B, and applicable regulations including 7 CFR parts 
3015 and 3019. Applicants should use the application guide which 
contains instructions and other important information in preparing 
their application. Completed applications must include the items found 
in the checklist in the next paragraph.
2. Checklist of Items in Completed Application Packages
    The forms in items a. through f. must be completed and signed where 
appropriate by an official of your organization who has authority to 
obligate the organization legally. The forms may be found on-line at 
the RUS Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/water/wwforms.htm. See 
section V, ``Application Review Information,'' for instructions and 
guidelines on preparing Items g. through m.
Application Items
a. SF-424, ``Application for Federal Assistance''
b. SF-424A, ``Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs''
c. SF-424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs''
d. SF-LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying Activity''
e. Form RD 400-1, ``Equal Opportunity Agreement''
f. Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights 
Act of 1964)
g. Project Proposal, Project Summary, Needs Assessment, Project Goals 
and Objectives, Project Narrative
h. Work Plan
i. Budget and Budget Justification
j. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence
k. Documentation of private non-profit status and Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) Tax Exempt Status
l. List of Directors and Officers
m. Financial information and sustainability (narrative)
n. Assurances and Certifications of Compliance with Other Federal 
Statutes
3. Compliance with Other Federal Statutes
    The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other 
Federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to the 
following:
    a. 7 CFR part 15, subpart A--Nondiscrimination in Federally 
Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture--Effectuation of 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    b. 7 CFR part 3015--Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations
    c. 7 CFR part 3017--Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-
procurement)
    d. 7 CFR part 3018--New Restrictions on Lobbying
    e. 7 CFR part 3019--Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants 
and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, 
and Non-profit Organizations
    f. 7 CFR part 3021--Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Financial Assistance)
    g. Executive Order 13166, ``Improving Access to Services for 
Persons with Limited English Proficiency. ''For information on limited 
English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to https://www.LEP.gov
    h. Federal Obligation Certification on Delinquent Debt

C. How Many Copies of an Application Are Required?

    1. Applications Submitted on Paper. Submit one signed original and 
two additional copies. The original and each of the two copies must 
include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, 
be signed by an authorized representative, and have original 
signatures. Do not include organizational brochures or promotional 
materials.
    2. Applications Submitted Electronically. The additional paper 
copies are unnecessary if the application is submitted electronically 
through https://www.grants.gov.

D. How and Where To Submit an Application

1. Submitting Paper Applications
    a. For paper applications mail or ensure delivery of an original 
paper application (no stamped, photocopied, or initialed signatures) 
and two copies by the deadline date to: RUS, Water Programs Division, 
Room 2234 South, Stop 1570, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, 
DC 20250-1570.
    b. Applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by one of 
the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark;
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
USPS; or
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    c. If a deadline date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to 
the following Monday. If the date falls on a Federal holiday, it will 
be extended to the next business day.
    d. Due to screening procedures at the Department of Agriculture, 
packages arriving via the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the 
contents. RUS encourages applicants to consider the impact of this 
procedure in selecting an application delivery method.
2. Submitting Electronic Applications
    a. Applications will not be accepted via facsimile machine 
transmission or electronic mail.
    b. Electronic applications for grants will be accepted if submitted 
through Grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov.
    c. Applicants who apply through Grants.gov should submit their 
applications before the deadline.
    d. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, 
credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at Grants.gov for 
registering and submitting an electronic application. RUS may request 
original signatures on electronically submitted documents later.
    e. To use Grants.gov:
    (1) Follow the instructions on the Web site to find grant 
information.
    (2) Download a copy of an application package.
    (3) Complete the package off-line.
    (4) Upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov Web site.
    f. You must be registered with Grants.gov before you can submit a 
grant application.
    (1) You will need a DUNS number to access or register at any of the 
services. In addition to the DUNS number required of all grant 
applicants, your organization must be listed in the Central Contractor 
Registry (CCR). If you have not used Grants.gov before, you will need 
to register with the CCR and the Credential Provider. Setting up a CCR 
listing (a one-time procedure with annual updates) takes up to five 
business days. RUS recommends that you obtain your organization's DUNS 
number and CCR listing well in advance of the deadline specified in 
this notice.
    (2) The CCR registers your organization, housing your 
organizational information and allowing Grants.gov to use it to verify 
your identity. You may register for the CCR by calling the CCR 
Assistance Center at 1-888-227-2423 or you may register online at 
https://www.ccr.gov.
    (3) The Credential Provider gives you or your representative a 
username and password, as part of the Federal Government's e-
Authentication to ensure a secure transaction. You will need the 
username and password when you register with Grants.gov or use 
Grants.gov to submit your application. You must register with the 
Central Provider through Grants.gov at https://apply.grants.gov/OrcRegister.

[[Page 14562]]

    (4) If a system problem or technical difficulty occurs with an 
electronic application, please use the customer support resources 
available at the Grants.gov Web site.

E. Deadlines

    The deadline for paper and electronic submissions is May 31, 2010. 
Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than the closing date to be considered for FY 2010 
grant funding. Electronic applications must have an electronic date and 
time stamp by midnight of May 31, 2010, to be considered on time. RUS 
will not accept applications by fax or e-mail. Applications that do not 
meet the criteria above are considered late applications and will not 
be considered. RUS will notify each late applicant that its application 
will not be considered.

F. Funding Restrictions

1. Eligible Grant Purposes
    a. Grant funds must be used to establish and maintain a revolving 
loan fund to provide loans to eligible individuals for household water 
well systems.
    b. Individuals may use the loans to construct, refurbish, 
rehabilitate, or replace household water well systems up to the point 
of entry of a home. Point of entry for the well system is the junction 
where water enters into a home water delivery system after being pumped 
from a well.
    c. Grant funds may be used to pay administrative expenses 
associated with providing Household Water Well loans.
2. Ineligible Grant Purposes
    a. Administrative expenses incurred in any calendar year that 
exceeds 10 percent of the household water well loans made during the 
same period do not qualify for reimbursement.
    b. Administrative expenses incurred before RUS executes a grant 
agreement with the recipient do not qualify for reimbursement.
    c. Delinquent debt owed to the Federal Government does not qualify 
for reimbursement.
    d. Grant funds may not be used to provide loans for household sewer 
or septic systems.
    e. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of 
water well systems for the construction of a new house.
    f. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of a 
home plumbing system.

V. Application Review Information

A. Criteria

    This section contains instructions and guidelines on preparing the 
project proposal, work plan, and budget sections of the application. 
Also, guidelines are provided on the additional information required 
for RUS to determine eligibility and financial feasibility.
    1. Project Proposal. The project proposal should outline the 
project in sufficient detail to provide a reader with a complete 
understanding of the loan program. Explain what will be accomplished by 
lending funds to individual well owners. Demonstrate the feasibility of 
the proposed loan program in meeting the objectives of this grant 
program. The proposal should include the following elements:
    a. Project Summary. Present a brief project overview. Explain the 
purpose of the project, how it relates to RUS' purposes, how the 
project will be executed, what the project will produce, and who will 
direct it.
    b. Needs Assessment. To show why the project is necessary, clearly 
identify the economic, social, financial, or other problems that 
require solutions. Demonstrate the well owners' need for financial and 
technical assistance. Quantify the number of prospective borrowers or 
provide statistical or narrative evidence that a sufficient number of 
borrowers will exist to justify the grant award. Describe the service 
area. Provide information on the household income of the area and other 
demographical information. Address community needs.
    c. Project Goals and Objectives. Clearly state the project goals. 
The objectives should clearly describe the goals and be concrete and 
specific enough to be quantitative or observable. They should also be 
feasible and relate to the purpose of the grant and loan program.
    d. Project Narrative. The narrative should cover in more detail the 
items briefly described in the Project Summary. Demonstrate the grant 
applicant's experience and expertise in promoting the safe and 
productive use of individually-owned household water well systems. The 
narrative should address the following points:
    (1) Document the grant applicant's ability to manage and service a 
revolving fund. The narrative may describe the systems that are in 
place for the full life cycle of a loan from loan origination through 
servicing. If a servicing contractor will service the loan portfolio, 
the arrangement and services provided must be discussed.
    (2) Show evidence that the organization can commit financial 
resources the organization controls. This documentation should describe 
the sources of funds other than the HWWS grant that will be used to pay 
your operational costs and provide financial assistance for projects.
    (3) Demonstrate that the organization has secured commitments of 
significant financial support from other funding sources, if 
appropriate.
    (4) List the fees and charges that borrowers will be assessed.
    2. Work Plan. The work plan or scope of work must describe the 
tasks and activities that will be accomplished with available resources 
during the grant period. It must include who will carry out the 
activities and services to be performed and specific timeframes for 
completion. Describe any unusual or unique features of the project such 
as innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary community 
involvement.
    3. Budget and Budget Justification. Both Federal and non-Federal 
resources shall be detailed and justified in the budget and narrative 
justification. ``Federal resources'' refers only to the HWWS Grant 
Program for which you are applying. ``Non Federal resources'' are all 
other Federal and non-Federal resources.
    a. Provide a budget with line item detail and detailed calculations 
for each budget object class identified in section B of the Budget 
Information form (SF-424A). Detailed calculations must include 
estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar 
quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. 
Also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 
of the SF-424.
    b. Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the 
categorical costs are derived for all capital and administrative 
expenditures, the matching contribution, and other sources of funds 
necessary to complete the project. Discuss the necessity, 
reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs. Consult OMB 
Circular A-122: ``Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations'' for 
information about appropriate costs for each budget category.
    c. If the grant applicant will use a servicing contractor, the fees 
may be reimbursed as an administrative expense as provided in 7 CFR 
1776.13. These fees must be discussed in the budget narrative. If the 
grant applicant will hire a servicing contractor, it must demonstrate 
that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to 
provide, to the maximum

[[Page 14563]]

extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients must justify 
any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded 
without competition and exceed the simplified acquisition threshold 
fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11) (currently set at $100,000).
    d. The indirect cost category should be used only when the grant 
applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the 
Department of Agriculture or another cognizant Federal agency. A grant 
applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a 
copy of the current rate agreement. If the grant applicant is in the 
process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, the grant 
applicant shall submit its indirect cost proposal to the cognizant 
agency immediately after the applicant is advised that an award will be 
made. In no event, shall the indirect cost proposal be submitted later 
than three months after the effective date of the award. Consult OMB 
Circular A-122 for information about indirect costs.
    4. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence. The applicant must 
provide satisfactory documentation that it is legally recognized under 
state and Federal law as a private non-profit organization. The 
documentation also must show that it has the authority to enter into a 
grant agreement with the RUS and to perform the activities proposed 
under the grant application. Satisfactory documentation includes, but 
is not limited to, certificates from the Secretary of State, copies of 
state statutes or laws establishing your organization, and copies of 
your organization's articles of incorporation and bylaws. Letters from 
IRS awarding tax-exempt status are not considered adequate evidence.
    5. List of Directors and Officers. The applicant must submit a 
certified list of directors and officers with their respective terms.
    6. IRS Tax Exempt Status. The applicant must submit evidence of tax 
exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.
    7. Financial Information and Sustainability. The applicant must 
submit pro forma balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow 
statements for the last three years and projections for three years. 
Additionally, the most recent audit of the applicant's organization 
must be submitted.

B. Evaluation Criteria

    Grant applications that are complete and eligible will be scored 
competitively based on the following scoring criteria:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Scoring criteria                          Points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Degree of expertise and experience in  Up to 30 points.
 promoting the safe and productive
 use of individually-owned household
 water well systems and ground water.
Degree of expertise and successful     Up to 20 points.
 experience in making and servicing
 loans to individuals.
Percentage of applicant
 contributions. Points allowed under
 this paragraph will be based on
 written evidence of the availability
 of funds from sources other than the
 proceeds of a HWWS grant to pay part
 of the cost of a loan recipient's
 project. In-kind contributions will
 not be considered. Funds from other
 sources as a percentage of the HWWS
 grant and points corresponding to
 such percentages are as follows:
    0 to 9 percent...................  Ineligible.
    10 to 25 percent.................  5 points.
    26 to 30 percent.................  10 points.
    31 to 50 percent.................  15 points.
    51 percent or more...............  20 points.
Extent to which the work plan          Up to 20 points.
 demonstrates a well thought out,
 comprehensive approach to
 accomplishing the objectives of this
 part, clearly defines who will be
 served by the project, and appears
 likely to be sustainable.
Extent to which the goals and          Up to 10 points.
 objectives are clearly defined, tied
 to the work plan, and measurable.
Lowest ratio of projected              Up to 10 points.
 administrative expenses to loans
 advanced.
Administrator's discretion,
 considering such factors as:
    Creative outreach ideas for        Up to 10 points.
     marketing HWWS loans to rural
     residents;
    The amount of needs demonstrated
     in the work plan;
    Previous experiences
     demonstrating excellent
     utilization of a revolving loan
     fund grant; and
    Optimizing the use of agency
     resources.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Review Standards

    1. Incomplete applications as of the deadline for submission will 
not be considered. If an application is determined to be incomplete, 
the applicant will be notified in writing and the application will be 
returned with no further action.
    2. Ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant with 
an explanation.
    3. Complete, eligible applications will be evaluated competitively 
by a review team, composed of at least two RUS employees selected from 
the Water Programs Division. They will make overall recommendations 
based on the program elements found in 7 CFR part 1776 and the review 
criteria presented in this notice. They will award points as described 
in the scoring criteria in 7 CFR 1776.9 and this notice. Each 
application will receive a score based on the averages of the 
reviewers' scores and discretionary points awarded by the RUS 
Administrator.
    4. Applications will be ranked and grants awarded in rank order 
until all grant funds are expended.
    5. Regardless of the score an application receives, if RUS 
determines that the project is technically infeasible, RUS will notify 
the applicant, in writing, and the application will be returned with no 
further action.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

    RUS will notify a successful applicant by an award letter 
accompanied by a grant agreement. The grant agreement will contain the 
terms and conditions for the grant. The applicant must execute and 
return the grant agreement, accompanied by any additional items 
required by the award letter or grant agreement.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    1. This notice, the 7 CFR part 1776, and the application guide 
implement the appropriate administrative and national policy 
requirements. Grant recipients are subject to the requirements in 7 CFR 
part 1776.
    2. Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under the 
HWWS Grant Program shall not be used to fund inherently religious 
activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. 
Therefore, organizations that receive direct assistance should

[[Page 14564]]

take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious 
activities from the services funded under the HWWS Grant Program. 
Regulations for the Equal Treatment for Faith-based Organizations are 
contained in 7 CFR part 16, which includes the prohibition against 
Federal funding of inherently religious activities. The regulation may 
be accessed at the Web site at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/fbnp/usdafbci070904.html.

C. Reporting

    1. Performance Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program 
financial assistance must provide quarterly performance activity 
reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are 
expended. A final performance report is also required. The final report 
may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an 
evaluation of the success of the project.
    2. Financial Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program 
financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the 
first year a portion of the financial assistance is expended. The 
grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements as 
follows:
    a. Grantees expending $500,000 or more Federal funds per fiscal 
year will submit an audit conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A-
133. The audit will be submitted within 9 months after the grantee's 
fiscal year. Additional audits may be required if the project period 
covers more than one fiscal year.
    b. Grantees expending less than $500,000 will provide annual 
financial statements covering the grant period, consisting of the 
organization's statement of income and expense and balance sheet signed 
by an appropriate official of the organization. Financial statements 
will be submitted within 90 days after the grantee's fiscal year.

VII. Agency Contacts

    A. Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/water. The RUS Web site 
maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for the HWWS 
Grant Program.
    B. Phone: 202-720-9589.
    C. Fax: 202-690-0649.
    D. E-mail: lorrie.davis@wdc.usda.gov.
    E. Main point of contact: Lorrie Davis, Community Programs 
Specialist, Water and Environmental Programs, Water Programs Division, 
RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Dated: March 8, 2010.
Jonathan Adelstein,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-6685 Filed 3-25-10; 8:45 am]
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