STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD MEETING
May 14, 1997
ITEM 11: ADOPTION OF THE SMALL COMMUNITY GRANT PROJECT PRIORITY LIST, AND AUTHORIZATION TO ISSUE PLANNING AND DESIGN GRANTS FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECTS
DISCUSSION: The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)adopted the Small Community Grant (SCG) Policy on January 23, 1997. A copy of the draft Small Community Grant Priority List of projects eligible for funding under the SCG Program was mailed to the public for comment on March 10, and March 24, 1997.
1. SMALL COMMUNITY GRANT PRIORITY LIST:
The list was discussed at the Workshop on April 2, 1997, and the SWRCB, because of concerns of adequate notification for recommendations made by the Division of Clean Water Programs (DCWP), directed that information be mailed to all communities in Tables 1 and 2 of the Project Priority List notifying them of the requirements for upgrading their projects. The notification of a second Workshop for April 30, 1997, was mailed on April 8, 1997, and is contained in Exhibit I.
The draft Priority List is based on input received from all of the Regional Water Quality Control Boards and is consistent with the adopted SCG Policy. The eligible project cost column indicates the estimated grant amount based on the sliding scale percentages, the 1996 MHI, and the estimated project cost.
Because the costs of projects being requested by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards far exceed the $30 million in available grant funding, the DCWP proposes that a line be drawn at the bottom of Priority Class B. Those projects above the line would be allowed to compete for funding. The cutoff level at about $75 million was selected based on the DCWP's experience that it takes about 2 1/2 times the dollar volume of projects to assure expenditure of the available funds in a reasonable period of time.
The proposed SCG Priority List is composed of two parts. The portion above the funding line (Classes A and B) will be eligible for assistance. Projects below the funding line (Class C) will not be eligible for assistance. Exhibit II is a copy of the proposed List.
It is proposed that communities with MHI's in excess of $31,999, that are in Priority Classes A and B on Tables 1 or 2, and are not a Census Designated Place, a city or a town, be allowed to conduct an income survey which could result in additional requests for placement on the Priority List. The DCWP, therefore proposes to bring an additional list of projects to the SWRCB for consideration in September 1997. Only projects where an income survey indicates a MHI of less than $32,000 will be considered for addition to the list. It is proposed that no new projects be added to the list presented at the April 2, 1997, Workshop. It is further proposed that no pollution study projects be placed on the fundable portion of the list because there are sufficient projects already on the list to use the available funds.
2. BLANKET AUTHORIZATION TO ISSUE PLANNING AND DESIGN GRANTS:
Because the expected number of planning and design grants is much greater than under the previous SCG Program, the Division is proposing that the SWRCB issue a blanket authorization to the Division to process planning and design grants on a first-come, first-served basis to communities on the fundable portion of the Priority List. This action is expected to save significant applicant and staff time as well as Workshop and Board meeting time.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB 1) adopt the Small Community Grant Project Priority List and 2) authorize the Division of Clean Water Programs to issue planning and design loans to eligible projects?
FISCAL IMPACT: The Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act allows up to 3 percent ($900,000) for program administration. This amount is estimated to be sufficient to administer a program with about $75 million in projects competing for the available funding.
RWQCB IMPACT: All of the communities on the draft Priority List represent actual or potential public health hazards, water quality problems, or permit violations. Funding of projects to correct these problems will help the Regional Water Quality Control Boards meet statewide water quality goals.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB adopt a resolution 1) approving the Small Community Grant Program Project Priority List, and 2) approving a blanket authorization to the Division of Clean Water Programs to issue planning and design grants to eligible small communities.
NOTE: SCG Priority List is not availabile electronically but can be obtained by calling Eric Torguson at (916) 227-4449
May 5, 1997 DRAFT
STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
RESOLUTION NO. 97-
ADOPTION OF THE SMALL COMMUNITY GRANT
PROGRAM PROJECT PRIORITY LIST AND BLANKET
AUTHORIZATION TO ISSUE PLANNING AND DESIGN GRANTS
1. The Division of Clean Water Programs (DCWP) has prepared a draft Small Community Grant (SCG) Program Project Priority List in conformance with the SCG Program Policy adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on January 23, 1997, which was discussed at Workshops on April 2, and April 30, 1997;
2. Because of the large number of applicants, a funding line needs to be drawn;
3. Some communities with Median Household Incomes (MHI) above $31,999, believe their MHIs to be in error, and that an income survey would result in a MHI below $32,000 making additional communities eligible to be added to the fundable portion of the Priority List;
4. A time limit to complete these income surveys needs to be set to finalize the Priority List within a reasonable time period;
5. Because of the large number of applicants, there is no need to develop additional projects for addition to the Priority List through pollution study grants;
6. Due to the large number of eligible communities, the necessity to take each planning and design grant to the SWRCB for approval is unnecessarily time consuming for both the SWRCB and the local communities;
7. Some regional wastewater treatment districts have applied for SCG funding on behalf of participating agencies where the participating agencies meet the definition of a small community; and
8. Decisions made in providing grant funds to eligible small communities may conflict with the desires of the SWRCB to promote regionalization.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The State Water Resources Control Board:
1. Adopts the SCG Program Project Priority List, with a funding line drawn at the bottom of Priority Class B;
2. Allows communities with MHIs above $31,999 in Priority Classes A and B, which are not a Census Designated Place, a city, or a town, to conduct an income survey;
3. Directs the DCWP to bring back to the SWRCB for consideration in September 1997, any Priority Class A and B projects that might be eligible for addition to the SCG Project Priority List as a result of an income survey;
4. Directs the Division to defer funding of pollution study grants;
5. Approves a blanket authorization allowing the DCWP to write and issue planning and design grants for eligible SCG projects;
6. Approves the issuance of separate grants to qualifying small communities with 5,000 people or less discharging to regional systems, with populations greater than 5,000 people, subject to the following limitations:
a. Individual grants shall be issued to each eligible small community not to exceed $3.5 million in total for the regional facility.
b. The grant assistance is only for costs the small community has direct financial responsibility (i.e. collection systems). Treatment costs that are the responsibility of the regional agency are not eligible.
c. The $3.5 million is distributed to the small communities based on their proportionate share of the total population of eligible small communities discharging to the regional facility.
d. The grant funding so determined does not exceed the amount determined by applying the straight line scale to the eligible project costs for each community.
7. Directs the DCWP to provide grant assistance to regional systems with total populations less than 5,000 people subject to the following:
a. One grant not to exceed $3.5 million will be issued.
b. The single grant amount is determined by applying the straight line sliding scale to the eligible project costs for the regional facility.
c. The MHI for the regional facility is determined by averaging the incomes for the service area of the entire regional system.
d. The benefits of the grant funds are distributed to the participating local agencies in accordance with the approved revenue program.
e. The agency constructing the regional wastewater treatment facilities must comply with all provisions of the SCG Policy.
8. Nothing in the administration of the SCG program is intended in anyway to affect the SWRCB's goal to promote regionalization of wastewater treatment facilities where economically feasible.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on May 14, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board