Competitive Grant: Frequently Asked Questions
Source Water Protection
Who is eligible to receive this type of grant?
All community and nontransient noncommunity public water suppliers
Where does the grant funding come from?
Are grants tax exempt?
Yes. Grants from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds are not taxable. Grants fall under the "aid” and “assistance” category.
What activities are eligible for a grant?
- Activities in a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) approved/endorsed source water protection plan
- Activities inside the geographic extent of the source water protection area
Who can help me fill out a grant application and decide what to apply for?
The MDH planner assigned to your area of the state can help you put together an application. See Source Water Protection Planner and Hydrologist Areas map for contact information.
Can I use the grant funds for activities that took place in the past?
No. You can only use grant money for activities that take place after MDH approves the grant. The grant agreement must have all required signatures.
Can I use grant funds to pay for staff salary?
Yes. You can use grant funds for staff salary if your plan references the activity.
Is there a time limit for spending grant money?
Yes. You must spend the money within the terms of the grant agreement. Example: Grant award money from November 2017 must be spent by April 30, 2019.
How do I fill out the application?
In section called “work item,” describe the activity that you wish to complete. The activity must pertain to a management strategy in the source water protection plan. For each activity that you are planning, use a separate box on the application form to describe it. Be sure to include the estimated cost of performing the activity.
What does a good budget look like?
A good budget:
- Contains enough detail for the reviewers to understand how you will spend the money
- Specifies a line item for each project task in the application
- Is consistent with attached cost estimates
Does MDH require two bids or two quotes with the grant application?
No. You are not required to submit two bids or quotes with your grant application.
Do I need to sign the application form?
Yes. Make sure you sign the application. MDH does not score unsigned applications.
What does MDH consider a complete application?
A complete application includes six components:
- All fields on application filled out
- Required documents under 1e, 2e, etc. on the application
- Attached pages from source water protection plan referencing specific activities
- A detailed budget for each work item
- Separate signed statement to support cost share
- Your signature
Will MDH review incomplete applications?
No. MDH will not review incomplete applications.
Can I submit an application before I see an official announcement from the grant program?
No. MDH only accepts grant applications during the period specified in schedule on the Source Water Protection Grants homepage.
What happens if an application gets lost in the mail or online?
MDH is not responsible for grant applications that get lost. If we do not receive your application, you will have to apply again.
Can I submit more than one application for the same category of grant at a time?
No. MDH will score only the first grant application received.
Can I apply for more than one of the same category of grant?
Yes. You can apply another grant within the same category once you receive final payment from MDH for the existing grant.
If I receive a competitive grant, can I also apply for a plan implementation grant at the same time?
Yes. You can get a competitive and implementation grant for two distinct projects or phases of a single project. You cannot use the plan implementation grant as a cost-share for competitive grants.
If I realize that I miscalculated the budget after I am awarded the grant, can I ask for more money?
No. Once you get a grant you cannot change the amount or the work items. You may have other options. You can refuse the grant and apply again with the correct amount in the next cycle. You can use your own funds to make up the difference.
Am I allowed to reallocate funds between budget lines?
You can reallocate up to 10% of the amount awarded for a category to another approved category. If it is under 10%, you do not need to get approval from MDH. If it is over 10%, you must submit a written or email request to MDH for approval.
Can I use the grant funds to pay for preparing and/or mailing the consumer confidence report?
No. You can use the grant funds to add source water protection materials to the consumer confidence report.
Can I use the grant funds to pay fees for well sealing or well construction?
No. MDH will not reimburse you for inspection or permitting fees.
How do I include a signed statement or acknowledgment that proves availability of funds?
You can do one of the following:
- Provide a statement that 1) confirms that you have the financial resources needed to provide the cash match for all of the activities in the grant application and 2) is signed and dated by the person who has authority to administer the grant.
- Add the statement and signature/date by adding another page to the electronic grant application form and submitting it with the grant application.
Can I use funding that I obtained from another grant to meet the cost share requirement for this grant?
Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF), another state grant, or another Clean Water Fund grant cannot be used for the cost share.
What are the contractual requirements for being a grantee of MDH?
See example grant agreements at Grants Management Policies, Statutes and Forms
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