SWP Noncommunity Transient Grant: Frequently Asked Questions - EH: Minnesota Department of Health FAQ

Transient Grant: Frequently Asked Questions
Source Water Protection

Q: Who is eligible to receive a SWP grant for transient systems?
A: All transient non community public water suppliers.

Q: Where does the funding come from for these grants?
A: The Minnesota Department of Health has received money from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Fund to pay for the Source Water Protection Grant Program.

Q: What activities are eligible?
A: Activities must focus on managing or eliminating one or more potential sources of contamination. They could either be described in a sanitary survey, or recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health through correspondence with the public water supplier. Make sure you give all the necessary details on the application form - section 1e, and attach copies of relevant documents.

Q: Is there a time limit for spending grant money?
A: Yes, the money that is awarded during the current state fiscal year must be spent within the state biennium in which the funding was budgeted.

Q: Can I use funding that I obtained from another grant to meet the cost share requirement for a grant for transient systems?
A: It depends on where the funds are coming from, so it is best to check with MDH before you complete the cost share section on your application.

Q: Can a public water supplier submit more that one application for the same type of grant at a time?
A: The MDH will only score the first grant application that it receives.

Q: Can a public water supplier apply for more than one of the same type of grant?
A: Once a public water supplier has received final payment from the MDH for an existing grant, it is eligible to apply the same type of grant.

Q: Who can help me determine which activities to propose for funding?
A: The MDH sanitarian who is assigned to you will advise you as you prepare your application by helping you prioritize the items that would be appropriate to submit the grant application for. To find out who the sanitarian in your area is, please see the Noncommunity Public Water Supply Unit Field Staff and Territories map (PDF).

Q: How do I fill out the application?
A: In section called “work item”, describe the activity that you wish to implement. Make sure the activity is acknowledged through correspondence from MDH. For each activity that you are planning be sure to include the estimated cost of performing the activity and the corresponding cost share.

Q: Do I need to sign the application form?
A: Yes, make sure you sign the application. Unsigned forms are not accepted.

Q: Can I send my application now, before I see an official announcement about the grant program?
A: No, the Minnesota Department of Health will only accept grant applications during the time period over which the notification for grant availability is posted.  The Minnesota Department of Health will notify you when a grant application period is open.

Q: Do I need to attach any documents to my application?
A: Yes, you must attach all the documents that describe the recommended corrective action; e.g. sanitary survey, correspondence with MDH, letter of recommendation from the sanitarian or from the county, any documents that acknowledge the problem for which you are requesting funding. Only work items identified in such correspondence are eligible for funding.

Q: What happens if I don’t send attachments with my grant application?
A: Attachments are required; you will be disqualified if we receive the application without the supporting documents described above.

Q: Can I use the grant funds for activities that took place in the past?
A: No, the grant money can be used only for activities that will take place after all the required signatures on the grant agreement have been obtained.

Q: Can I be reimbursed for work that has been done in the past but the invoices haven’t been paid yet?
A: No, the grant announcement states clearly that no work shall begin under the grant contract until all signatures are obtained.

Q: Can I be reimbursed for the fee to connect to rural water?
A: Yes, you can include this fee in your budget, on the grant application.

Q: What happens if an application is lost in the mail or electronically?
A: MDH is not responsible for grant applications that get lost in the mail or which are not received via the internet. If we do not receive your application, you will have to reapply.

Q: If after I am awarded the grant I realize that I miscalculated the budget and I need more money to complete the work items, can I ask for additional money?
A: No, once the grant is awarded you can not change the grant amount or the work items that have been approved. You may have other options, like: refusing the grant and reapplying with the correct amount when a new notification is posted; contributing the difference from your own funds as cost share.

Q: If I am awarded a partial grant (one or more work items were rejected), can I ask for more money for the work items that were approved, up to the initial grant total?
A: No. If a work item is rejected you will receive funds to implement the remaining work item(s), up to the dollar amount that you have submitted with your application.

Q: Are grants awarded from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Fund tax exempt?
A: These grants fall under the “aid” and “assistance” category, therefore they are not taxable.

Q: Am I allowed to reallocate funds between budget lines?
A: If necessitated by the nature of the project, a grantee is allowed to reallocate up to 10% of the amount originally awarded for a given expense category to another approved category without obtaining permission from the MDH. Should the grantee find it necessary to re-budget the grant beyond the 10% reallocation allowance, a written or e-mail request must be submitted to the MDH for approval.

Q: Can a SWP grant be used to relocate a potential contaminant versus relocating the well?
A: A grant could be awarded to relocate a potential source of contamination, but you will need to provide compelling evidence that the contaminant source has an identified pathway to impact the water supply well. 

Q: Can I use the grant funds to pay fees for well sealing or well construction?
A: No, inspection or permitting fees will not be reimbursed.

Q:  Can I use grant funds to improve security around the well – e.g. fencing?
A:  You can use grant funds for fencing the well area. However, the State will reimburse you for maximum 400 ft of fence (approx. a 50 ft. radius around the well).

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Updated Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 03:01PM