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Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1776 → Subpart B


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1776—RURAL DECENTRALIZED WATER SYSTEMS


Subpart B—DWS Grants


Contents
§1776.5   Eligibility to receive a DWS grant.
§1776.6   Funding availability.
§1776.7   DWS Grant application process.
§1776.8   Methods for submitting applications.
§1776.9   Scoring applications.
§1776.10   Grant agreement.
§1776.11   Revolving loan fund.
§1776.12   Use of DWS Grant proceeds.
§1776.13   Administrative expenses.

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§1776.5   Eligibility to receive a DWS grant.

(a) The applicant must be a private organization.

(b) The applicant must be organized as a non-profit organization.

(c) The applicant must have legal capacity and lawful authority to perform the obligations of a grant recipient under this part. Example 1: If the organization is incorporated as a non-profit corporation, it must have corporate authority under state law and its corporate charter to engage in the practice of making loans to individuals. Example 2: if the organization is an unincorporated association, state law may prevent the organization from entering into binding contracts, such as a grant agreement.

(d) The applicant must have sufficient expertise and experience in lending and in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned decentralized water systems and ground water to assure the likelihood that the objectives of this part can be achieved.

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§1776.6   Funding availability.

A FOA will be posted to www.Grants.gov in fiscal years that funds are available for this program. The FOA will establish the period during which applications for such funds may be submitted for consideration.

[83 FR 45034, Sept. 5, 2018]

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§1776.7   DWS Grant application process.

(a) The applicant must complete and submit the following standard forms to RUS to apply for a DWS grant under this part:

(1) Application for Federal Assistance: Standard Form 424,

(2) Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs: Standard Form 424A, and

(3) Assurances—Non-Construction Programs: Standard Form 424B.

(b) The applicant must submit a written work plan that demonstrates the feasibility of the applicant's lending program to meet the objectives of this part.

(c) The applicant should submit a narrative establishing the basis for any claims that it has substantial expertise in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned decentralized water systems. The Secretary will give priority to an applicant that demonstrates it has substantial experience of this type.

(d) The applicant must submit:

(1) A pro forma balance sheet at start-up and projected balance sheets for at least three additional years,

(2) Financial statements for the last three years, or from inception of the operations of the grant recipient if less than three years, and

(3) Projected cash flow and earnings statements for at least three years, supported by a list of assumptions showing the basis for the projections. The projected earnings statement and balance sheets must include one set of projections specific to the revolving loan fund, and a separate set of projections that detail the proposed applicant organization's total operations.

(e) The applicant may submit such additional information as it elects to support and describe its plan for achieving the objectives of this part.

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§1776.8   Methods for submitting applications.

(a) Applications may be filed in either paper or electronic format. RUS will not accept applications by fax or e-mail.

(b) Paper applications for DWS grants may be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or courier delivery services. Applications submitted by mail or courier must be postmarked no later than the filing deadline to be considered for the grant period. Applications delivered by mail or courier must be addressed to the attention of the Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs as follows: ATTN: Assistant Administrator, WEP, Rural Utilities Service, Stop 1548 Room 5145 South, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1548.

(c) Electronic applications may be filed through Grants.gov, the official Federal Government Web site at http://www.grants.gov. The applicant must be registered with Grants.gov before they can submit a grant applicant. The applicant should refer to instructions found on the Grants.gov Web site for procedures for registering and using this facility. An applicant who is not registered on Grants.gov should allow a sufficient number of business days to complete the process. Applications submitted electronically must be show an electronic date and time stamp on or before the filing deadline to be considered for the grant period.

(d) The methods of submitting applications may be changed from time to reflect changes in addresses and electronic submission procedures. The applicant should refer to the most recent FOA for notice of any such changes. In the event of any discrepancy, the most recent FOA must be followed.

[70 FR 28788, May 19, 2005, as amended as 83 FR 45033, Sept. 5, 2018]

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§1776.9   Scoring applications.

(a) Applications that are incomplete or ineligible will be returned to the applicant, accompanied by a statement explaining why the application is being returned.

(b) Promptly after an application period closes, all applications that are complete and eligible will be ranked competitively based on the following scoring criteria:

(1) Degree of expertise and experience in promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned decentralized water systems and ground water. Up to 30 points

(2) Degree of expertise and successful experience in making and servicing loans to individuals. Up to 20 points

(3) 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 DWS 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 DWS grant and points corresponding to such percentages are as follows:

(i) 0 to 9 percent—ineligible;

(ii) 10 to 25 percent—5 points;

(iii) 26 to 30 percent—10 points;

(iv) 31 to 50 percent—15 points; and

(v) 51 percent or more—20 points

(4) 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. Up to 20 points

(5) Extent to which the goals and objectives are clearly defined, tied to the work plan, and measurable. Up to 10 points

(6) Lowest ratio of projected administrative expenses to loans advanced. 10 points

(7) Administrator's discretion, considering such factors as creative outreach ideas for marketing DWS loans to rural residents, the amount of funds requested in relation to 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. Up to 10 points

(c) All qualifying applications under this part will be scored based on the criteria contained in this section. Awards will be made based on the highest ranking applications and the amount of financial assistance available for DWS grants. All applicants will be notified in writing of the score each application receives.

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§1776.10   Grant agreement.

(a) RUS and the grantee will enter into an agreement setting forth the terms and conditions governing a particular DWS grant award. RUS will furnish the form of grant agreement. No funds awarded under this part shall be disbursed to the grant recipient before the grant agreement is binding and RUS has received a fully executed counterpart of the grant agreement.

(b) The grantee or RUS may initiate an amendment or modification to the grant agreement to provide for a loan limit up to $15,000. No change in the grant agreement requested by the grant recipient will be effective unless approved in writing by RUS.

[73 FR 68294, Nov. 18, 2008, as amended at 85 FR 23211, Apr. 27, 2020]

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§1776.11   Revolving loan fund.

The grant recipient shall establish and maintain a revolving loan fund for the purposes set forth in §1776.12. All loans made to loan recipients shall be drawn from the revolving loan fund. The loans shall be serviced, and the revolving loan fund shall be maintained, as set forth in §1776.17.

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§1776.12   Use of DWS Grant proceeds.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in the next paragraph. The DWS grant process shall be used solely for the purpose of providing loans to eligible individuals for the construction, refurbishing, and servicing of individual decentralized water systems in rural areas that are or will be owned by the eligible individuals.

(b) A grant recipient may use DWS grant funds to pay administrative expenses associated with providing the assistance described in the immediately preceding paragraph.

(c) A grant recipient may not use grant funds in any manner inconsistent with the terms of the grant agreement.

(d) In the event of ground well water contamination, the Secretary shall allow a loan or subgrant to be made with grant funds under this section for the installation of water treatment where needed beyond the point of entry, with or without the installation of a new water well system.

(e) Any entities responsible for fouling a drinking water supply are not eligible to be the recipients of an award for this program.

[70 FR 28788, May 19, 2005, as amended at 85 FR 23211, Apr. 27, 2020]

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§1776.13   Administrative expenses.

(a) Subject to the limitations provided in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section, the grant recipient may use grant funds to pay administrative expenses associated with providing DWS loans.

(b) Administrative expenses incurred in any calendar year which exceed 10 percent of the DWS loans made by the grant recipient during that same period do not qualify for reimbursement.

(c) Administrative expenses incurred prior to the execution of the grant agreement by RUS do not qualify for reimbursement.

(d) Allowability of administrative expense costs shall be determined in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400.

[70 FR 28788, May 19, 2005, as amended at 79 FR 76005, Dec. 19, 2014]

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