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e-CFR data is current as of April 8, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1783 → Subpart B

Title 7: Agriculture

Subpart B—Revolving Loan Program Grants

§1783.5   What are the eligibility criteria for grant recipients?
§1783.6   When will applications for grants be accepted?
§1783.7   What is the grant application process?
§1783.8   What are the acceptable methods for submitting applications?
§1783.9   What are the criteria for scoring applications?
§1783.10   What is the grant agreement?
§1783.11   What is the revolving loan fund?
§1783.12   What are eligible uses of grant proceeds?
§1783.13   What administrative expenses may be funded with grant proceeds?

§1783.5   What are the eligibility criteria for grant recipients?

(a) The applicant must be a private entity.

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

(c) The applicant must have the legal capacity and lawful authority to perform the obligations of a grantee under this part.

Example 1 to paragraph (c): 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 legal entities.

Example 2 to paragraph (c): 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 making and servicing loans to assure the likelihood that the objectives of this part can be achieved.

§1783.6   When will applications for grants be accepted?

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]

§1783.7   What is the grant application process?

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

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

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

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

(4) Evidence of applicant's legal existence and authority in the form of certified copies of organizational documents and a certified list of directors and officers with their respective terms;

(5) Evidence of tax exempt status, and

(6) Most recent annual audit conducted by an independent auditor.

(b) The applicant must submit a written work plan that demonstrates the ability of the applicant to make and service loans to eligible entities under this program and 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 making and servicing loans. The Secretary will give priority to an applicant that demonstrates it has substantial experience of this type.

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

§1783.8   What are the acceptable methods for submitting applications?

(a) Applications for RFP grants may be submitted by U.S. Mail. Applications submitted by mail must be addressed as follows: Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1548, Washington, DC 20250-1548. The outside of the application should be marked: “Attention: Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs.” Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked not later than the filing deadline to be considered during the period for which the application was submitted.

(b) In lieu of submitting an application by U.S. Mail, an applicant may file its application electronically by using the Federal Government's eGrants Web site (Grants.gov) at http://www.grants.gov. Applicants should refer to instructions found on the Grants.gov Web site for procedures for registering and using this facility. Applicants who have not previously registered on Grants.gov should allow a sufficient number of business days to complete the process necessary to be qualified to apply for Federal Government grants using electronic submissions. Electronic submissions must be filed not later than the filing deadline to be considered during the period for which the application was submitted.

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

[69 FR 59772, Oct. 6, 2004, as amended at 83 FR 45034, Sept. 5, 2018]

§1783.9   What are the criteria for 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 successful experience in making and servicing commercial loans, with a successful record, for the following number of full years:

(i) At least 1 but less than 3 years—5 points

(ii) At least 3 but less than 5 years—10 points

(iii) At least 5 but less than 10 years—20 points

(iv) 10 or more years—30 points

(2) 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, clearly articulates the problem/issues to be addressed, identifies the service area to be covered by the RFP loans, and appears likely to be sustainable. Up to 40 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 an RFP 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 RFP grant and points corresponding to such percentages are as follows:

(i) Less than 20%—ineligible

(ii) At least 20% but less than 50%—10 points

(iii) 50% or more—20 points

(4) Extent to which the goals and objectives are clearly defined, tied to the work plan, and are measurable. Up to 15 points.

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

(6) The evaluation methods for considering loan applications and making RFP loans are specific to the program, clearly defined, measurable, and are consistent with program outcomes. Up to 20 points.

(7) Administrator's discretion, considering such factors as creative outreach ideas for marketing RFP 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 RFP grants. All applicants will be notified of the results in writing on form AD-622.

§1783.10   What is the grant agreement?

RUS and the grant recipient will enter into a contract setting forth the terms and conditions governing a particular RFP 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.

§1783.11   What is the revolving loan fund?

The grant recipient shall establish and maintain a revolving loan fund for the purposes set forth in §1783.12. The revolving loan fund shall be comprised of revolving loan fund grant funds and the grant recipient's contributed funds. All revolving loan fund loans made to loan recipients shall be drawn from the revolving loan fund. All revolving loan fund loans shall be serviced and the revolving loan fund maintained, in accordance with this part and applicable law.

§1783.12   What are eligible uses of grant proceeds?

(a) Grant proceeds shall be used solely for the purpose of establishing the revolving loan fund to provide loans to eligible entities for:

(1) Pre-development costs associated with proposed water and wastewater projects or with existing water and wastewater systems, and

(2) Short-term costs incurred for replacement equipment, small-scale extension of services, or other small capital projects that are not part of the regular operations and maintenance activities of existing water and wastewater systems.

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

§1783.13   What administrative expenses may be funded with grant proceeds?

RFP grant funds may not be used for any purposes not described in §1783.12, including, without limitation, payment or reimbursement of any of the grant recipient's administrative costs or expenses. Administrative expenses may, however, be paid or reimbursed from revolving loan fund assets that are not RFP grant funds, including revolved funds and cash originally contributed by the grant recipient.

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