DOT Announces Application Process for New Transportation Grant Program  
Last week, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the details of the new $75 million local government transportation grant program created as part of the recently enacted 2019-2021 state budget. This one-time funding initiative is called the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) grant program and is available to local and tribal governments. The MLS grant program sets aside $18.4 million for cities and villages, $26 million for counties, and $28.9 million for towns. This one-time grant program is in addition to the General Transportation Aids program, and the Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP).

According to DOT, the project selection process for the MLS program will include local government committees. The selection will be competitive and involve stakeholder input and review. Projects will rate higher if they demonstrate economic impact, provide greater connectivity or are shown to have greater cost-effectiveness than other options.

Application materials for the MLS grant program are available on DOT's website, here. The MLS program mirrors aspects of the Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP), but is available to an expanded range of project improvement types.

MLS funding is available for new projects statewide related to:

Transit capital and facility projects
Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations

MLS Program highlights

  • MLS application materials are available on the WisDOT website. 
  • The program is focused on local project delivery. Local units of government may apply for design and construction, or construction only, projects. 
  • Grants are available for new projects throughout the state. 
  • Local and tribal governments are eligible for the funding. 
  • The minimum project cost for counties, cities, and villages is $250,000.
  • The minimum project cost for towns is $50,000.
  • The program will reimburse local governments up to 90 percent of total eligible costs; the community is responsible for the balance.
  • A six-year project completion will be required for approved projects.
  • The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Friday, December 6, 2019.

More Information

DOT will conduct three informational webinars on the Multimodal Local Supplement program on the following dates:

Monday, September 30, 2019: 9:00am to 10:30am
Wednesday, October 2, 2019: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Thursday, October 10, 2019: 2:00pm to 3:30pm

MLS informational webinars are optional, and each contains similar information. Individuals interested in participating in a MLS Informational Webinar, should send an email to that states you will be attending. Specific webinar links will be sent to you prior to the date(s).

Questions on the application process and webinars should be directed to the DOT contacts listed below.

Ryan Spaight
MLS Program Manager  
Phone: (608) 266-1322

Merrill Mechler-Hickson                                
DOT Program Officer                                           
Phone: (608) 261-8977         
DOR Releases 2020 Personal Property Aid Estimates
The Department of Revenue (DOR) posted on its website last week estimates of 2020 personal property aid payments. According to DOR:

• Personal property aid will be distributed to counties, municipalities, school districts, technical colleges, special districts and municipal tax incremental districts (TIDs) on May 4, 2020.
• The estimated 2020 personal property aid is based on the electronically filed Form PA-550: Personal Property Value Report submitted by each Wisconsin municipality earlier this year.
• Each district's aid is based on its non-TID value of 2017 locally assessed machinery, tools and patterns (code 2) and its 2017 tax levy.
• TID aid is based on the value of 2017 locally assessed machinery, tools and patterns (code 2) located within the TID and the sum of the applicable district's tax levies.
In the News

Property Assessments Up In Wisconsin But Construction Lags
Property values as a whole in Wisconsin are going up for the sixth straight year, according to a brief prepared by the Wisconsin Policy Forum. From 2018 to 2019, equalized property values rose 5.7 percent.

"It’s great news. It’s a sign the state’s economy is doing well. But the problem is we have chained local governments to an anchor," said Jerry Deschane executive director for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. Read the full article...
Reports cited:

WisDOT announces criteria for $75 million local government grant program
“The objective of this program is to provide local officials the flexibility and funding they need to address the transportation projects that are most needed in their communities,” Governor Tony Evers said. Read the full story... Read the League's statement...

Commission overseeing state's largest road projects to reconvene after 5-year hiatus
The bipartisan commission charged with evaluating — and ultimately recommending to lawmakers — the state’s largest road projects has not met in nearly five years.

However, Gov. Tony Evers and his appointed secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Craig Thompson, have said that will change this winter when the Transportation Projects Commission reconvenes. Read the story...

#LocalGovMatters Podcast - Opioids, Polling Trends and the Marquette Poll, Government Social Media and more podcasts are available. Listen here...
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SB 389 , Authorizing two new Premier Resort Areas . A uthorizes the City of Prescott and the Village of Pepin to become premier resort areas. By Sen. Smith (D-Eau Claire) and Rep. Petryk (R-Eleva). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill .

Informational Hearing on Workforce Housing Study. Professor Kurt Paulsen from the UW-Madison Department of Urban & Regional Planning, will discuss a new study on workforce housing titled “Falling Behind: Addressing Wisconsin’s Workforce Housing Shortage To Strengthen Families, Communities, and Our Economy.” By Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate on Monday, September 9, at 1:00 p.m. in room 300 Northeast.

AB 89, Modernizing the process for filling vacancies in city and village elective offices. By Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections on Tuesday, September 10, at 10:00 a.m. in room 300 Northeast. The League supports this bill.
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