OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top four things you need to know from this past week:
• This week, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) announced that non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) can now access the application portal to receive their distribution of the first tranche of $422 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds as allocated by HB 168, which was signed by the Governor last week. The portal, which will only be open for 60 days, can be accessed at Ohio Grants: Funding Opportunities HERE. OBM has also included guidance for the application process. Read more in the article below.
• The application period for NEUs to register and apply for their ARPA allocation will end on September 4, 2021. After OBM has made reasonable efforts to contact an NEU that has not registered and applied for or declined for ARPA funds, that NEU will be deemed “unresponsive” and their allocation will be redistributed to participating NEUs. NEUs that wish to decline the funds must notify the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com. Those declined funds will then be transferred back to the State. Additionally, only NEUs that registered for the first tranche of the APRA distribution will be eligible to register for the second tranche. More information on the registration process and deadline can be found HERE on the Ohio Grants: Funding Opportunities website.
• For NEUs navigating the ARPA application process, members of the Ohio Grants Partnership team will be on hand to answer questions during office hours sessions scheduled for July 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and July 14 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Registration for these sessions is required as there is a limit of 800 participants. You can register for the July 13 session HERE and you can register for the July 14 session HERE.
• The League congratulates the city of Akron for being selected along with seven other cities around the country to participate in the National League of Cities' (NLC) Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (EEMI). Akron will receive an initial grant of $25,000 and technical assistance to advance their economic mobility efforts. Learn more about the EEMI initiative HERE. Additionally, Akron City Council has submitted resolution supporting the NLC’s petition for local community equity funds. You can read the resolution HERE.
• The National League of Cities (NLC) has submitted a seventeen-page letter with requests regarding the Interim Final Rule for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to local governments. The requests generally fall under three categories: additional flexibilities to help address hardships that are greater or more costly than a municipality’s CLFRF grant can meet; improved direction and clarity for local governments operating in good faith at reduced capacities; and reconsideration of certain rules that appear to be out of step with Congressional intent, or where unanticipated circumstances warrant reexamination. You can read the letter in full HERE.
OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT (OBM) OPENS PORTAL FOR NON-ENTITLEMENT UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT (NEU)
The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) announced this week that non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) can now access the application portal to receive their distribution of the first tranche of $422 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds as allocated by HB 168, which was signed by the Governor last week. OBM has also included guidance for the application process.
The application portal can be accessed at Ohio Grants: Funding Opportunities HERE. The funding opportunity provides a list of the maximum allocation that each local government may receive, a job aid to assist with the application, documents that need signed and uploaded to the application, and a general information guide with frequently asked questions. In accordance with the federal law, each NEU’s allocation will be capped at no more than 75% of its budget as of January 27, 2020. That cap will be determined as part of this application process.
To meet the Treasury requirements, OBM will require eligible NEUs to register for funding and provide the following information prior to distribution:
• Organizational information to include the DUNS number, Entity’s Taxpayer Identification Number, contact information for both an Authorized Representative and Grant Contact, and payment details;
• Top-line total annual budget amount as of January 27, 2020;
• Sign and upload award terms and conditions agreement (provided in funding opportunity); and
• Sign and upload assurance of compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provided in funding opportunity.
Completing the registration for this funding opportunity is required even if you have applied for other opportunities in the past. You will be unable to access the registration using existing OBM grants portal log-in information. Registering does not require log-in, therefore the system does not provide the ability to save a registration and return to it. NEUs are cautioned to be prepared to complete the entire registration along with the required uploads at the time of submission. The registration will be available for a 60-day period; however, payments will be made on a rolling basis so the earlier you apply, the earlier you can receive funding. An NEU that wishes to decline funding should not register and should reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEU/ARPA Application Links:
ARPA Non-Entitlement Maximum Allocations HERE
Job Aid: Opportunity Registration and Application HERE
NEU Guidance: Final (Updated July 6, 2021) HERE
U.S. Treasury: ARPA NEU Award Terms and Conditions HERE
NEU: Checklist for Requesting Initial Payment HERE
Assurances with Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 HERE
Ohio Grants Partnership Office Hours:
Members of the Ohio Grants Partnership team will be on hand to answer questions during office hours sessions scheduled for July 13 from 10:30 to 11:30 am and July 14 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Registration for these sessions is required as there is a limit of 800 participants.
• Register for the July 13 session HERE.
• Register for the July 14 session HERE.
The League will continue to keep our members apprised on all ARPA distribution updates.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL BRIDGE PROGRAM
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is now accepting applications for their Municipal Bridget Program from municipalities who have eligible bridges identified on their Target List. The link to the Municipal Bridge application is now live on the ODOT website along with the guidance, application link, Target Bridge list and a template of the application. The program is soliciting for an award during State Fiscal Year 2025 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025) and applications are due by August 15, 2021.
The Municipal Bridge Program funds bridge replacement, rehabilitation and demolition projects. Municipalities and RTAs should consider applying for needed bridge projects, as ODOT has no emergency bridge funding and is soliciting for award four years out.
The Target Bridge List pulls data from AssetWise (formerly SMS) and is not a complete and exhaustive list of eligible bridges. All bridges still have to meet the following criteria:
• Owned and maintained by a municipality or RTA
• Meet the Federal definition of a bridge (greater than 20’ in length)
• Open to vehicular traffic (exceptions may be made if the bridge was closed recently for the safety of the traveling public or if a closed bridge will be demolished to remove from the inventory system)
• Sufficiency rating of 80 or less
• General Appraisal of 5 or less
• Be Structurally Deficient
If there is a bridge that meets this criteria but is not on the Target Bridge List, an application may be submitted as long as AssetWise is updated by August 15, 2021 to verify eligibility.
LEAGUE AND OHIO MUNICIPAL ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION (OMAA) TO OFFER WEBINAR ON AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURES
On Thursday, August 12 at 11 a.m., the League and the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association (OMAA) will be offering a webinar entitled “American Rescue Plan Act Local Fiscal Recovery Funds’ Dos and Don’ts: What’s Eligible and How Can You Buy It?” The presenters are Jeff Harris, Sean Lehman from Bricker & Eckler LLP. The webinar will cover the dos and don’ts of using the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) coronavirus relief funding available to municipalities — from identifying which expenditures are allowable uses of these funds, to procuring vendors and contractors, and administering contracts using these federal funds. Learn more and register HERE.
OHIO EPA TO HOLD WEBINARS ON WATER POLLUTION CONTROL LOANS AND RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) will be holding two webinars later this month. Both webinars will offer Continuing Education Credits
The first webinar will be held on July 20 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will cover Ohio’s largest source of public funding for wastewater system planning, design, and construction. Through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund program, communities may be eligible to benefit from low-cost financing and even loan principal forgiveness. Learn more and register for the webinar HERE.
The second webinar will be held on July 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will focus on the basics of the Agencies Risk Management Program and how it applies to both Water Treatment Plants and Wastewater Treatment Plants. Learn more and register for the webinar HERE.