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household members (for the most recent 12 months) does not exceed 100 percent of the median non-metropolitan household income for the State or territory in which the individual resides. Credentials/Documentation:

Evidence of legal capacity, economic feasibility, ability to administer and service a revolving loan fund, commitment and sources of financial resources the organization controls. APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS: Preapplication Coordination:

The standard application forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-110. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:

The Water and Environmental Programs of the USDA Rural Utilities Service administers the program. Application Form SF-424 is filed at the National Office in Washington, DC, from which assistance may be obtained. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure:

The Water and Environmental Programs staff in Washington, DC, will review and process the application. Following completion of application processing requirements and grant approval, funds are made available to the applicant.

Deadlines:

December 6, 2004.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:

From 30 to 90 days.

Appeals:

If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are stated fully. The applicant may request a review of this decision at the RUS National level. Renewals:

Not applicable.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:

This program has no statutory formula. Applicants are encouraged to provide matching funds to receive scoring priorities.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

A time limitation is not specified for the RUS grant funds. Funds will be awarded when all RUS requirements are met and the project can be completed on a timely basis.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:

Periodic reports are to be made to the RUS servicing official. Audits:

Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient's system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of the grants and other agreements. Audits should be completed in accordance with the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations or RUS requirements, whichever apply.

Records:

Records and accounts are required to reflect the project operations. FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:

12-0400-0-1-452.

Obligations:

(Grants) FY 05 $992,000; FY 06 est $990,000; and FY 07 est $0. Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

FY 04 est $500,000.

PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

It is estimated that two grants will be made using FY 2004 funds.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

7 CFR 1776, Household Water Well System Grant Program; The Household Water Well System Program: 2004 Grant Application Guide. INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:

Consult your local telephone directory for Rural Development local number. If no listing, get in touch with the appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Headquarters Office:

Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 690-2670.

Web Site Address:

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

RELATED PROGRAMS:

10.760, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities. EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

None.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

RUS assistance for grant projects will be directed toward truly rural areas and rural communities. Considerations for available funds emphasize such criteria as; population, low income, unemployment; health and sanitary problems. RUS financed facilities will not be inconsistent with any development plans of the State, multi-jurisdictional area, county, or municipality in which the proposed project is located.

10.863 COMMUNITY CONNECT GRANT PROGRAM (Community Connect Grant Program)

FEDERAL AGENCY:

RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZATION:

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005; Title III: Rural Development Programs; Rural Utilities Service; Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; Public Law 108-447. OBJECTIVES:

To encourage community-oriented connectivity by providing grants to eligible applicants who will deploy broadband transmission service in rural communities where such service does not currently exist; who will connect all critical community facilities such as local schools, education centers, libraries, hospitals, health care providers, law enforcement agencies, public safety organizations, fire, and rescue services, as well as residents and businesses; and who will operate a community center which provides free and open access to area residents. TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.

USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Grants will be made available, on a competitive basis, for the deployment of broadband transmission services to critical community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses and for the construction, acquisition, expansion, and/or operation of a community center which would provide free access to broadband transmission services to community residents for at least two years. Funding is also available for end-user equipment, software, and installation costs. See 7 CFR Part 1739 for details. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must: (a) be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, a state or local unit of government, or other legal entity, including cooperatives or private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for profit or not-for profit basis, and (b) have the legal capacity and authority to own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in its application, to enter into contracts and to otherwise comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

The people living in rural areas and to improve rural opportunities through the availability of access to high speed broadband networks. Credentials/Documentation:

None.

APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:

Preapplication Coordination:

None required. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. Application Procedure:

Submit an application in accordance with 7 CFR 1739 and its accompanying application guide.

Award Procedure:

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants receiving the highest number of points.

Deadlines:

RUS annually publishes application dates and deadlines in a Notice of Funding Availability.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:

Applications are approved each fiscal year for which funding is made available.

Appeals:
None.

Renewals:

Not applicable.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:

This program has no formula requirements. The grant applicant must contribute a matching contribution which is at least 15 percent of the grant amount requested.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Funds may be advanced monthly or as needed to reimburse disbursements for approved grant purposes. Applicants generally have three years to spend funds. Extensions may be granted. POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:

SF 269, "Financial Status Report," and project performance activity report required annually.

Audits:

An audit report is required for the years in which funds are received. Records:

Grantee will provide evidence that funds are expended for approved purposes.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:

12-1232-0-1-452.

Obligations:

(Grants) FY 05 $17,875,533; FY 06 est $9,000,000; and FY 07 est $0. Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

The minimum grant amount is $50,000. The size of grants varies.

PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

During fiscal year 2005, RUS approved 35 grants, totaling $17,875,533. REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

7 CFR 1739 Notice of solicitation of applications in the Federal Register; Vol. 70, No. 60; Wednesday, March 30, 2005. Community Connect Broadband Program Grant Application Guide - Fiscal Year 2005. INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:

None.

Headquarters Office:

Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1590, Room 5151, Washington, DC 20250 1590. Telephone number (202) 720 9554, Facsimile (202) 720-0810. Web Site Address:

http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/commconnect.htm .

RELATED PROGRAMS:

None.

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

The grant funds will establish a broadband path to the Internet over an existing microwave route. Broadband will be delivered to homes and businesses using DSL technology. Internet traffic will be handled economically and efficiently by equipping the community with equipment to enable it to interface with the applicant's satellite mesh technology. Demographic barriers to broadband adoption will be overcome by equipping a community center with computers and Internet access free of charge for 2 years. The project will provide wireless broadband internet service to the community. The project will connect all community critical facilities, businesses, the elementary school, and homes on the reservation. Public safety and health organizations will have improved communications, which can be life saving in emergency situations. The community center will be accessible to residents for information research, education, marketing and promotion, and personal or business communications using high-speed internet. All center workstations will have GED and other self paced interactive learning software installed and the center will also provide basic computer and internet skill training to end-users. The project will create a tribal website and digital community bulletin board to enhance communication within the tribal organization and with community members. The project will employ broadband wireless technology to reach locations where only slow (14.4Kb/sec), expensive (long-distance) wireline Internet connections exist. In addition to providing residential access, the project will enable the local government to enhance and streamline core public services including Head Start, tribal courts, cultural and social services, and community health outreach efforts. The grant will address

community challenges including the lack of a library, hospital, and police department by providing broadband Internet access to the community. High-speed online connections will establish online city services to benefit the residents, including the remote monitoring of water resources, and a Web presence to assist with economic development efforts. The community will have access to computer training and education in e commerce; students will have access to distance learning programs and enhanced curricula. The RUS grant will fund a community center, including computers and staff for 2 years. The applicant, a local telephone carrier, will also provide a fiber to the premises (FTTP) network for the town, in an effort to bolster economic development opportunities, as the area's economy transitions away from complete reliance on production agriculture. "Always-on" Internet access can encourage new business migration, telecommuting and local entrepreneurs. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Not applicable.

10.864 GRANT PROGRAM TO ESTABLISH A FUND FOR FINANCING WATER AND WASTEWATER PROJECTS

FEDERAL AGENCY:

RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZATION:

Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, Section 6002, Public Law 107-171, 7 U.S.C. 1926e.

OBJECTIVES:

To make grants to private, nonprofit organizations to establish a revolving loan fund to make small, short term loans for pre-development or small capital water or waste disposal projects. TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.

USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Grant funds will be used to establish and maintain a revolving loan fund to finance pre-development costs associated with proposed water and wastewater projects or with existing water and wastewater systems, and 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.

Applicant Eligibility:

An applicant must be a private organization, organized as a non-profit corporation. The applicant must have the legal capacity and authority to perform the obligations of the grant. The applicant must have sufficient expertise and experience in making and servicing loans. Beneficiary Eligibility:

Municipalities, counties, and other political subdivisions of a State, such as districts and authorities, associations, cooperatives, corporations operated on a not-for-profit basis, Indian tribes on Federal and State reservations and other Federally recognized Indian tribes. Facilities shall primarily serve rural residents and rural businesses. The service area shall not include any area in any city or town having a population in excess of 10,000 inhabitants according to the latest decennial census of the United States. The loan recipient must be unable to finance the proposed project from their own resources or through commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms. The loan recipient must have or will obtain the legal authority necessary for owning, constructing, operating and maintaining the proposed service or facility, and for obtaining, giving security for, and repaying the proposed loan. Credentials/Documentation:

Evidence of legal capacity, economic feasibility, ability to administer and service a revolving loan fund, commitment and sources of financial resources the organization controls.

Preapplication Coordination:

The standard application forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-110. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:

The Water and Environmental Programs of the USDA Rural Utilities Service administers the program. Application Form SF-424 is filed at the National Office in Washington, DC, from which assistance may be obtained. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure:

The Water and Environmental Programs staff in Washington, DC, will review and process the application. Following completion of application processing requirements and grant approval, funds are made available to the applicant.

Deadlines:

To be determined by Secretary, USDA.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:

From 30 to 60 days.

Appeals:

If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are stated fully. The applicant may request a review of this decision at the RUS National level. Renewals:

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements:

Applicants must provide funds from other sources equal to at least 20 percent of the RFP grant.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

A time limitation is not specified for the RUS grant funds. Funds will be awarded when all RUS requirements are met and the project can be completed on a timely basis.

Reports:

Periodic reports are to be made to the RUS servicing official. Audits:

Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient's system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of the grants and other agreements. Audits should be completed in accordance with the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations or RUS requirements, whichever apply.

Records:

Records and accounts are required to reflect the project operations. Account Identification:

12-0400-0-1-452.

Obligations:

(Grants) FY 05 $497,050; and FY 06 est $496,000; and FY 07 est $0. Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

FY 04 $497,050.

PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

One grant will be made using FY 2004 funds.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

7 CFR 1783, Grant Program to Establish a Fund for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects; The Revolving Fund Program 2005 Grant Application Guide.

Regional or Local Office:

Consult your local telephone directory for Rural Development local number. If no listing, get in touch with the appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Headquarters Office:

Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 690-2670.

RELATED PROGRAMS:

10.760, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities. EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

None.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

RUS assistance for grant projects will be directed toward truly rural areas and rural communities. Considerations for available funds emphasize such criteria as; population, low income, unemployment; health and sanitary problems. RUS financed facilities will not be inconsistent with any development plans of the State, multi-jurisdictional area, county, or municipality in which the proposed project is located.

10.886 RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES

(Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees)

FEDERAL AGENCY:

RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZATION:

Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, Title VI; 7 U.S.C. 950bb. OBJECTIVES:

To assure that people in eligible rural communities have access to broadband service comparable in reliability and quality to the rest of the Nation.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Direct Loans; Guaranteed/Insured Loans.

USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

RUS makes long term direct and guaranteed loans to eligible entities for the purpose of financing the construction, improvement, and acquisition of telecommunications facilities and equipment to provide broadband service in eligible rural communities. Eligible rural communities are defined as any area of the United States (which includes its territories and insular possessions, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau); that is not contained in an incorporated city or town with a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants, based on the most recent available information of the Bureau of the Census. Broadband Service means any technology having the capacity to transmit at a minimum transmission speed of 200 kbps both from and to a residential subscriber. The rate of data transmission is subject to annual review and will be published in the Notice of Funds Availability at the beginning of each fiscal year. Loans maturities are equal to the composite economic life of the facilities financed. The interest rate for the Cost-of-Money program is equal to the cost of borrowing to the Department of Treasury for a comparable maturity. The 4-Percent program interest rate is 4 percent and the maximum loan amount for the 4-Percent program is $7.5 million. The interest rate for the Guarantee

program is set by the lender. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Applicant Eligibility:

Cooperative, nonprofit, limited dividend or mutual associations, limited liability companies, commercial organizations, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, state government, local government, including those located in the U.S. territories and countries included in the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985, providing or proposing to provide broadband services in eligible rural communities. The following are not eligible: individuals, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and any entity serving more than 2 percent of the telephone subscriber lines installed in the United States. Applicants must meet a credit support requirement; see7 CFR 1738.20.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

Residents of eligible rural communities and others who may receive service as a result of service provided to a rural area. Credentials/Documentation:

None.

APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Preapplication Coordination:

Applicants must supply environmental impact information to determine whether an environmental impact assessment or an environmental impact statement will be required. This program is excluded from coverage under Executive Order 12372.

Application Procedure:

The completed loan application consists of twenty-one schedules. Form 532, Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Application, serves as the official application document and as a checklist to assure all relevant information is included. The major sections of an application include: business plan, market research, historical and 5 year pro forma financial statements, system design and project costs. The instructions for completing an application are outlined in RUS Bulletin 1738-1: Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program Application Guide. The bulletin and application are available from RUS on request and on our website: www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/broadband.htm. Award Procedure:

Depending on the amount of the application, and loan committee(s) recommendation, the RUS Administrator or Assistant Administrator Telecommunications, makes the final decision on approval of the loan or loan guarantee. There must be a finding that the project is economically feasible, capable of delivering Broadband Service, and services the purposes of the program. Borrowers and member of Congress are notified directly of the approval of a loan or loan guarantee.

Deadlines:

The program is an ongoing program with applications evaluated on a first come, first served basis. There is no deadline for applications.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:

Normal processing time is 4 to 5 months.

Appeals:

Not applicable.

Renewals:

Not applicable.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:
Formula and Matching Requirements:

This program has no statutory formula.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Loan funds must be used within a five year period from the date of loan closing. A one time extension is permitted.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:

The borrower must submitted quarterly financial statements within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter. The statements must consist of a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows.

Audits:

All borrowers must have their books audited annually by a Certified Public Accountant. Information on audits is contained in 7 CFR Part 1773.

Records:

Not applicable.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:

12-1232-0-1-452.

Obligations:

(Cost of Money Loans) FY 05 $598,716,931; FY 06 est $2,032,000,000; and FY 07 est $299,000,000. (4 Percent Loans) FY 05 $4,230,000; FY 06 est $46,000,000; and FY 07 est $30,000,000. (Loan Guarantees) FY 05 $0; FY 06 est $79,000,000; and FY 07 est $30,000,000. Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

The minimum loan amount for the program is $100,000. There is no maximum loan amount except for 4 Percent loans (that amount is published by RUS in the Federal Register at the beginning of each fiscal year). The smallest loan approved to date is $362,000; the largest, $168,406,000. The average approved loan size in Fiscal Year 2004 was $18,271,000.

PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

In Fiscal Year 2004, RUS approved one 4 Percent loan for $4,230,000 and 33 Cost of Money loans totaling $598,716,931. REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

7 CFR 1738 - Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Notice of funds availability, Federal Register, March 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 42) RUS Bulletin 1738-1: Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program Application Guide.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:

None.

Headquarters Office:

Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1590, Room 5151, Washington, DC 20250 1590. Telephone number (202) 720 9554, Facsimile (202) 720 0810. Web Site Address:

http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/broadband.htm.

RELATED PROGRAMS:

10.851, Rural Telephone Loans and Loan Guarantees; 10.852, Rural Telephone Bank Loans.

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Loans have been approved to construct wireless, DSL, cable modem, and fiber to the premises (FTTP) broadband systems. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

See 7 CFR 1738.

10.901 RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT

FEDERAL AGENCY:

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

AUTHORIZATION:

Public Law 97-98, 95 Stat. 1213. OBJECTIVES:

To encourage and improve the capability of State and local units of government and local nonprofit organizations in rural areas to plan, develop and carry out programs for resource conservation and

development.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Advisory Services and Counseling. USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Technical assistance is available only to RC&D sponsors within areas authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture for assistance. Technical assistance is available for the planning and installation of approved projects specified in RC&D area plans, for land conservation, water management, community development and environmental enhancement elements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:

State and local governments and nonprofit organizations with authority to plan or carry out activities relating to resource use and development in multijurisdictional areas. This program is also available in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Mariana Islands.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

State and local governments and nonprofit organizations within areas designated as RC&D areas by the Secretary of Agriculture with authority to plan or carry out activities relating to resource use and development in multijurisdictional areas.

Credentials/Documentation:

Applicant agency(ies) and nonprofit organizations must document that application is made as a result of official action of the governing body. Applications are honored only from agencies for which applicant eligibility has been established. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:

Preapplication Coordination:

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the Single Point of Contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102.

Application Procedure:

Written application must be in the form suggested in the National Resource Conservation and Development Manual. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure:

Details of the procedure are available from State and field offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Deadlines:

by October 1.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:

Indeterminate. Authorization of applications is dependent upon the level of appropriations for the program each year.

Appeals:

Not applicable. Renewals:

Not applicable.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:

When financial assistance is available, local or State agencies must provide land rights needed for the installation of all projects. RC&D grant assistance (up to 25 percent not to exceed $50,000 of the total project cost) may be provided for a project. Local or State agencies generally must provide ten percent of the total cost and be responsible for any needed operation and maintenance. Loan assistance may be provided for the local share of project cost.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Not applicable.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports:

Periodic inspections and reports are required to insure that structural projects for which Federal financial assistance has been provided are being properly operated and maintained in accordance with agreements. Audits:

In accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 3052, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," which implement OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities

that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052.

Records:

None.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:

12-1010-0-1-302.

Obligations:

(Salaries and Expenses) FY 05 $52,002,285; FY 06 est $50,787,000; and FY 07 est $25,933,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

Not available at this time.

PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Completed projects by local citizens to improve the economy and quality of living in RC&D areas totaled 52,241 as of September 30, 2001. These include natural resource improvement, community improvement, recreation or tourism, information/education, forestry, water quality, economic development, fish and wildlife, marketing/merchandising, and waste utilization projects.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

"Assistance available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service," AIB-345; "Resource Conservation and Development Manual, 390 - V, Third Ed.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:

State and field offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service are listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. For loans, contacts should be made with the Rural Development office serving the county in which the RC&D project is located.

Headquarters Office:

Deputy Chief for Programs, Resource Conservation and Community Development Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013. Telephone: (202) 720-2847. FTS is not available.

Web Site Address:

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.

RELATED PROGRAMS:

10.902, Soil and Water Conservation.

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

NRCS and the Two Rivers RC&D Council in Georgia created a program to help utility companies cut maintenance expenses on more than 150,000 acres of utility transmission rights-of- way while protecting and enhancing the environment. Project WINGS (Wildlife Incentives for Nongame and Game Species) is a utility-based wildlife initiative offering technical and financial incentives to groups and individuals interested in creating wildlife habitat along electrical transmission rights-of-way. The use of customized management plans prepared by resource management professionals offers WINGS participants an opportunity to transform eroded brush land into productive wildlife lands. To date, more than 1000 individuals have been awarded corporate grants to convert over 7,000 acres of rights-of-way brush land to productive habitat. WINGS is a project that can be replicated, and has already been started in South Carolina where it is called Powerful Wildlife. The Rolling Hills RC&D in partnership with Georgia Department of Human Resources, Department of Family and Children's Services, and Department of Rehabilitative Services has implemented an innovative program called "Wheels to Work" that is helping people get off public assistance (welfare) and back to work. Many of these individuals who participate are single mothers that have never been independent before, never owned a vehicle, and are unable to obtain credit in order to purchase a vehicle of their own. The Rolling Hills RC&D Council has placed 110 vehicles with clients in the nine county region. These individuals are now off of the welfare roles and back to work. The funding for these clients was obtained through an appropriation from the Georgia General Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor. Rolling Hills received over $582,000 to purchase vehicles, pay staff, and other needed expenses. These funds were offset by car donations, assistance from local businesses and partners, and volunteer assistance. In Idaho homes that lie on the fringe of forests and rangeland face a continuing threat of fire that knows no boundary between private property and wildland. The West Central Highlands RC&D Council

obtained funds to develop a Fire Education Corps. Five RC&Ds areas contracted with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to put the Corps together. Fire Education Corps teams spent the summer of 2001 conducting home safety evaluations and providing homeowners with fire prevention techniques, using the nationally recognized FIREWISE protocol, a program for fire education sponsored by a coalition of state and federal agencies. The teams concentrated their efforts in interface areas where fires might start and spread to homes that were surrounded by dense dry fuels. The Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council obtained $105,000 for Spectrum Industries, Inc to provide quality vocational training. Spectrum Industries, Inc., is a wood workshop serving over 135 physically and mentally challenged people from throughout the Northeast Iowa and Southern Minnesota area. This project has provided quality jobs for persons with disabilities, added value to the lower quality hardwoods in the area, and provided a model that can be replicated anywhere in the United States. The goal of Spectrum Industries is to have this woodworking program continue to grow in ways that allow individuals to move into competitive jobs, and provide high quality products. The RC&D Council worked with many different partners to implement the project. The overall value of the project including grant funds, matching funds, and in-kind contribution is estimated at $300,000 dollars. The Central Mississippi RC&D Council, City of Carthage, NRCS, MS Department of Environmental Quality, and a group of consulting engineers teamed up to help the City of Carthage meet current water quality standards for the State of Mississippi. Carthage has a population of 4,3

00 and a watershed that drains into the Pearl River. Wastewater treatment for the city was inadequate to meet new water quality standards. Expensive options were provided that were not feasible for a small rural town. Traditional methods needed to meet new water quality standards for the city were estimated to cost $1.8 million, resulting in increased taxes for the local citizens. Through assistance from the Central Mississippi RC&D Council, another cost-effective alternative was provided to the city. The alternative was a natural wastewater treatment system costing approximately $650,000. This system saved the town more than $1.1 million and provides clean water releases into the Pearl River. The Erie Basin RC&D Council in Ohio has been managing a Revolving Loan Fund for several years. The success of this ongoing project has resulted in three other RC&D Areas in Ohio establishing revolving loan funds to serve the citizens in their areas. These revolving loan funds provide money to new and existing businesses primarily in the area of natural resource development. They are designed to create private sector job opportunities and to boost the economy of an area. Partnerships were established with USDA Rural Development, local planning agencies and banks in RC&D areas. Loans have been made to a variety of businesses including a campground in Huron County for improvements which resulted in higher use of the facilities; a company which recycles 1,000,000 pounds of plastic a week which would otherwise be headed for the landfill; and a charter boat service on Lake Erie which is equipped to handle physically and mentally disadvantaged individuals. These loans have helped businesses in the RC&D areas and have helped create new jobs. This is a project that can be easily duplicated throughout the country. In Pennsylvania NRCS, along with seven RC&D Councils, local Conservation Districts, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and 27 landowners collaborated with solar component suppliers to demonstrate the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar technology on livestock farms. Twenty-seven solar pump systems were installed on a variety of livestock operations. The primary objective was to advance the concept of intensive rotational grazing and reduce the need for mechanical harvesting and its inherent consumption of fossil fuels. Water is available on most Pennsylvania farms, but it is seldom located where it will support properly designed and managed grazing systems. Therefore it must be moved via pipelines using either gravity or mechanical means. Water for use in most rotational grazing systems in Pennsylvania generally needs to be pumped. Since most under-utilized grazing lands are often very remote and at great distances from grid-power sources, alternative energy sources must be used to power the pumps. Solar arrays proved to be very durable and dependable for production of power to pump water despite Pennsylvania's intermittent overcast skies. It was found that solar power is a cost effective and a viable alternative to conventional power sources for water pumping in remote areas if it is properly designed, installed, and maintained. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

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