[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 107 (Tuesday, June 4, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33327-33331]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13069]



[[Page 33327]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines and Funding 
Levels

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of funding availability and solicitation of 
applications.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund 
Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. In addition 
to announcing the application window, RUS announces the available 
funding of $923,686 and maximum amounts for RFP competitive grants for 
the fiscal year.
    The RFP is authorized under section 306(a)(2)(B) of the 
Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (Con Act), 7 U.S.C. 1926 
(a)(2)(B). Under the RFP, qualified private, non-profit organizations 
receive RFP grant funds to establish a lending program for eligible 
entities. Eligible entities for the revolving loan fund will be the 
same entities eligible, under paragraph 1 or 2 of Section 306(a) of the 
Con Act, 7 U.S.C. 1926(1) or (2), to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or 
grant from the RUS Water, Waste Disposal and Wastewater loan and grant 
programs.

DATES: You may submit completed applications for grants on paper or 
electronically according to the following deadlines:
     Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or 
sent overnight no later than July 5, 2013 to be eligible for FY 2013 
grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for 
FY 2013 grant funding.
     Electronic copies must be received by July 5, 2013 to be 
eligible for FY 2013 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications 
will not be eligible for FY 2013 grant funding.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain application guides and materials for the RFP 
program at the Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) Web site: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-revolvingfund.html. You may also request 
application guides and materials by contacting Joyce M. Taylor at (202) 
720-0499.
    Submit completed paper applications for RFP grants to the Rural 
Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence 
Ave. SW., Room 2233, STOP 1570, Washington, DC 20250-1570. Applications 
should be marked Attention: Joyce M. Taylor, Water and Environmental 
Programs.
    Submit electronic grant applications at http://www.grants.gov 
(Grants.gov) and follow the instructions you find on that Web site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joyce M. Taylor, Community Programs 
Specialist, Water Programs Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Rural Utilities Service, STOP 1570, Room 2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave. 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-1570; telephone: (202) 720-0499, fax: (202) 
690-0649.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
    Funding Opportunity Title: Grant Program to Establish a Fund for 
Financing Water and Wastewater Projects (Revolving Fund Program (RFP)).
    Announcement Type: Funding Level Announcement, and Solicitation of 
Applications.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.864.
    Due Date for Applications: Applications must be mailed, shipped or 
submitted electronically through Grants.gov no later than July 5, 2013 
to be eligible for FY 2013 grant funding.

Items in Supplementary Information

    I. Funding Opportunity: Brief introduction to the RFP.
    II. Award Information: Available funds, maximum amounts 
$923,686.
    III. Eligibility Information: Who is eligible, what kinds of 
projects are eligible, what criteria determine basic eligibility.
    IV. Application and Submission Information: Where to get 
application materials, what constitutes a completed application, how 
and where to submit applications, deadlines, items that are 
eligible.
    V. Application Review Information: Considerations and 
preferences, scoring criteria, review standards, selection 
information.
    VI. Award Administration Information: Award notice information, 
award recipient reporting requirements.
    VII. Agency Contacts: Web, phone, fax, email, contact name.

I. Funding Opportunity

    Drinking water systems are basic and vital to both health and 
economic development. With dependable water facilities, rural 
communities can attract families and businesses that will invest in the 
community and improve the quality of life for all residents. Without 
dependable water facilities, the communities cannot sustain economic 
development.
    RUS provides financial and technical assistance to help communities 
bring safe drinking water and sanitary, environmentally sound waste 
disposal facilities to rural Americans. It supports the sound 
development of rural communities and the growth of our economy without 
endangering the environment.
    The Revolving Fund Program (RFP) has been established to assist 
communities with water or wastewater systems. Qualified private, non-
profit organizations, who are selected for funding, will receive RFP 
grant funds to establish a lending program for eligible entities. 
Eligible entities for the revolving loan fund will be the same entities 
eligible to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or grant from the Water and 
Waste Disposal loan and grant programs administered by RUS, under 7 
U.S.C. 1926(a)(1) and (2). As grant recipients, the non-profit 
organizations will set up a revolving loan fund to provide loans to 
finance predevelopment costs of water or wastewater projects, or short-
term small capital projects not part of the regular operation and 
maintenance of current water and wastewater systems. The amount of 
financing to an eligible entity shall not exceed $100,000.00 and shall 
be repaid in a term not to exceed 10 years. The rate shall be 
determined in the approved grant work plan.

II. Award Information

    Available funds: Rural Development is making available $923,686 for 
competitive grants in FY 2013.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Who is eligible to apply?

    An applicant is eligible to apply for the RFP grant if it:
    1. Is a private, non-profit organization;
    2. Is legally established and located within one of the following:
    (a) A state within the United States;
    (b) The District of Columbia;
    (c) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or
    (d) A United States territory;
    3. Has the legal capacity and authority to carry out the grant 
purpose;
    4. Has a proven record of successfully operating a revolving loan 
fund to rural areas;
    5. Has capitalization acceptable to the Agency, and is composed of 
at least 51 percent of the outstanding interest or membership being 
citizens of the United States or individuals who reside in the United 
States after being legally admitted for permanent residence;
    6. Has no delinquent debt to the Federal Government or no 
outstanding judgments to repay a Federal debt;
    7. Demonstrates that it possesses the financial, technical, and 
managerial

[[Page 33328]]

capability to comply with Federal and State laws and requirements;
    8. Corporations that have been convicted of a felony (or had an 
officer or agency acting on behalf of the corporation convicted of a 
felony) within the past 24 months are not eligible. Any Corporation 
that has any unpaid federal tax liability that has been assessed, for 
which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or 
have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to 
an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax 
liability is not eligible.

B. What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project?

    1. The following activities are authorized under the RFP statute:
    (a) Grant funds must be used to capitalize a revolving fund program 
for the purpose of providing direct loan financing to eligible entities 
for pre-development costs associated with proposed or with existing 
water and wastewater systems, or,
    (b) Short-term costs incurred for equipment replacement, 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.
    2. Grant funds may not be used to pay any of the following:
    (a) Payment of the Grant Recipient's administrative costs or 
expenses, or,
    (b) Delinquent debt owed to the Federal Government.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    A. The grant application guide, copies of necessary forms and 
samples, and the RFP regulation are available from these sources:
    1. The Internet::http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-revolvingfund.html 
or http://www.grants.gov.
    2. For paper copies of these materials, you may call (202) 720-
9589.
    B. You may file an application in either paper or electronic 
format.
    Whether you file a paper or an electronic application, you will 
need a DUNS number.
    1. DUNS Number.
    DUNS Number. The applicant for a grant must supply a Dun and 
Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as part of an 
application. The Standard Form 424 (SF-424) contains a field for the 
DUNS number. The applicant can obtain the DUNS number free of charge by 
calling Dun and Bradstreet. Please see http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform 
for more information on how to obtain a DUNS number or how to verify 
your organization's number. Prior to submitting an application, the 
applicant must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) 
(formerly Central Contractor Registry, (CCR)). Applicants may register 
for the SAM at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. The SAM 
registration must remain active with current information at all times 
while RUS is considering an application or while a Federal Grant Award 
or loan is active. To maintain the registration in the SAM database the 
applicant must review and update the information in the SAM database 
annually from date of initial registration or from the date of the last 
update. The applicant must ensure that the information in the database 
is current, accurate, and complete.
    2. Applications submitted by paper:

    (a) Send or deliver paper applications by the U.S. Postal Service 
(USPS) or courier delivery services to: Water and Environmental 
Programs, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Attention: Joyce M. Taylor, Mail STOP 1570, Room 2233-S, Washington, 
DC, 20250-1570.
    (b) For paper applications mail or ensure delivery of an original 
paper application (no stamped, photocopied, or initialed signatures) 
and two copies by the deadline date. The application and any materials 
sent with it become Federal records by law and cannot be returned to 
you.
    3. Electronically submitted applications:
    (a) Applications will not be accepted by fax or electronic mail.
    (b) Electronic applications for grants will be accepted if 
submitted through Grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov.
    (c) Applicants must preregister successfully with Grants.gov to use 
the electronic applications option. Application information may be 
downloaded from Grants.gov without preregistration.
    (d) Applicants who apply through Grants.gov should submit their 
electronic applications before the deadline.
    (e) Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required 
passwords, credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at 
Grants.gov for registering and submitting an electronic application.
    (f) Grants.gov has two preregistration requirements: A DUNS number 
and an active registration in the SAM. See Items 1 above for 
instructions on obtaining a DUNS number and registering in the SAM.
    C. A complete application must meet the following requirements:
    1. To be considered for support, you must be an eligible entity and 
must submit a complete application by the deadline date. You should 
consult the cost principles and general administrative requirements for 
grants pertaining to their organizational type in order to prepare the 
budget and complete other parts of the application. You also must 
demonstrate compliance (or intent to comply), through certification or 
other means, with a number of public policy requirements.
    2. Applicants must complete and submit the following forms to apply 
for a RFP grant:

(a) Standard Form 424, ``Application for Federal Assistance''
(b) Standard Form 424A, ``Budget Information--Non-Construction 
Programs''
(c) Standard Form 424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs''
(d) Standard Form LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying Activity''
(e) Form RD 400-1, ``Equal Opportunity Agreement''
(f) Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights 
Act of 1964)

    3. The project proposal should outline the project in sufficient 
detail to provide a reader with a complete understanding of how the 
loan program will work. Explain what you will accomplish by lending 
funds to eligible entities. Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed 
loan program in meeting the objectives of this grant program. The 
proposal should cover the following elements:
    (a) Present a brief project overview. Explain the purpose of the 
project, how it relates to RUS's purposes, how you will carry out the 
project, what the project will produce, and who will direct it.
    (b) Describe why the project is necessary. Demonstrate that 
eligible entities need loan funds. Quantify the number of prospective 
borrowers or provide statistical or narrative evidence that a 
sufficient number of borrowers will exist to justify the grant award. 
Describe the service area. Address community needs.
    (c) Clearly state your project goals. Your objectives should 
clearly describe the goals and be concrete and specific enough to be 
quantitative or observable. They should also be feasible and relate to 
the purpose of the loan program.
    (d) The narrative should cover in more detail the items briefly 
described in the Project Summary. It should establish the basis for any 
claims that

[[Page 33329]]

you have substantial expertise in promoting the safe and productive use 
of revolving funds. In describing what the project will achieve, you 
should tell the reader if it also will have broader influence. The 
narrative should address the following points:
    (1) Document your ability to administer and service a revolving 
fund in accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 1783.
    (2) Document your ability to commit financial resources to 
establish the RFP with funds your organization controls. This 
documentation should describe the sources of funds other than the RFP 
grant that will be used to pay your operational costs and provide 
financial assistance for projects.
    (3) Demonstrate that you have secured commitments of significant 
financial support from other funding sources, if appropriate.
    (4) List the fees and charges that borrowers will be assessed.
    (e) The work plan must describe the tasks and activities that will 
be accomplished with available resources during the grant period. It 
must show the work you plan to do to achieve the anticipated outcomes, 
goals, and objectives set out for the RFP. The plan must:
    (1) Describe the work to be performed by each person.
    (2) Give a schedule or timetable of work to be done.
    (3) Show evidence of previous experience with the techniques to be 
used or their successful use by others.
    (4) Outline the loan program to include the following: specific 
loan purposes, a loan application process; priorities, borrower 
eligibility criteria, limitations, fees, interest rates, terms, and 
collateral requirements.
    (5) Provide a marketing plan.
    (6) Explain the mechanics of how you will transfer loan funds to 
the borrowers.
    (7) Describe follow-up or continuing activities that should occur 
after project completion such as monitoring and reporting borrowers' 
accomplishments.
    (8) Describe how the results will be evaluated. The evaluation 
criteria should be in line with the project objectives.
    (9) List all personnel responsible for administering this program 
along with a statement of their qualifications and experience.
    (f) The written justification for projected costs should explain 
how budget figures were determined for each category. It should 
indicate which costs are to be covered by grant funds and which costs 
will be met by your organization or other organizations. The 
justification should account for all expenditures discussed in the 
narrative. It should reflect appropriate cost-sharing contributions. 
The budget justification should explain the budget and accounting 
system proposed or in place. The administrative costs for operating the 
budget should be expressed as a percentage of the overall budget. The 
budget justification should provide specific budget figures, rounding 
off figures to the nearest dollar. Applicants should consult OMB 
Circular A-122: ``Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations'' for 
information about appropriate costs for each budget category.
    (g) In addition to completing the standard application forms, you 
must submit:
    1. Supplementary material that demonstrate that your organization 
is legally recognized under state or Tribal and Federal law. 
Satisfactory documentation includes, but is not limited to, 
certificates from the Secretary of State, or copies of state statutes 
or laws establishing your organization. Letters from the IRS awarding 
tax-exempt status are not considered adequate evidence.
    2. A certified list of directors and officers with their respective 
terms.
    3. Evidence of tax exempt status from the IRS.
    4. Debarment and suspension information required in accordance with 
7 CFR, part 3017, subpart 3017.335, if it applies. The section heading 
is ``What information must I provide before entering into a covered 
transaction with the Department of Agriculture?'' It is part of the 
Department of Agriculture's rules on Government-wide Debarment and 
Suspension.
    5. All of your organization's known workplaces by including the 
actual address of buildings (or parts of buildings) or other sites 
where work under the award takes place. Workplace identification is 
required under the drug-free workplace requirements in accordance with 
7 CFR part 3021, subpart 3021.230. The section heading is ``How and 
when must I identify workplaces?'' It is part of the Department of 
Agriculture's rules on Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Financial Assistance).
    6. The most recent audit of your organization.
    7. The following financial statements:
    i. A pro forma balance sheet at start-up and for at least three 
additional years; Balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow 
statements for the last three years.
    ii. If your organization has been formed less than three years, the 
financial statements should be submitted for the periods from inception 
to the present. Projected income and cash flow statements for at least 
three years supported by a list of assumptions showing the basis for 
the projections. The projected income statement and balance sheet must 
include one set of projections that shows the revolving loan fund only 
and a separate set of projections that shows your organization's total 
operations.
    8. Additional information to support and describe your plan for 
achieving the grant objectives. The information may be regarded as 
essential for understanding and evaluating the project and may be found 
in letters of support, resolutions, policies, and other relevant 
documents. The supplements may be presented in appendices to the 
proposal.

V. Application Review Information

    A. Within 30 days of receiving your application, RUS will send you 
a letter of acknowledgment. Your application will be reviewed for 
completeness to determine if you included all of the items required. If 
your application is incomplete or ineligible, RUS will return it to you 
with an explanation.
    B. A review team, composed of at least two members, will evaluate 
all applications and proposals. They will make overall recommendations 
based on factors such as eligibility, application completeness, and 
conformity to application requirements. They will score the 
applications based on criteria in the next section.
    C. 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:

(a) At least 1 but less than 3 years--5 points
(b) At least 3 but less than 5 years--10 points
(c) At least 5 but less than 10 years--20 points
(d) 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

[[Page 33330]]

    (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:

(a) Less than 20%--ineligible
(b) At least 20% but less than 50%--10 points
(c) 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 points may be awarded based on the 
following:
    Emphasis on High Poverty Areas. To the maximum extent possible, 
high attention should be made on directing loans to rural communities 
and rural areas with the lowest incomes with emphasis to areas where at 
least 45% of children qualify for the National School Lunch Program. 
This emphasis will support Rural Development's goal of providing 15% of 
its funding by 2015 to these areas of need.
    Factors include:
    1. That loans are directed to Colonias or Substantially Underserved 
Trust Areas;
    2. That loans are directed to the smallest communities with the 
lowest incomes emphasizing areas where school district data show that 
at least 45% of the children qualify for the National School Lunch 
Program; and/or
    3. That loans are directed toward sustainable rural water and/or 
wastewater utility systems; Up to 10 points.

VI. Award Administration Information

    A. RUS will rank all qualifying applications by their final score. 
Applications will be selected for funding, based on the highest scores 
and the availability of funding for RFP grants. Each applicant will be 
notified in writing of the score its application receives.
    B. In making its decision about your application, RUS may determine 
that your application is:
    1. Eligible and selected for funding,
    2. Eligible but offered fewer funds than requested,
    3. Eligible but not selected for funding, or
    4. Ineligible for the grant.
    C. In accordance with 7 CFR Part 1900, subpart B, you generally 
have the right to appeal adverse decisions. Some adverse decisions 
cannot be appealed. For example, if you are denied RUS funding due to a 
lack of funds available for the grant program, this decision cannot be 
appealed. However, you may make a request to the National Appeals 
Division (NAD) to review the accuracy of our finding that the decision 
cannot be appealed. The appeal must be in writing and filed at the 
appropriate Regional Office, which can be found at http://www.nad.usda.gov/or by calling (703) 305-1166.
    D. Applicants selected for funding will complete a grant agreement, 
which outlines the terms and conditions of the grant award.
    E. Grantees will be reimbursed as follows:
    1. SF-270, ``Request for Advance or Reimbursement,'' will be 
completed by the grantee and submitted to either the State or National 
Office not more frequently than monthly.
    2. Upon receipt of a properly completed SF-270, the funds will be 
requested through the field office terminal system. Ordinarily, payment 
will be made within 30 days after receipt of a proper request for 
reimbursement.
    3. Grantees are encouraged to use women- and minority-owned banks 
(a bank which is owned at least 50 percent by women or minority group 
members) for the deposit and disbursement of funds.
    F. Any change in the scope of the project, budget adjustments of 
more than 10 percent of the total budget, or any other significant 
change in the project must be reported to and approved by the approval 
official by written amendment to the grant agreement. Any change not 
approved may be cause for termination of the grant.
    G. Grantees shall constantly monitor performance to ensure that 
time schedules are being met, projected work by time periods is being 
accomplished, and other performance objectives are being achieved. The 
Grantee will provide project reports as follows:
    1. SF-269, ``Financial Status Report (short form),'' and a project 
performance activity report will be required of all grantees on a 
quarterly basis, due 30 days after the end of each quarter.
    2. A final project performance report will be required with the 
last SF-269 due 90 days after the end of the last quarter in which the 
project is completed. The final report may serve as the last quarterly 
report.
    3. All multi-State grantees are to submit an original of each 
report to the National Office. Grantees serving only one State are to 
submit an original of each report to the State Office. The project 
performance reports should detail, preferably in a narrative format, 
activities that have transpired for the specific time period.
    H. The grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements 
as follows:
    1. Grantees expending $500,000 or more Federal funds per fiscal 
year will submit an audit conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A-
133. The audit will be submitted within 9 months after the grantee's 
fiscal year. Additional audits may be required if the project period 
covers more than one fiscal year.
    2. Grantees expending less than $500,000 will provide annual 
financial statements covering the grant period, consisting of the 
organization's statement of income and expense and balance sheet signed 
by an appropriate official of the organization. Financial statements 
will be submitted within 90 days after the grantee's fiscal year.
    3. Recipient and Subrecipient Reporting.
    The applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in 
place to comply with the reporting requirements for first-tier sub-
awards and executive compensation under the Federal Funding 
Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 in the event the applicant 
receives funding unless such applicant is exempt from such reporting 
requirements pursuant to 2 CFR part 170, Sec.  170.110(b). The 
reporting requirements under the Transparency Act pursuant to 2 CFR 
part 170 are as follows:
    a. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more in non-Recovery Act 
funds (unless they are exempt under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by 
the Recipient to http://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month 
following the month the obligation was made. Please note that currently 
underway is a consolidation of eight federal procurement systems, 
including the Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), into one system, the 
System for Award Management (SAM). As a result the FSRS will soon be 
consolidated into and accessed through https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.
    b. The Total Compensation of the Recipient's Executives (5 most 
highly

[[Page 33331]]

compensated executives) must be reported by the Recipient (if the 
Recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/by the end of the month following the 
month in which the award was made.
    c. The Total Compensation of the Subrecipient's Executives (5 most 
highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Subrecipient (if 
the Subrecipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to the 
Recipient by the end of the month following the month in which the 
subaward was made.

VII. Agency Contacts

    A. Web site: http://www.usda.gov/rus/water. The Rural Utilities 
Service Web site maintains up-to-date resources and contact information 
for the RFP.
    B. Phone: (202) 720-9589.
    C. Fax: (202) 690-0649.
    D. Email: mailto: JoyceM.Taylor@wdc.usda.gov.
    E. Main point of contact: Joyce M. Taylor, Community Programs 
Specialist, Water and Environmental Programs, Water Programs Division, 
Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Dated: May 10, 2013.
John Charles Padalino,
Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service .
[FR Doc. 2013-13069 Filed 6-3-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P