Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance grant program will provide $20 million to local governments throughout Colorado as early as February 2013.
The competitive grant program has been suspended since August 2010 so that funds could be diverted to the state's General Fund to help address budget shortfalls. The state's increased General Fund balance and improved budget forecast have allowed the grant program to be reinstated.
"The Energy Impact program is a vital financial resource to help address the impacts of energy and mineral production on local communities across Colorado," Hickenlooper said. "These funds repair and build roads, improve public facilities, build and restore water and sewer systems and help bolster the capacity of local governments."
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs administers the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund. The program was created by the General Assembly in 1977. Funding for the program comes from state severance tax and federal mineral lease revenues.
"We are pleased to once again have the ability to make grants to communities through this program," said Reeves Brown, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. "These grants are very important to communities across Colorado. Our staff is eager to start working with our local partners to move forward."
Grant awards will fall under one of two categories: Tier 1 funds projects up to $200,000; and Tier 2 awards grants from $201,000 to $1 million. The program also has a Tier 3 category, which funds multi-year, multi-jurisdictional/regional projects ranging from $2 million to $10 million, but Tier 3 grants are not available at this time.
The timeline established for getting grants to communities is:
* Aug. 1, 2012--Application available online
* Dec. 3, 2012-- Applications due
* February 2013 -- Tier 1 funding decisions
* March 2013 -- Impact hearings for Tier 2 awards
* April 2013 -- Tier 2 funding decisions
Sam Mamet, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League, said, "The Governor's fulfillment of his commitment to renew the use of the Energy Impact money is outstanding. We have member communities of CML who will benefit greatly from these much-needed funds."
Chip Taylor, executive director of Colorado Counties Inc., added, "This is an important development for this program. Making these dollars available once again to address local energy impacts will help fulfill some unmet needs and help our counties make strategic investments that improve the quality of life for Colorado citizens."
Ann Terry, executive director of the Special District Association, said, "Access to the dollars demonstrates a great partnership between the state and special districts in Colorado."