The USDOT recently announced new technical assistance grants for projects in rural and tribal communities.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) Build America Bureau (the Bureau) last week released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new pilot program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program offers technical assistance grants to rural and tribal communities. The Program makes $10 million available over five years to advance infrastructure projects in these communities.
The grants may be used to hire staff or advisors to assist with early development-phase activities including, but not limited to, feasibility studies; preliminary engineering and design; environmental review; revenue forecasting; financial feasibility analysis; statutory and regulatory analysis and drafting and negotiation of agreements.
The NOFO combines two years of funding (Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023), $3.4 million in total, to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual awards will range in value up to the statutory limit of $360,000. There is no local funding match required to participate in this program.
The Bureau has created a simple, four-page funding application, available at https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/RuralandTribalGrants, and will begin accepting submissions at 2 p.m. ET on August 14. The Bureau recently posted a recording of a webinar on the grants and a copy of the presentation at Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program | Build America (transportation.gov) . It is highly encouraged that applicants view the recording as it provides an opportunity for to learn about the application process and what activities can be funded through this pilot program.
Eligible applicants include local governments or political subdivisions with projects located outside of an urbanized area with a population of more than 150,000 residents as determined by the Census; state governments applying on behalf of a project in an area outside an urbanized area of more than 150,000 residents; federally recognized Indian Tribes; and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
The Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program joins the Thriving Communities Program, the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators and other new technical assistance opportunities at DOT to ensure communities have the needed tools to access federal funding and financing for transformative infrastructure projects. Additional DOT technical assistance resources can be found on the DOT Navigator at www.transportation.gov/dot-navigator.