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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

September 16th, 2022

Welcome to the Friday Update from the Federal Funding Hub!

This message shares news and resources so that our region can make the most of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other federal funding.

Minnesota landed 2 of the 26 INFRA grants, for a total of $35 million! Find out where it’s going below.

News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Scott County:

    • On September 15, 2022, Scott County Library will launch Extended Access at the Elko New Market Library. This free library card add-on benefit allows cardholders aged 16 and older the ability to use the library outside of staffed hours for studying, reading, picking up materials, and more. Scott County plans to expand Extended Access to all locations over the next few years using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

    • With the help of federal funding, Scott County is chipping away at a backlog of court cases stemming from the COVID pandemic. Approximately $1.5 million in salaries for other county employees, was being funded by the federal American Rescue Plan through the end of 2024.


Minnesota News

  • EDA: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.8 million grant to the city of Fosston, Minnesota, to boost business growth by making infrastructure upgrades needed to expand the city’s existing airport industrial park. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.


National ARPA News

  • Build Back Better: Community colleges are big winners in a federal program that aims to spark regional economic development and train workers in emerging industries. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge will allocate a total of $1 billion to 21 regional coalitions across the U.S. The partnerships include research universities, state and local governments, business and industry groups, nonprofits, labor unions and—in every case—at least one community college or technical training school.


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) News

  • States Expand Highways: When President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Package into law last November, many saw it as an opportunity to combat climate change. However, according to a new report from the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG, state and local governments are at risk of squandering federal funds to build or expand major highway systems.

  • EV charging funding: The Biden-Harris Administration today announced more than two-thirds of Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plans from States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been approved ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, established and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

  • Drinking water: Jackson, Miss is just the latest American city threatened by a growing drinking water crisis. Some of the primary water concerns that the infrastructure bill proposes to address is to replace a whole bunch of lead service lines and to put money to figuring out why PFASs—perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances [often called “forever chemicals” because of their persistence in the environment]—are present in water and what to do about it.

  • 26 INFRA Awards: The U.S. Department of Transportation revealed the funding recipients on Thursday for $1.5 billion in Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants. Millions of dollars will go to cover costs like expanding truck parking, bridge and highway improvements and an interstate teardown. Demand for the money far outstrips the amount available, even after last year’s infrastructure law increased available funds by more than 50%. Full listing of the awards is found here.


Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) News

  • The White House: Read the executive order on the Implementation of the Energy and Infrastructure Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

  • Inflation Reduction Act expands tax credits for energy projects: The IRA expands eligibility to claim the "full" existing energy ITC described in Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Code), to certain projects that previously only qualified for a reduced ITC or did not qualify at all.


CHIPS Act News

  • U.S. to discuss new chips bill with Taiwan next month: The United States will hold talks with Taiwan next month to discuss new U.S. legislation designed to boost the American semiconductor industry, the top U.S. diplomat in Taipei said on Wednesday. The United States has been encouraging foreign tech firms to manufacture in the country, and the government has welcomed investments by Taiwan's TSMC.


Upcoming Webinars

  • Inaugural DOE Justice Week: DOE is hosting its first-ever Justice Week September 12-16, with free, public webinars to be held on Wednesday and Friday. For a better understanding of Justice40 and how to better incorporate Equity Action Plans and Community Engagement into IIJA funding proposals, register and attend of the sessions below:

  • Innovation ecosystems: Join leaders from the National Science Foundation to learn more about how U.S cities can compete for grants of up to $160 million to build industries of the future. The exclusive online briefing is on September 16 at 12 pm CT. Register here.

  • Weatherization Assistance Program IIJA Formula Grant Application: The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources will conduct two virtual public hearings on Monday, September 19 on the draft plan of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons Grant Application to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy. The virtual public hearings will be from 11-12 pm. and 2-3 pm. via Webex.

  • Taking Advantage of Federal Funds: Local Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs to Consider: This hour-long webinar on September 20th at 1 pm, organized jointly by the Sustainable States Network (SSN) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will showcase leading energy efficiency programs from across the country that communities can learn from and replicate as they prepare to leverage new federal funding opportunities. Register here.

  • Infrastructure Funding: Gain strategic insight into creating competitive applications for FEMA’s Build Resilient Infrastructure and Communities funding opportunity under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Join a webinar on September 27 at 1 pm CT. Register here.

  • ACEEE’s Self-Scoring Tool: Results from the Community Energy Challenge: This ACEEE/SSN webinar on September 29th at 12 pm will show communities how to use ACEEE’s latest self-scoring tool to measure their community's energy efficiency and clean energy progress and highlight results from the most recent cohort of SSN’s Community Energy Challenge. Register here.

  • Global Wellness Connections (GWC): Join Global Wellness Connections (GWC) and its partners are inviting you on October 7th from 8:30-10:00 am, and other leaders from across sectors and industries in the five state-Upper Midwest, to the roll-out briefing on the ‘Future of Wellbeing – Minnesota Leading the Way.’ Register here


Resources

  • Great Lakes Federal Grant Navigation Program: NLC (National League of Cities) launched a free grant navigation program called the Great Lakes Federal Grant Navigation Program to assist local government staff with collecting the necessary data and applying for federal grants. Sign up here.


Upcoming Funding Deadlines

The types of awards are as follows:


Notice of Intent (NOI)

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): The DOE launched more than $28 Million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for research and development (R&D) projects that will advance and preserve hydropower as a critical source of clean energy. This Notice of Intent (NOI) will offer three funding opportunities this fall to support research, development, and deployment of hydropower, including pumped storage hydropower, which can play a key role in integrating variable renewable energy sources on the electric grid.


Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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