Publication

April 16, 2009Client Alert

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Announces Use of Federal Stimulus Funds for Clean Water Fund Program and Safe Drinking Water Loan Program

Are you a Wisconsin municipality with grants or loans under the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (“DNR”) Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (“SDWLP”) or Clean Water Fund Program (“CWFP”), or are you hoping to get such grants or loans? If so, you may be eligible for grant or principal forgiveness.

Use of Funds

The DNR received approximately $145 million in federal stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“The Act”) to be used for SDWLP and CWFP. Although some additional approvals are required, the DNR anticipates that it will use all of the economic stimulus funds to provide municipalities with grant and principal forgiveness for grants or loans under SDWLP and CWFP.

Additionally, municipalities may apply for project funding under either of these two programs. If such requests are granted, half of the requested funds will be in the form of a subsidized loan using the regular SDWLP and/or CWFP program funding, and half of the funds will be in the form of either a grant or grant or principal forgiveness using the federal stimulus funds.

Although not determined at this time, the DNR will likely limit the amount of stimulus funds a municipality may receive.

How to Apply under SDWLP

If applying under SDWLP, the municipality must submit a Financial Assistance Application to the DNR on or before April 30, 2009. If the municipality has not yet submitted an Intent to Apply form and Priority Evaluation and Ranking form, it must do so prior to submitting its Financial Assistance Application.

Additionally, the municipality must submit three copies of plans and specifications to the DNR’s Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater and one copy of such plans and specifications, along with a copy of the applications forms, to the Bureau of Community Financial Assistance.

Finally, the municipality must receive DNR approval of its engineering report prior to April 30, 2009.

How to Apply under CWFP

Municipalities wishing to apply under the CWFP must submit a Financial Assistance Application to the DNR on or before June 30, 2009. As with applications under SDWLP, the municipality must first submit an Intent to Apply form and Priority Evaluation and Ranking form before filing its Financial Assistance Application. Additionally, the municipality must submit plans and specifications to the DNR’s Bureau of Watershed Management and a facility plan to the DNR prior to the June 30, 2009 deadline.

Additional Information

Finally, along with its application packet under either program, the municipality must provide the following information:

(1) Identification of project elements and associated costs that constitute “green infrastructure,” along with a description of why such elements qualify as green infrastructure; and

(2) An estimate of the percentage of labor costs versus material and equipment costs.

Forms for applying under both programs can be found here:

This client alert is one of a series designed to provide summaries of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("The Act") and information and guidance regarding opportunities and relief made available through The Act. All of The Act client alerts are available on Michael Best's Stimulus and Economic Recovery Team publications page. For additional information on this topic, please feel free to contact one of the authors of this alert or your Michael Best attorney.

If you are interested in learning about other provisions included in The Act, the Michael Best Stimulus and Economic Recovery Team is prepared to assist you in understanding the implications and in developing and implementing a strategy to secure the benefits of this unprecedented legislation. Specifically, we will assist you to identify opportunities, prepare appropriate proposals and make targeted contacts to secure funds. We will also work with you to ensure that your applications are tailored to meet your needs and that your funded projects proceed in compliance with award requirements and applicable laws.

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