Two Major State Grant Programs are accepting applications for Recreation & Parks Projects
The State has released notices that applications are being accepted for its most transformative grant programs for recreation and parks. The Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) program provides funding for Conservation Commissions to acquire land for natural resource and passive recreation purposes. The Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) supports acquiring land to develop for parks and outdoor recreation purposes, as well as funds renovation of existing parks. Both programs received additional funding this fiscal year with up to $500,000 per application for each grant. Interested communities are strongly encouraged to attend training on the application process being held on May 4th ahead of the grants being due on July 13th. The programs do require an approved Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) on file with the State, but if a community doesn’t have one, there are options to apply for funding to satisfy this requirement, due this spring.
Massachusetts Announces a Groundbreaking Low- & Moderate-Income Housing Decarbonization Grant Program
Seeking to make a significant impact on ensuring the State’s energy supply, while also creating a clean, affordable and resilient future for residents and businesses, the State has announced a new grant targeted at these purposes. Targeted at low- and moderate-income residential buildings, the State has committed $50 million between now and 2027 to make retrofits to this category of housing to implement energy efficiency, decarbonize heating and other systems, and reduce fossil fuel use. Projects must ensure that housing units remain affordable for 3 years and limit rent increases. Eligible applicants include towns, but also include non-profits and private owners. Grant awards will differ depending on the number of units in a building, and can be used for building envelope improvements, electrification (ground source heat pumps), on site renewable energy such solar, and remediation of barriers to achieving these goals. Projects must also leverage funding from applicable energy efficiency programs. Applications will be accepted starting June 1st and every six months after that through June 2027 or when funding is exhausted.
Bridge Academy Training Reimbursement Program
Municipalities who have police officers who have completed the Bridge Academy Training Program are eligible to apply for and receive $3,000 for each officer that has completed all four of the required training programs. The training programs must have been completed between July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2023, until the $1 million in funding is depleted.
Bulletproof Vest Program
Police departments that have already applied for and been approved for reimbursement from the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership | Overview | Office of Justice Programs (ojp.gov) are eligible to receive reimbursement from the State to purchase replacement bulletproof vests. The federal program covers the first 50% of the cost, and State funds will make up the difference for vests that are more than five years old, or new ones for an officer not previously issued a vest. Funding is available on a first come fist served basis for all departments that submit the required certification forms and contract documents.
The FY22 Federal Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Program is now open
FEMA has recently announced the re-opening of this grant which focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fires and fire-related hazards, and research and development. $36 million is available to fire departments and related entities in a number of categories that fulfill these objectives. The program most likely to be of interest to departments are comprehensive fire and life safety education programs. Departments that have already developed a plan that identifies the risks in the community, an intervention strategy, implementation plan and evaluation process can apply for funds to implement the program. A popular one that has been funded is smoke alarm installations for high-risk populations as part of a home fire safety campaign. If a town has not completed a risk assessment and developed a plan, they can still apply for funding to complete that step and apply the following year for funds to implement it. Other funded priorities include code enforcement awareness programs and fire and arson investigation training and tools. The grant requires a match of 5% of the award from non-federal sources, and the application, which must be filed through the FEMA GO site by March 31st at 5:00 PM.