Renewable Resource Emergency Grants
A total of $125,000 is available for emergency grants from DNRC each biennium. Because of this limitation, it is necessary that grant assistance be limited only to serious emergencies that meet program requirements. The emergency must pose an immediate threat to the beneficial management of a renewable resource, and all reasonable funding sources must be investigated before an emergency grant will be awarded. Emergency grants are limited to $30,000 per project.
DNRC has the authority to provide up to $10 million in emergency loan financing each biennium. The amount of each loan is limited by the applicant's bonded debt capacity. The financial guidelines and security requirements normally required for the issuance of general obligation or revenue bonds apply. Interest rates vary with the coal severance bond rate and may be adjusted by the legislature. The term of the loan is also variable, but typically is limited to 20 years.
The Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program was established to enhance Montana's renewable resources by funding projects that measurably conserve, develop, manage, or protect resources. Both grants and loans under this program usually require legislative authorization. DNRC has been granted authority, however, to approve both grants and loans for emergency projects that, if delayed until legislative approval can be obtained, will cause substantial damages or legal liability to the entity seeking assistance. Typical types of projects have included dike failures, emergency dam repairs, and emergency repairs to municipal drinking water and wastewater systems.
Emergency grants and loans are available to state and local government agencies including, but not limited to, counties, incorporated cities and towns, conservation districts, irrigation districts, and water and sewer districts. The funds are part of the Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). As with other grants and loans offered through this program, the emergency funds are not available to private organizations, associations, or individuals.
Applicants must be aware that this program exists to address serious emergencies that cannot be delayed until legislative authorization can be obtained. In addition to demonstrating the emergency status of a request, the applicant must also demonstrate that it has exhausted all other means of funding the emergency project. The project must also quality as a project that will enhance a renewable resource.
To initiate a request for emergency grant or loan assistance, contact the DNRC Resource Development Bureau by the quickest and most efficient method available. A detailed description of the problem, the proposed solution, and any financial information, including the estimated cost of the project and proposed funding sources, will expedite the application process.
Following initial notification, a DNRC engineer will contact you and arrange for a site investigation. A determination will be made by the DNRC Director's Office within a matter of days, and a grant or loan agreement will be executed accordingly. Grant funding is available almost immediately. Loan financing will require the processes and time constraints normally associated with the incurrence of bonded indebtedness by a governmental entity, usually 45 to 60 days assuming that adequate rates and charges are already in effect.
For Additional Information Contact:
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Resource Development Bureau
1625 Eleventh Avenue
Helena, Montana 59620-1601
Website Address: http://dnrc.mt.gov