Maximize Your Impact

This page lists current opportunities for resources, funding, and technical assistance to help cities go deeper with GreenStep Cities’ best practices. This page will be updated as new offerings become available.                            


Water Infrastructure Improvement Project Funding

State agencies are now accepting submissions to place public wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water infrastructure improvement projects on the 2020 Project Priority Lists (PPL) and Intended Use Plans (IUP) for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. Projects must be listed on the appropriate PPL as the first step to be eligible for funds. System owners must request that their projects be placed on the appropriate 2020 IUP if they expect to be ready for construction and are seeking revolving funds for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). The two state revolving fund programs are administered by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA), with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The PFA provides low-interest loans or grants to local governments for eligible projects based on priorities determined by the MPCA (for wastewater and stormwater projects) and MDH (for drinking water projects).

Project Priority List – Clean Water Revolving Fund

  • Wastewater and stormwater projects
  • Deadline: March 1 to MPCA
  • PPL application and scoring worksheet (including supporting documentation, as required)
  • Wastewater facilities plans
  • Stormwater project plans
  • Contact: Bill Dunn, MPCA, at 651-757-2324 or bill.dunn@state.mn.us
  • More information: www.pca.state.mn.us/ppl

 

Project Priority List – Drinking Water Revolving Fund

 

Intended Use Plans – both programs

 

LCCMR accepting proposals for $53 million grant round

The Legislative- Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) is accepting funding proposals through April 15 for projects that protect, conserve, preserve, and enhance Minnesota’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. The commission reviews applications and makes funding recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, derived from lottery proceeds and investment income.

Funding: There is no minimum or maximum request amount. $53 million is expected for projects beginning on July 1, 2010.
Timeline: Applicants are encouraged to submit draft proposals by March 15 to receive staff feedback. Final proposals must be submitted online at www.lccmr.leg.mn by April 15.
Link:
https://www.lccmr.leg.mn/proposals/2020/2020_lccmr_rfp.pdf

 

Smaller Cities Invited to Participate in Race Equity Cohort Pilot

Cities are invited to partner with the League and the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to develop and pilot a new race equity cohort training model for medium- and small-sized jurisdictions. The goal is to create a model that will work well for smaller jurisdictions in terms of the demands on staff time and resources.

This will involve sending staff to training and networking sessions, as well as contributing to the design and structure of the model, over the course of nine months. The geographic focus is southwestern Minnesota, but local governments from any part of the state, including the Twin Cities metro area, are welcome to participate.

Cities will participate in a curriculum that focuses on:

  • Normalizing conversations about race.
  • Organizing internal structures to support the work of institutional culture change.
  • Operationalizing new practices, procedures, and policies, and using racial equity tools.

Fees: 1-3 participants: $500; 4-6 participants: $1,000
Registration: Register by February 1. The first workshop will be held on Feb. 7 in Redwood Falls. For more information and to register, contact LMC staff member Kevin Frazell at kfrazell@lmc.org or (651) 281-1215, or Rachel Walker at rwalker@lmc.org or (651) 281-1236.
Link: https://www.lmc.org/page/1/RaceEquityCohort-Small.jsp?ssl=true

 

Partners in Places Grant - Funders Network

This grant opportunity creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government leaders and local place-based foundations. Through these partnerships, national funders invest in sustainable projects through a one-to-one match developed to promote social equity, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for all residents. Partners for Places encourages project alignment with GHG reduction, climate resilience, green infrastructure, and equity priorities. 

Funding: Grants awarded for 1-2 years for $25,000-$150,000.
Timeline: Proposals Due: January 31 (available 2x/year)
Link: https://www.fundersnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Partners-for-Places-Round-14-RFP.x78069.pdf

 

EPA Environmental Justice/ Emergency Preparedness Small Grants Opportunity

The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) program awards grants that support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. The EJSG program will award approximately $1.5 million nationwide for this competitive opportunity. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 50 grants (5 per EPA region) of up to $30,000 each. These grants are for one-year projects.

Timeline: Applications due February 15. Application Assistance Calls 12/6, 12/13, 1/16, 1/23, and 1/31.
Link: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-small-grants-program#tab-2

 

Resilient Communities Program - Call for Proposals

The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) is now accepting proposals from cities, counties, tribal governments, special districts, and regional government agencies or partnerships in Minnesota to be an RCP partner for the 2019–2020 academic year. Successful applicants will benefit from 10-25 projects over a 15-18 month period of work by University of Minnesota students and faculty, from a variety of disciplines, to provide research and technical assistance with projects that advance community resiliency. The partner must support the effort through dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution. The selection process is competitive.

Timeline: Application Deadline - February 15, 2019
Link: https://rcp.umn.edu/home/communities/apply-to-rcp?utm_source=RCP+E-Newsletter&utm_campaign=f588cd68bc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_10_11_02_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5a9d698ed-f588cd68bc-238487225

 

Clean Water Partnership Loans

The Clean Water Partnership (CWP) program offers zero-interest loans to local units of government for implementing nonpoint-source best management practices and other activities that target the restoration and protection of a water resource such as a lake, stream, or groundwater aquifer.

Eligible projects include:

  • Urban green infrastructure such as rain water reuse, green roofs, porous pavement, or any stormwater best management practice (BMP)
  • Buffers: purchase of native seeds and vegetation
  • Septic system upgrades and replacements
  • Technical assistance, outreach, and education
  • Equipment such as conservation tillage equipment
  • Any nonpoint source BMP
  • Feedlot upgrades and replacement  

Funding: Up to $2 million, 0% interest
Timing: Accepted on a rolling basis
Link: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/cwp-loans

 

2018/19 GreenStep Workshops

New workshops are planned for GreenStep and other MN communities, to be held at the League of Minnesota Cities office in St. Paul and live webcast. Topics are being finalized and will be posted on the GreenStep web page soon. Anyone is welcome to attend!

Link: http://www.betterenergy.org/greenstep-cities/workshops/

 

Menu of Climate Adaptation Strategies

Resource: The menu includes many "no regrets" strategies that can improve daily quality of life for the community, while helping reduce risk for those groups most vulnerable to climate impacts – the very old or very young, people with health issues, disabilities, economic vulnerability, outdoor occupations, exposure to environmental pollution, or cultural/language barriers, people of color.

Link: http://www.bluedotregister.org/mpca-vulnerable-population-assessments

Contact for more information: Laura Millberg, MPCA

 

Resources from EPA Office of Sustainable Communities

Local Foods, Local Places helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and revitalize downtowns through the development of local food systems. To date, nearly 80 communities have benefited from assistance.

Healthy Places for Healthy People helps community leaders and health care partners focus on health as an economic driver and catalyst for downtown and neighborhood revitalization. Healthcare partners include community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities. To date, 10 communities have benefited from assistance. The Healthy Places for Healthy People web page has short videos on our work in Corbin, KY, and Williamson, WV. Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit: Based on the best practices and lessons learned from Local Foods, Local Places workshops, EPA developed the Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit to help communities interested in using local foods to support downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions for planning and hosting a community workshop and includes case studies and templates communities can adapt to their needs. Harlan, Kentucky, participated in the Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance program in 2017; listen to this podcast to hear how Harlan is working to grow the local food economy and revitalize downtown.

Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Changing Land Use and Building Codes and Policies to Prepare for Climate Change is a guide that describes specific changes communities could make to their land use and building policies to prepare for climate change while gaining other environmental, economic, health, and social benefits in the short and long terms.

Framework for Creating a Smart Growth Economic Development Strategy: A Tool for Small Cities and Towns is a step-by-step guide to building a place-based economic development strategy, intended for small and mid-sized cities, particularly those that have limited population growth, areas of disinvestment, and/or a struggling economy.

 

Warm Mix Asphalt – Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance: The US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 out of Chicago, is seeking to work with local governments, private companies and other organizations that contract asphalt paving to reduce emissions from asphalt production through the use of Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA). WMA is an alternative to traditional Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) with equivalent performance at mixing temperatures 50-100 degrees F lower. WMA uses the same production equipment as HMA, but achieves lower temperatures through the addition of chemical or organic additives or water. WMA works as a compaction tool for contractors seeking to achieve contract densities faster and more easily. Adoption of WMA technology can reduce energy use by 20-30% along with odors and air emissions like “blue smoke” that are harmful to workers and neighbors, especially children and other vulnerable populations.

A regional U.S. EPA engineer, Dawid Kierys, is offering to provide technical assistance on using/contracting for warm mix asphalt and in writing contract language to specify WMA for your road projects.

Interested? If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dawid Kierys at 312.353.7446 or kierys.dawid@epa.gov

 

Brownfields + Health Planning Tool

Resource: Revitalizing brownfield sites offers an opportunity for communities to spur economic growth, resolve neighborhood blight, increase community connectivity, restore ecological balance and promote public health. The benefits are tremendous, but often the task of transforming these sites into productive community assets can present challenges, including the complicated process of identifying and prioritizing the redevelopment strategies that will best meet the long-term needs of the environment and community. Minnesota Brownfields and the Minnesota Department of Health have developed a Brownfield and Health Indicator Tool to help community planners, landscape architects, developers and community leaders overcome this challenge.

The Brownfield and Health Indicator Tool incorporates a series of indicators that address community health factors and aims to streamline project decision-making process by providing a framework for stakeholders to identify and prioritize re-development goals. Designed as a self-guided tool by those who influence and work on brownfield projects, the Brownfield Health Indicator Tool’s framework supports existing project decision-making processes. To access the Brownfield Health Indicator Tool, visit Brownfield Health Indicator Tool or Brownfields and Public Health. To learn more about the tool’s launch and current pilot project by the City of Duluth, click here.

Contact: Natalie Brown, Program Manager at Minnesota Brownfields nbrown@mnbrownfields.org

 

Citizens Utility Board Presentation by Request

Opportunity: CUB of Minnesota Outreach Director Carmen Carruthers is scheduling presentations and utility bill clinics for this spring and summer. Our staff can help attendees understand their utility bills, highlight ways to reduce energy costs, explain options to get renewable power, and make people aware of programs and rebates for which they might be eligible. Presentations can be customized to the local utilities and the specific interests of each group.

Timing: Ongoing

Contact: Find out more, and contact Carmen if you’re interested in requesting a speaker: 612-568-5706 or carmenc@cubminnesota.org

 

Current Grant Opportunities - League of Minnesota Cities Database

See current grant opportunities as part of the LMC Resource Library - https://www.lmc.org/page/1/current-grant.jsp