New and Improved Planning Grants in Utah

July 2nd, 2019

The returns on a community’s planning process are many, but the sources of funding support are few. Regardless of where a community is located in Utah, there aren’t a lot of options for planning grants. This is particularly unfortunate because competition for capital project funding continues to increase, and more often than not, those projects that get funded are first justified in a formal plan.

Fortunately for rural areas, the Community Impact Board has made things a little easier. Here are the highlights of the new way they are administering planning grants:

  • Applications must be submitted on the usual trimester basis which is June 1, October 1 and February 1.
  • CDO staff will review and score applications based upon defined funding criteria.
  • The applicant is required to commit financially with a minimum 50% cash match.
  • CIB will not fund more than 50% of the total project cost or $50,000.
  • Funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis.
  • Applicants can apply for this type of fund only once per fiscal year (July 1–June 30).
  • CIB planning funds are available for general planning, master plans, hazard mitigation studies, environmental impact studies, water resource plans, soils analysis, and feasibility studies. The eligibility and criteria for ordinance or code writing/updating are currently under development.
  • Successful applicants will fully follow their own procurement process and have highly engaged leadership who are working with the Association of Governments Regional Planner on scoping this project.
  • Robust public engagement is strongly encouraged.

The new program definitely isn’t a perfect solution to the lack of funding support for communities, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for rural communities.

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