Guide to Local Recovery Update: May 24

May 24, 2023

Deadlines for key electric vehicle charging, zero-emission school buses, and safe streets grant programs, as well as a series of technical assistance bootcamps are fast approaching. Also, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is holding a webinar on key broadband programs authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Technical assistance bootcamps for small and mid-sized cities

The Local Infrastructure Hub and the National League of Cities are holding another round of infrastructure grant bootcamps. The five new bootcamps will focus on railroad crossings, drinking water, broadband, bridge, and equity grants in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

Participants will have access to subject matter experts, office hours, and individualized coaching sessions, as well as a library of templates, example submissions, and other resources. The bootcamps will last 3-4 months with active participation required each month. By the end of the program, participants will be able to build robust federal grant applications.

The free program is open to cities with populations below 150,000. Only a handful of California cities have applied; interested cities are strongly encouraged to apply. Registration closes May 31.

EV charging and alternative-fueling grant program deadline extended

The U.S. Department of Transportation extended the deadline for its Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program to June 13. Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program seeks to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure.

The $2.5 billion program will support projects in urban and rural communities, as well as those in designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Projects in low- and moderate-income communities that disproportionately experience the consequences of climate change and other pollutants are a key focus of the program.

Clean school bus funding available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for its Clean School Bus program. The program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Cities can use the funding to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses.

Even if cities do not have direct control over their bus system, they are encouraged to work with other local officials on this program. The federal government has made it clear that it will favor projects that include a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in reducing the impact of climate change and prioritizing historically underserved areas.

Applicants should review the EPA’s past Clean School Bus webinars, including a May 10 notice of funding information session. The EPA also created an interactive map of the program’s past winners.

The deadline for submitting questions is Aug. 9. The deadline to apply for funding is Aug. 22.

Safe Streets and Roads for All applications due July 10  

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for the Safe Streets and Roads for All program. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program helps cities prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The program focuses on the development of a comprehensive safety action plan for highways, roads, and streets that meet the needs of all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, and motorists.

Two types of grants are available. Planning and Demonstration Grants help cities develop or supplement a comprehensive safety action plan. This can include goal setting, safety analysis, and certain pilot programs. Implementation Grants help cities implement projects identified in an action plan, such as bike networks, speed management strategies, pedestrian safety enhancements, and other multimodal projects. 

Applications are due July 10.

Learn how to get involved with broad deployment and equity

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is holding a May 25 webinar on key broadband programs authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The programs will help increase both broadband access and digital literacy. Designed for local government leaders, the webinar will provide an overview of the programs and the steps local leaders can take to shape the state of broadband in their communities.

City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal.