Guide to Local Recovery Update: Jan. 11

Jan 11, 2023

Applications for several infrastructure grant programs are due soon, including those that fund water recycling, surface transportation, and energy code updates. The U.S. Department of Transportation is holding webinars on programs that fund transportation projects in disadvantaged communities and workforce development. The National League of Cities also released several notable recovery resources for cities, including an overview of new tax credits available to local governments.

Federal funding available for water reuse and desalination

Applications for the Water Recycling and Desalination Planning Program are due Feb. 28. The program aims to increase water supply sustainability through investments in existing infrastructure in both urban and agricultural areas. Examples of eligible project activities include the development of new feasibility studies, design activities, environmental compliance, and other pre-construction activities.

Potential applicants can schedule a meeting with program coordinators to discuss project eligibility, program requirements, or evaluation criteria. The program is funded in part by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Surface transportation grant funding to go to both urban and rural areas

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. The RAISE program funds surface transportation projects, with a focus on those that address climate change and racial equity concerns. A list of previously funded projects is available online.

Funding will be split equally between urban and rural areas. At least $15 million will go towards projects located in Areas of Persistent Poverty or Historically Disadvantaged Communities. Projects in these areas are eligible for up to 100% federal cost share, as directed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Applications are due Feb. 28.

End of month deadline for key energy code grant program

A deadline for a new grant program from the U.S. Department of Energy is fast approaching. Created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program helps cities update building energy codes. Applicants must submit a concept paper by Jan. 31 to be eligible to submit a full application.

The program can cover a wide range of related projects, including the costs associated with developing energy codes, training, building department accreditation, and electronic permitting. The program also includes several notable requirements, such as the involvement of a relevant state agency.

The National League of Cities released an overview of the program to help cities develop competitive and successful grant applications.

U.S. Department of Transportation webinars

The U.S. Department of Transportation is holding a Jan. 17 webinar on Registered Apprenticeship programs — public-private partnerships that provide job training and paths to employment. Policy experts will explore how these programs can help cities tap into federal funding and build more equitable workforces.

The Transportation Department is also holding a series of webinars on its Areas of Persistent Poverty Program, which supports planning and technical studies to improve public transportation in rural and urban communities experiencing long-term economic hardship. Funds can also be used to help transit agencies transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles. Applications must be submitted by March 10.

NLC recovery resources

The National League of Cities released several notable recovery resources, including an overview of the new tax credits available to local governments through the Inflation Reduction Act. The law provides non-taxable entities investing in and producing clean energy with a direct payment option in lieu of tax credits.

NLC also developed a toolkit to help local leaders spread awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit. The program brings $60 billion in federal dollars back to local economies every year.

Another article highlights the Road Safety Champion Program, which provides rural-focused resources and some technical assistance free of charge. Nearly half of fatal crashes in the U.S. occur on rural roads according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

NLC also released a summary of notable home weatherization grants within the Inflation Reduction Act. Although cities cannot tap into this funding, local leaders play an important role in helping residents understand and access these grants. Buildings and energy are also major sources of carbon emissions.

Two other articles highlight the success (and opportunities) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, as well as the American Rescue Plan Act.

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