Supplemental Discretionary Grants for Capital Investments and Requests for Comments on Grant Criteria


Printer Friendly Number 2009-35
05-19-09

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On February 17, 2009, the President of the United States signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”) to, among other purposes, (1) preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery, (2) invest in transportation infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits, and (3) assist those most affected by the current economic downturn. The Recovery Act appropriated $1.5 billion of discretionary grant funds to be awarded by the Department of Transportation (the “Department”) for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. The Department is referring to these grants as “Grants for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” or “TIGER Discretionary Grants.” This notice requests that applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants be submitted by September 15, 2009, from State and local governments, including U.S. territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities, other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional applicants (“Eligible Applicants”). The funds provided by TIGER Discretionary Grants (“Grant Funds”) will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.

The Recovery Act allows for up to $200 million of the $1.5 billion to be used to pay the subsidy and administrative costs of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (“TIFIA”) program, a Federal credit assistance program, if it would further the purposes of the TIGER Discretionary Grants program. The Department is referring to these payments as “TIGER TIFIA Payments.” The Department estimates that $200 million of TIGER TIFIA Payments could support approximately $2 billion in TIFIA credit assistance. Applicants for TIGER TIFIA Payments will be required to submit an application pursuant to this notice and a separate TIFIA loan application. Additional details are included below in Section VI (TIGER TIFIA Payments). Unless otherwise noted, or the context requires otherwise, references in this notice to TIGER Discretionary Grants include TIGER TIFIA Payments. This notice announces the availability of funding for TIGER Discretionary Grants, project selection criteria, application requirements and the deadline for submitting applications.

However, because this is a new program, this notice also requests comments on the proposed selection criteria and guidance for awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants. The Department will take all comments into consideration and may publish a supplemental notice revising some elements of this notice. If the Department determines that no substantive changes need to be made in this notice, the Department will respond to all comments when it publishes a Federal Register notice (FRN) announcing the successful applications. If substantive changes are necessary, the Department will publish a supplemental FRN and request for applications by June 17, 2009. Depending on the nature of the comments and the number of initial applications received, the Department may award funds based on the initial applications without publishing a supplemental notice. In addition, in the event that this solicitation does not result in the award and obligation of all available funds, the Department may decide to publish an additional solicitation.

Comments must be received by June 1, 2009. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. Complete applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants must be submitted by September 15, 2009 (the “Application Deadline”’). Due to the need to expedite the grant award process to meet the requirements and purposes of the Recovery Act, the Department will evaluate all applications and announce the projects that have been selected to receive Grant Funds as soon as possible after the Application Deadline, but no later than February 17, 2010. In addition, in the event that this solicitation does not result in the award and obligation of all available funds, the Department may decide to publish an additional solicitation.

You must include the agency name (Office of the Secretary of Transportation) and the docket number [OST–2009–0115] with your comments. To ensure your comments are not entered into the docket more than once, please submit comments, identified by the docket number [OST–2009–0115], by only one of the following methods:

--Web site: The U.S. Government electronic docket site is http://www.regulations.gov/. Go to this Web site and follow the instructions for submitting comments into docket number [OST–2009–0115];
--Fax: Telefax comments to [OST–2009–0115];
--Mail: Mail comments to U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Docket Operations, M–30, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590; or
--Hand Delivery: Bring comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You must include the agency name (Office of the Secretary of Transportation) and Docket number [OST–2009–0115] for this notice at the beginning of your comments. You should submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail or courier. For confirmation that the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, has received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided, and will be available to Internet users. You may review the Department’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the FRN published April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov/.

Applications must be submitted to the TIGER Discretionary Grants program manager electronically via email at TIGERGrants@dot.gov. Applicants should receive a confirmation email, but are advised to request a return receipt to confirm transmission. Only applications received via email as provided above shall be deemed properly filed.

For further information concerning this notice please contact the TIGER Discretionary Grants program manager via email at TIGERGrants@dot.gov. A telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is available at 202-366-7687.

This notice is at http://frwebgate6.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=846888132098+1+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve.

For further information, contact me at (206) 220-7954.

Sincerely,

/s/

R.F. Krochalis
Regional Administrator