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Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Grants to North Dakota Nonprofits and Agencies
to Provide Recreational Trails for All Uses

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD)

Deadline Date:

01/31/18 1:00 PM CT

Description:

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Grants starting at $10,000 to North Dakota nonprofit organizations and government agencies for the development and maintenance of recreational trails for non-motorized and motorized use. This program supports all types of recreational trail uses, such as bicycling, pedestrian uses, equestrian uses, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, off-road motorcycling, canoe/kayak trails, snowmobiling, four-wheel driving, all-terrain vehicle riding, and other off-road motorized vehicles.

NDPRD, along with the Recreational Trail Program Advisory Committee (RTPAC), intends that RTP grant funding be used to enhance trail opportunities by achieving results that would not otherwise be possible. RTP grants are for projects that are primarily recreational in nature, rather than serving a more utilitarian transportation function.

The following is a list of eligible projects:
-Construction of new recreation trails
-Restoration of existing trails (re-routes)
-Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages
-Purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment
-Land acquisition/easements
-Trail accessibility assessment

“40-30-30” Requirement:

RTP Legislation (23 U.S.C. 206) requires that States use 40 percent of their funds in a fiscal year for diverse recreational trail use; 30 percent for motorized recreation; and 30 percent for non- motorized recreation. The diverse, motorized, and non-motorized percentages are minimum requirements that must be met. A project for diverse motorized use (such as snowmobile and off-road motorcycle use) may satisfy the 40 percent diverse use requirement and the 30 percent motorized use requirement simultaneously. A project for diverse non-motorized use (such as pedestrian and bicycle use) may satisfy the 40 percent diverse use requirement and the 30 percent non-motorized use requirement simultaneously.

To provide more flexibility in RTP project selection, FHWA established five categories to account for the 40-30-30 requirements:

1) Non-motorized project for a single use: A project primarily intended to benefit only one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use, such as pedestrian use only, water trails (canoe/kayak), or equestrian use only. RTP projects serving various pedestrian uses (such as walking, hiking, wheelchair use, running, bird-watching, nature interpretation, backpacking, etc.) constitute a single use for the purposes of this category. A project serving various non-motorized human-powered snow uses (such as skiing, snowshoeing, etc.) constitutes single use for this category.

2) Non-motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of non-motorized recreational use such as: walking, bicycling, and skating; both pedestrian and equestrian use; and pedestrian use in summer and cross-country ski use in winter.

3) Diverse use project including both motorized and non-motorized uses: A project intended to benefit both non-motorized recreational trail use and motorized recreational trail use. This category includes projects where motorized use is permitted, but is not the predominant beneficiary. This category includes RTP projects where motorized and non-motorized uses are separated by season, such as equestrian use in summer and snowmobile use in winter.

4) Motorized single use project: A project primarily intended to benefit only one mode of motorized recreational use, such as snowmobile trail grooming. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.

5) Motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of motorized recreational use, such as: motorcycle and ATV use; or ATV use in summer and snowmobile use in winter. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.

Projects in categories 1 and 2 apply towards the 30 percent non-motorized use requirement. Projects in categories 2, 3, and 5 apply towards the 40 percent diverse trail use requirement. Projects in categories 4 and 5 apply towards the 30 percent motorized use requirement.

Eligible Projects/Expenses:

Projects will be ranked based on the categories below.

1. Construction of new recreation trails: For projects on federal land, the most important requirement is that the federal agency land manager must approve of the project in accordance with other applicable federal laws and regulations. This category may include construction of new trail bridges, or providing appropriate signage along a trail.

2. Restoration of existing trails: Restoration may be interpreted broadly to include any kind of non-deferred trail maintenance, restoration, rehabilitation, or relocation. This category may include maintenance and restoration of trail bridges, or providing appropriate signage along a trail.

3. Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages: This may be interpreted broadly to include development or rehabilitation of any trailside and trailhead facility. The definition of “rehabilitation” means extensive trail repair needed to bring a facility up to standards suitable for public use due to natural disasters or acts of nature. Trailside and trailhead facilities must have a direct relationship with a recreational trail.

4. Purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment: Purchase and lease of any trail construction and maintenance equipment, provided the equipment is used primarily to construct and maintain recreational trails. This provision does not include purchase of equipment which may be used for purposes unrelated to recreational trails. For example, a lawn mower purchased under this program must be used primarily for trail and trailside maintenance, not to maintain open lawn areas or sport fields. (Please note equipment projects, only federal, state and municipal agencies qualify for funding; a use agreement will need to be signed by the project sponsor).

5. Land acquisition/easements: See the Land Acquisitions and Easements section below; please note, RTP legislation prohibits condemnation of any kind of interest in property. Therefore, acquisition of any kind of interest in property must be from a willing landowner or seller.

6. Trail accessibility assessment: assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance.

Land Acquisitions and Easements:

The following land acquisition costs are allowable and eligible for reimbursement under the Recreational Trails Program:
-The appraised fair market value of fee simple title or an easement for the use of real property acquired by negotiated purchase.
-The purchase price for an easement or fee title to real property acquired below appraised value.
-The donated land value (the difference between the purchase price and appraised value) may be used as a match for federal funds to purchase that parcel of land, purchase other pieces of property, or develop facilities.
-Similarly, lands for which 100% of the value is donated may only be used as the organization’s share of a project to purchase other land or build facilities.
-Appraisal fees.
-Boundary surveys, title search, legal filling fees.

Easements:

In some instances, the applicant will not be able to purchase the property but can acquire an easement. An easement must be for a period of at least 25 years. During the time period, the easement cannot be revoked at will by the landowner unless the applicant or state is guilty of an infraction of the easement. The land must still be retained in public trail use for the duration of the easement period even though the easement has been revoked. Provisions stated in the easement cannot be detrimental to the proposed recreational development.

A draft copy of the easement must accompany the application for acquisition and development projects. If an easement has been or is to be executed prior to the submission of a development project application, a draft copy of the easement should be sent to the NDPRD for review. Advance approval of such agreements may help ensure the eligibility of the site for funding. Negotiations for easements must follow general negotiated land purchase regulations including the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177296

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual grant awards are limited to a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $200,000.

Term of Contract:

When applying for project funding, the project sponsor must be ready to begin construction upon grant approval. This requirement includes having all local match available and all project planning complete. Once the project sponsors are notified of their project approval and funding level, they have 18 months to complete the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants may be awarded to any of the following:
-Nonprofit organizations
-Municipal agencies (cities, towns, counties, school districts, etc.)
-State agencies (North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, North Dakota Forest Service, North Dakota Game and Fish).
-Federal government agencies (Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, etc.)
-Other government entities (regional governments, etc.)

Potential project sponsors with active or previously awarded grants through NDPRD must be in full compliance with federal and state programs to be eligible for funding.

A qualified nonprofit organization is one that meets the following criteria:
-Registered with the State of North Dakota as a non-profit for a minimum of 5 years.
-Will name a successor at the time of any change in organizational status (for example, dissolution). A qualified successor is any party that meets the eligibility criteria to apply for RTP funds and is capable of complying with all RTP responsibilities. NDPRD recommends, whenever possible, a government agency be sought as a successor. A successor organization must agree, in writing, to complete all RTP project responsibilities should the original organization’s status change.

Ineligible Projects/Expenses
-Condemned Land as Matching Value: RTP legislation prohibits using RTP funds for condemnation of any kind of interest in property. An RTP project may be located on land condemned with funds from other sources. However, it is not permissible to use the value of condemned land toward the match requirement for an RTP project.
-Feasibility Studies: Trail feasibility studies are not a use permitted in the RTP legislation. The permissible uses relate to actual on-the- ground trail projects.
-Environmental Evaluation and Documentation: Projects intended solely for the purpose of covering environmental evaluation and documentation expenses are not permissible. Reasonable environmental evaluation and documentation expenses, including costs associated with environmental permits and approvals, may be included as part of an approved project’s engineering costs. Expenses incurred developing the environmental evaluation, necessary permits, as well as engineering costs, may not exceed 20% of the total funded grant amount. Project expenses, in which a project sponsor will seek reimbursement via the grant, may not occur prior to the project start date. The project start date will be provided once the FHWA approves the project. The project start date will be provided to the project sponsor by the NDPRD.
-Law Enforcement: Routine law enforcement is not a use permitted in the RTP legislation.
-Planning: Trail planning is not a permissible use of RTP funds.
-Sidewalks: RTP funds will not normally be used to provide paths or sidewalks along or adjacent to public roads or streets, unless the path or sidewalk is needed to complete a missing link between other recreational trails.
-Roads: RTP funds may not be used to improve roads for general passenger vehicle use.
-Overhead: The regular operating expenses such as rent, building upkeep, utilities and all fixed costs associated with a business, agency or group.
-Indirect Costs: Only direct costs that can be identified specifically with a particular final
cost objective directly related to the trail project are eligible.

Land Acquisitions and Easements costs ineligible for reimbursement in an acquisition project include: -The purchase of real property to which the project sponsor became committed prior to federal approval.
-Legal fees other than for filling and fines and penalties paid by the project sponsor.
-Incidentalcostsrelatingtorealpropertyacquisitionandinterestsinrealproperty unless allowable under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act.
-Taxes for which the local sponsor would not have been liable to pay.
-Damage judgments arising out of acquisition whether determined by judicial decision, arbitration or otherwise.

Pre-Application Information:

The Recreational Trails Program funds up to 80% of eligible costs for trail projects. At the time of application, the project sponsor must have at least 20% of the total project cost available. The local share may include tax sources (appropriations), bond issues or force account contributions. The donated value of land, cash, labor, equipment and materials may also be used.

The current RTP application cycle for FY19 projects will open December 1, 2017. The application cycle will close at 1:00 PM Central Time, January 31, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Kevin Stankiewicz
701-328-5364
kstankiewicz@nd.gov

North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department
Century Center
1600 E. Century Ave. Suite 3 PO Box 5594
Bismarck, ND 58506-5594

701-328-5357
parkrec@nd.gov

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Dakota