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  Regular-General Government   # 46.       
County Administrator  
Meeting Date: 01/11/2022  
Brief Title:    ARP Mini Grants Program Update
From: Mindi Nunes, Assistant County Administrator, County Administrator's Office
Staff Contact: Madison York, Associate Management Analyst, County Administrator's Office, x8150

Subject
Receive presentation on American Rescue Plan Mini Grants Program and authorize implementation of program. (No general fund impact) (Nunes/York)
Recommended Action
Receive presentation on American Rescue Plan Mini Grants Program and authorize implementation of program.
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Thriving Residents
Safe Communities
Sustainable Environment
Flourishing Agriculture
Robust Economy
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
Background
On September 28, 2021, the Board of Supervisors (Board) approved the initial American Rescue Plan (ARP) Expenditure Plan, dividing the monies into four categories: Priority Categories, Priority Projects, Strategic Plan Implementation, and Other Uses. At that time, the Board directed staff to return with a draft framework for a Mini Grants Program. Staff returned on October 26, 2021, with an update on the Mini Grants program (also known as the Community Benefit Grant program), with the Board providing feedback on the scope, process, and application materials for the program. In the months following this meeting, staff developed a revised set of program guidelines and an application. The process guidelines may be found as Attachment A and the application may be found as Attachment B.

Revised Mini Grants Program & Process
The purpose of the Mini Grants program is to allow for localized responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery that are nimble and transformative. These grants should provide flexible sizing for programs or projects that might serve a single community and offer opportunities within each supervisorial district ("District") that might not be feasible within the County's existing ARP structure. Eligibility is based on the Federal ARP requirements and awards should honor the Board’s Guiding Principles. The Mini Grant funding is an investment of $250,000 split equally between the five Districts ($50,000 per District).  

Below are the revised process guidelines:
  1. The Mini Grants application will be made available on the Yolo County website. County staff will post an online application accessible for all individuals, nonprofits, or community organizations to apply. Eligibility will be determined based on the scope of the project and the population served as it compares to federal ARP guidelines and the Board’s Guiding Principles. Previous applicants and grantees for ARP funding are eligible to apply. However, these organizations would not be prioritized over new applications and would be considered under the same framework.  
    1. Funding requests are expected in amounts between $1,000 and $10,000; however, requests outside of this range will still be considered. This should allow each District to consider multiple projects for funding.
       
  2. The application process will be advertised from January 2022 to March 2022, with the goal of starting to accept applications on Friday, March 4, 2022. 
    1. The application period will remain open from March 4, 2022, to Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 5:00 pm. County staff will indicate the level of participation to the Board and whether an extension would be needed, depending on receiving a sufficient number of applications. 
    2. Staff will publish a press release and send out information to partners and local stakeholders to further advertise this opportunity.
    3. Staff will also provide promotional materials to Supervisors and their staff to promote this program countywide.  
    4. County staff have engaged the Yolo Community Foundation for additional application preparation, outreach, and technical assistance.
       
  3. After May 31, 2022, or the application close date, County staff will make an initial determination for eligibility of proposals (likely eligible, may be eligible, likely not eligible) and create a summary package of proposals received for each District. 
    1. On the Application, proposers will be required to indicate the District for which they are applying. A District map will be made available on the application as well as a link for individuals to input their address if they are unsure where they are located. The Districts will be reflective of the current District maps, as 2022 redistricting will not be in effect until after the application period. An applicant may apply for more than one District. However, staff shall inform each Board member if there is overlap between their District and another for funds. Each project will first be reviewed for eligibility and then for location. Furthermore, a project approved in one District may not be approved in another if the Supervisor determines there are more competitive applications. Staff will serve as the go-between for Districts to ensure adherence to the Brown Act. 
    2. County staff have developed a standardized eligibility form that will be used for each project once the initial eligibility determination is made. These forms are the same as those used for ARP priority categories and will be compiled as a summary package for each District.
       
  4. After Districts are provided the summary package, staff will meet with each District to discuss the proposals. The District will prioritize (score) the proposals to determine those to advance with and state any comments they may have on any of the proposals.
     
  5. The proposals will return to the Board as they are ready, recognizing that some projects will move more quickly than others. Staff can integrate these updates into the quarterly ARP updates and include project updates and outcomes as they are ready. This reporting process can ensure continued transparency for projects and ensure adequate coordination among Districts in a public setting. There would then be an item on the consent agenda to request project approval.
     
  6. Once a project is approved, staff will finalize the project scope before executing any contract. Initial proposals may be eligible but require additional modifications to meet both the federal ARP requirements and the Board’s Guiding Principles.
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
County Administrator's Office, Department of Financial Services

Fiscal Impact
Fiscal impact (see budgetary detail below)
Fiscal Impact (Expenditure)
Total cost of recommended action:    $   250,000
Amount budgeted for expenditure:    $   250,000
Additional expenditure authority needed:    $  
One-time commitment     Yes
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
$250,000
Explanation (Expenditure and/or Revenue)
Further explanation as needed:
American Rescue Plan funds were allocated with the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget in September 2021. Staff anticipates that the Mini Grants program for $250,000 would be pulled from the Reserves budget, which currently sits at $4,200,000.
Attachments
Att. A. Mini Grant Process
Att. B. Mini Grant Application Form
Att. C. Presentation

<
Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Eric Will (Originator) Eric Will 01/03/2022 10:30 AM
Madison York Madison York 01/03/2022 11:48 AM
Eric Will (Originator) Eric Will 01/04/2022 11:55 AM
Mindi Nunes Mindi Nunes 01/04/2022 12:13 PM
Madison York Madison York 01/04/2022 01:39 PM
Chad Rinde Chad Rinde 01/05/2022 09:34 AM
Joanne Vanhoosear Joanne Vanhoosear 01/06/2022 09:25 AM
Form Started By: Eric Will Started On: 12/01/2021 08:18 AM
Final Approval Date: 01/06/2022

    

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