DNREC now accepting grant proposals for community water quality improvement projects

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship is now accepting project proposals for matching grants for community water quality improvement projects. Delaware non-profit organizations, conservation districts, community organizations and homeowner’s associations are eligible to apply. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 24.

Community Water Quality Improvement Grants assist in implementing projects or programs to improve water quality on developed lands consistent with specific plans developed for watershed improvements. Programs and projects selected will demonstrate innovative and sustainable methods, techniques, and/or practices for water quality improvements, with cost effective and measurable results. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council through a competitive grant process.

Funding for projects receiving a grant award in this cycle is anticipated to range from $25,000 minimum to $75,000 maximum. This grant requires a 25 percent cash match which may be federal, state, or local cash. Applicants may submit up to two project proposals per grant cycle.

Proposals should be submitted by email to Sharon.Webb@delaware.gov (Subject: Community Water Quality Improvement Grant). Proposals submitted by email must be less than 10MB. Project guidelines and the application can be found on DNREC’s website on the Environmental Finance webpage.

For more information, please contact Sharon Webb at 302-739-9922.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 48, No. 256

DNREC Delaware Coastal Programs now accepting letters of interest from Delaware communities for Resilient Community Partnership assistance

Applications for participating in the program are due June 29

DOVER – DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP) is soliciting letters of interest for participating in the Resilient Community Partnership program, whose aim is to improve the management and wise use of land and water resources while promoting compatible economic development in the coastal zone. The Resilient Community Partnership program provides technical assistance and potential funding to Delaware communities for developing local planning strategies that prepare for and reduce the impacts of coastal hazards related to flooding from sea level rise, coastal storms, and climate change.

State, county, and municipal government entities may submit letters of interest for projects that will support local resilience planning and adaptation activities in Delaware. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with DCP staff to help answer any questions and ensure all submissions address the specified criteria. Examples of previous partnerships can be found online at de.gov/resilientcommunity.

Letters of interest should demonstrate a community’s interest in, organizational support for, and capacity to enter into a partnership effort with Delaware Coastal Programs. The letter should be a maximum of eight pages, not including supporting documentation. For further guidance, applicants should consult the Call for Letters of Interest on the DNREC website.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessments of vulnerability to flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding (“sunny-day flooding”);
  • Assessments of local land use ordinances, zoning codes, and building codes for the purpose of identifying barriers and opportunities for coordination, and recommending improvements;
  • Adaptation plans that outline short- and long-term actions for reducing vulnerability and increasing preparedness, including updating comprehensive land-use plans. Such plans can be drafted for a specific community, town, or region, or for a specific type of resource or infrastructure;
  • Design of on-the-ground adaptation projects; and
  • Plans for improving communications about flood risk and adaptation options to affected populations.

Limited funding is available for activities necessary to support project objectives that require advanced technical assistance. Delaware Coastal Programs will work with award recipients to determine the technical needs of their proposed project and, as appropriate, to retain subject matter experts or contractors to meet project requirements and deadlines.

Details about the partnership program, including application requirements and procedures, can be found on the Resilient Community Partnership webpage or by calling Delaware Coastal Programs at 302-739-9283. Applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2018.

Applications may be emailed to Kelly.valencik@delaware.gov, or mailed to Delaware Coastal Programs, 100 West Water Street, Suite 7B, Dover, DE 19904 (Attn: Kelly Valencik). DNREC will announce partnership recipients on or before Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 113

DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate to hold public workshops Oct. 30 and 31 on new energy efficiency industrial grants

Workshops to discuss updates to existing program, new industrial grants, and grant opportunities for participating contractors

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate will host two public workshops to discuss updates to the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF), and to announce the launch of a new program, Energy Efficiency Industrial (E2I) grants. Both public workshops will cover the same topics. The workshops will take place at:

  • 4:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, at the Pat Ellis Conference Room, 391 Lukens Drive, in New Castle
  • 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the DNREC Auditorium, in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, in Dover

The EEIF and E2I programs offer grant funds and low-interest loans for energy efficiency upgrades. Since 2011, EEIF has helped businesses, non-profits, and local governments make upgrades to their buildings to save energy and lower utility bills. The workshops will discuss updates to this program, including a new pathway for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects, and an opportunity for businesses to apply as participating contractors. Participating contractors will be recognized on the DNREC website, where potential customers can search for contractors experienced with the EEIF process.

The new E2I program will focus on innovative energy efficiency updates for large-scale energy users. E2I is open to Delmarva Power customers who use at least 10,000 MWh and/or 95,000 MMBtu per year. Applications for E2I and for participating contractors will be accepted beginning Monday, Nov. 6.

“We have seen time and time again that energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to lower energy use and lower operations costs, making commercial buildings more affordable and environmentally friendly,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Last year, Delaware’s EEIF grants supported 146 projects that, collectively, will result in lower electricity use amounting to 29 million kilowatt-hours per year. These grantees will save almost $3.5 million in electricity costs and over $2 million in heating costs. Also through these energy savings, EEIF projects will lower carbon emissions by saving the equivalent of emissions produced by more than 7,000 homes’ annual energy use, or the emissions produced in a year by more than 14,000 vehicles.”

For more information, visit de.gov/eeif, or contact DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate at 302-735-3480.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

DNREC announces availability of $133,528 for Community Environmental Project Fund projects

Public workshops set for Sept. 7 and 13 on CEPF grant process

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today announced the availability of $133,528 for Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) grants administered by the Department. The CEPF grant program was created in 2004 by House Bill 192, legislation that enables DNREC to withhold 25 percent of all civil or administrative penalties collected by the Department as CEPF funds.

HB 192 requires that CEPF funds benefit communities where civil or administrative violations occurred. The CEPF provides for community restoration by funding environmental projects that reduce pollution, enhance natural resources, and enhance them for purposes of creating recreational opportunities for the citizens of Delaware.

IRS tax-exempt organizations are eligible for grants up to $20,000. Non-profit organizations which do not have tax-exempt status, but have established a Fiscal Sponsor Agreement with an IRS tax-exempt organization, are eligible to apply for a maximum grant amount of $10,000. Applications for CEPF grants can be found on the DNREC website or can be obtained by calling James Brunswick, DNREC community ombudsman, at 302-739-9140. The CEPF grant application deadline is Monday Oct. 2, by DNREC’s close of business (4:30 p.m.)

DNREC also will hold two public workshops about the CEPF grant program on Sept. 6 and 13. Date, time and location for the workshops are:

  • New Castle County: Wednesday, Sept. 6, 6-7:30 p.m., DNREC Offices, Conference Room A, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720
  • Kent and Sussex Counties: Wednesday, Sept. 13, 6-7:30 p.m., DNREC Auditorium, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover DE 19901

Pre-registration is requested, but not required. Please email James Brunswick, Community Ombudsman, or call 302-739-9040 to pre-register. For an application form and more information visit: dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/community-services/environmental-project-fund/

Vol. 47, No. 194


Small Grants Help Revitalize Downtown Dover

New round of funding announced for Downtown Development District program

Dover, DE – Joined by officials from the City of Dover and Kent  County, Governor Markell and Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi today recognized the first recipients of small project grants that were made available through the Governor’s Downtown Development District (DDD) initiative. These grants were made available to support key investments of up to $250,000 one of the three current DDDs – Dover, Seaford, and Wilmington.

“The purpose of the DDD initiative is to accelerate revitalization in areas marked by issues like high poverty, high unemployment, and low homeownership,” said Governor Markell. “By leveraging state and local resources with the entrepreneurialism of private investors, the goal is to provide the extra boost needed to make great economic development opportunities a reality. In doing so, we can help turn these distressed areas into vibrant downtowns that attract talented people, innovative small businesses, and long-term residents.”

Today’s announcement, which follows the awarding of $5.6 million for projects investing more than $250,000, recognized John and Karen Marble, and Carmen Hardcastle, for their effort to improve the homeownership inventory in the Dover DDD.  Mr. and Mrs. Marble constructed a new home on a vacant lot on Mary Street in Dover, while Ms. Hardcastle rehabbed an existing home on N. Kirkwood Street.  These two awards are part of $1 million set aside for smaller projects in each of the DDDs.

Governor Markell and Director Ben Addi also announced the launch of the second round of funding for the program, making $8 million available for investments in the previously designated areas of Wilmington, Dover and Seaford.  Funds will be made available to support rehabilitation, expansion or new construction of commercial, industrial, residential (including multi-family), and mixed-use buildings or facilities located within the boundaries of a DDD.

“The City of Dover and Kent County have both been tremendous partners in the DDD effort and we thank them for their ongoing support,” added DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi.  “Small projects, like the ones completed by the Marbles and Ms. Hardcastle, help to keep families living in, and contributing to, the economies of our downtown areas. We want to continue to streamline the process so as many people as possible can access these funds to support investment in the downtown areas and encourage growth.”

Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Brad Eaby commented, “I am a firm believer that today’s challenges are best solved through the combined efforts of the government, the private sector and nonprofit organizations.  Our collective assets and wisdom can be harnessed to conquer the task at hand. DDD’s are a prime example of this approach.”

“We are really excited that the first three projects in Dover address three different goals of our district: new housing stock, renovation of existing housing stock, and restoration of an historic building for a new business,” noted Tim Slavin, City of Dover Council President. “And we know this is just the beginning. With the DDD program and the commitment of the City and its partners, we know we have a recipe for long-term success.”

DDD Grant recipient John Marble said, “Downtown Dover has always had a special place in our hearts. Whether it be our leadership and participation in Sidewalk Sunday School or the board of directors for Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, we feel that participation in these various groups is an excellent way to turn the tide downtown. But most of all, it all boils down to the private sector investing and engaging with the various conflicts and challenges posed.”

DSHA has established two funding set-asides for DDD Grant Awards, one for small projects with an investment of less than $250,000, and another for investors of over $250,000. The Reservation applications for both Large Projects and Small Projects are available online. Projects seeking a Large Project reservation must apply by December 1, 2015. Small Project reservations and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis as long as funding remains available.

For more information about the Downtown Development District Grant Program, please visit DEStateHousing.com or call 888-363-8808.