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Winter Maintenance Best Practices Grant

Chloride Reduction Grant Guidelines

Financial assistance, resources and tools to help you take action for healthy water resources in your neighborhood, city, watershed, and beyond. 

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Program Summary

The Chloride Reduction Grant program offers financial support and resources for businesses and local government units for tools and practices which reduce, directly or indirectly, chloride usage by that organization. Some examples include pavement temperature sensors which would allow for more effective chloride application or outfitting currently owned trucks with new segmented plow blades in order to reduce chemical removal of snow and ice. 

The mission of the Lower Minnesota Collaborative is to protect, manage, and restore the water resources in its boundaries. The Lower Minnesota Collaborative includes the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District, Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, Richfield Bloomington Watershed Management Organization and the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District.  We can’t do this work alone though. We need an informed and empowered community to help create meaningful change with real results for clean water. The Chloride Reduction Grant exists to help grow and support that community. 

Who can apply?

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Businesses

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Non-Profits

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Local government

Entities applying for Chloride Reduction Grant must be currently Smart Salting certified through Fortin and the MPCA. Certification must be earned or proven before funds are released. Entities must operate within Bloomington, Chanhassen, Chaska, Edina, Eden Prairie, Deephaven, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Shorewood and Richfield. 

How much are the grants?

These are cost-share grants. That means that the watershed district covers part of the project cost, and the award recipient covers part. The grant amount is up to $20,000 max, and up to 75% of the project cost.

The applicant is eligible for up to the max award per year. This means one application may include more than one practice (ex: new pavement sensors and updated blades), or the applicant may apply for two separate projects in one year, but the total amount they are awarded may not exceed the maximum listed above.


Application Process

To apply, fill out or provide:

 

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Location map of where the practice will be used

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Contractor bids (for work involving a third-party)

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Project cost estimate

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If your project is approved

  1. We will send you a contract. Once this is signed, you can get started!
  2. Keep track of your expenses including all receipts
  3. Issues come up. If you think you need to make a change to your plan, contact us for approval
  4. Take photos! Before, during, and after. You’ll need these for submitting your project report
  5. You’ve got one year from approval to finish
     

After you’ve completed your project

  1. Send in copies of all your receipts, including from any contractors you worked with (electronic copies or scans are acceptable).
  2. Submit report of the work that was accomplished and include photos in the report
  3. Financials are processed once a month at the watershed. Once your reimbursement request is submitted, it may take one to two months for you to receive your check. 
     

Long-term

  1. Take care of your project 
  2. We will ask you for a briefly report at 1, 3 and 5 years (9 year report will be required for grants above $10,000).
  3. Stay in contact! The watershed district often offers continuing education on topics like maintenance, and other opportunities to learn and get involved

*Applicants are required to maintain their projects for the 10 years as specified in the “Maintenance” section of your grant agreement. 
 

Program outcomes:

The Chloride Reduction Grant program funds practices that:

  • have quantifiable benefits to water quality
  • support the mission of the Lower Minnesota Collaborative

Projects are also evaluated on whether they:

  • are examples that the district can share with others
  • increase awareness of water resource issues
  • increase visibility and general knowledge of winter best practices 

Projects must demonstrate an improvement over existing conditions for water quality. 
 

FAQs

   

Applications are accepted Year-round. The grant review committee meets once a month. Applications that are brought to the Board of Managers will be reviewed at their next monthly meeting. Thus, depending on when you submit your application, it could be up to a month and a half before you hear whether your project was approved or denied.

The [Chloride Reduction Grant] funds physical water resource improvement and protection practices (best management practices - bmp) that have quantifiable benefits to water quality via chloride reduction. Examples of projects include:

  • >Equipment retrofits and upgrades: Segmented and/or carbide edge plow blades (such as Joma, Polarflex, Live Edge Metal Pless) , MDSS software, pavement temperature sensors,
  • >Anti-icing equipment: Brine makers, brine tanks
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Applications are reviewed by the members of the Lower Minnesota Collaborative. Projects are evaluated for how well they address the program outcomes below. Highly technical or complicated projects may be referred to the Collaborative chloride technical panel for review and recommendation.

The applicant will submit a project summary report to RPBCWD within 30 days of completing the project. Update reports will be submitted at 1, 3 and 5 years. Additional reporting will be required after year 9 for projects receiving more than $10,000.

   

Project installation must be completed within one year of the agreement being signed. If unforeseen circumstances delay a project, the participant can request an extension in writing.

   

Reimbursement is made after completion of the project. The participant must document completion. Applicants must provide copies of paid invoices and receipts for all costs and reasonable documentation of labor hours contributed. Claimed expenses will be verified by RPBCWD as reasonable.

Important Details

These pieces are less exciting than everything above, but they are important to understand. Please read through carefully. Make note of anything you have questions about and contact us.

Reimbursable costs

Key points: Don’t spend money until your project is approved. Things that are pretty, but not functional, are not covered. You can count the work you do. Maintenance isn’t covered.


Expenses incurred prior to project approval are not reimbursable (do not get started until you have signed a contract). If the final cost is less than the approved estimate, the reimbursement will be the applicable percentage of the actual cost.

Reimbursements cannot be more than the original approved amount, even if you actually spent more. Purely aesthetic elements (like a bird bath, or fountain) are not reimbursable.

In-kind labor and materials: Labor and other in-kind contributions can be used for the required 25% match at a rate of $15 per hour for unskilled labor and $25 for skilled.

Maintenance: Maintenance costs including labor and materials are not reimbursable, however we encourage you to create a maintenance plan.

Funding agreement

Key points: You need to sign a grant agreement and stick to it.


Program participants enter into a binding agreement with RPBCWD (fiscal agent of the Lower Minnesota Collaborative) providing the terms under which cost-share funding is provided. After approval of the project, the agreement is signed by both the participant and on behalf of RPBCWD, and a copy given to the participant. Amendment of any of the terms of the agreement will be by mutual agreement signed by all parties to the original contract.

The agreement includes, but is not limited to, promoting and acknowledging the Lower Minnesota Collaborative sponsorship, reporting, payment schedule, terms of agreement and use of funds, cost overruns, and cancellation. The agreement also allows RPBCWD access to the project area for evaluation and promotion.

Maintenance requirements

Key points: You need to take care of your project. If you don’t, we can ask for the grant money back.


Maintenance of the project is the responsibility of the grant recipient. Local government and businesses are required to maintain their projects for 10 years. RPBCWD reserves the right to request repayment of a grant if the project is not adequately maintained.

Public hearing

Key points: If you are asking for a lot of money, the public gets to review the project.


Projects requesting $20,000 will go to a public hearing prior to final approval. At the hearing, members of the public, including the applicant, may express opinion on whether the project should receive funding. The information and opinions expressed at the meeting will be considered by the Board of Managers in their final funding decision.

Conformance to plans

Key points: You need to install what you agreed to install in order to be reimbursed.


RPBCWD will not reimburse costs expended for installation of the practice that does not substantially conform to the approved plans, and/or specifications. RPBCWD will not reimburse costs expended for partial completion of the project. However, RPBCWD staff will work in earnest with participants to address unexpected conditions, changes in conditions or other eventualities that affect the installation or implementation of a project and will present a modification of the cost-share agreement to the Administrator or Board of Managers when necessary.

Submitted information

Key points: Your application is public data.


All information, including but not limited to applications, installation designs, contractor bids, cost estimates, final decisions and specifications, copies of permits and proof of expenditures is subject to disclosure to the public when submitted to RPBCWD, except where specifically protected as non- public by state law.

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