The VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (DEMHS) is reminding everyone of the current availability of FEMA mitigation grant funds. The State of Vermont received a federal disaster declaration (DR 4207-VT) for damages resulting from the severe winter storm that occurred on Dec. 9-12, 2014. In addition to FEMA’s Public Assistance program, there are federal mitigation funds available to all Vermont towns through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). We are now accepting HMGP applications from towns, agencies and RPCs in all Vermont counties.
Applications can be downloaded from the DEMHS website at: http://www.vem.vermont.gov/mitigation. At the bottom of this link, you will find a link to the HMGP Application and Requirements page, where you will find the application and additional requirements based on project type. Alternatively, you can contact me with any HMGP-related questions you may have or potential project ideas that your town/RPC may be considering.
Deadline: HMGP applications must be submitted to the state by COB on Friday, November 6, 2015.
The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by DEMHS on behalf of the state. Federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of approved project costs; however, please note that there is a 25% local match requirement that is the responsibility of the applicant town.
We strongly encourage you to identify potential hazard mitigation sites in your communities and apply for funds under the HMGP grant program. Typical hazard mitigation projects include: mitigation of local roads and bridges, home acquisition (a.k.a. buyout), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, mitigation outreach and education, etc. Please note that project proposals do not need to be directly connected to damages incurred from the declared disaster.
Please note the following eligibility requirements:
1) Communities must have a FEMA approved and adopted local mitigation plan. We will accept applications from towns currently lacking an approved mitigation plan, but FEMA will not release awarded project funds unless the mitigation plan has been approved by FEMA and adopted. Those towns lacking an approved plan must indicate on their HMGP Application that they commit to completing a local mitigation plan within 12 months of application submittal; they can also contact their local Regional Planning Commission for assistance. A town lacking a local mitigation plan, or a town with a mitigation plan that is nearing expiration, can apply for a planning grant to fund the plan development or update, respectively.
2) Communities must be participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), if a special flood hazard area (SFHA) has been identified in the community and if the proposed project is located within the SFHA. Please contact the Agency of Natural Resources state floodplain coordinator, Rob Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org), for additional information on applying for NFIP membership.
3) DEMHS is now requesting that HMGP applicant towns have a Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) in place. If a town currently lacks an LEOP, applications will be accepted but funds may not be released until the LEOP is in place. For assistance with LEOP development, towns may contact their local Regional Planning Commission.
HMGP applications must be completed in their entirety, including maps, list of alternative proposals, engineering plans, hydrology studies (if needed) and a full benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in the FEMA-approved format, if applicable. If you need help in completing the BCA, you may contact your local Regional Planning Commission. I am also available to assist with BCA development.
If you wish to apply for an HMGP grant, please submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to DEMHS by September 30, 2015. The LOI should include a brief description of your proposal and the total estimated cost of your project – LOIs are strongly encouraged, but not required.
Please submit LOIs and completed applications to:
Hazard Mitigation Planner
VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
Tel (802) 241-5363 (office)
Applications should be submitted to the state in hard copy (paper application) and in electronic format such as a scanned PDF file. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Please note that HMGP funds are awarded on a competitive basis and all applications are subject to review and selection by the state mitigation project selection committee and FEMA. If you have any questions regarding this funding round or the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, please contact me at any time.
Hazard Mitigation Planner
Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
(802) 241-5363 (Desk)
(802) 798-2084 (Cell)