Another Round of Ferry Grants

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Passenger Vessel Association reminded its members that applications for Federal Ferry Boat Discretionary Grants are being accepted through Friday, June 12.  This competitive solicitation is different than an earlier one involving funds contained in the Economic Stimulus Act.

This second pot of funding was contained in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal 2009.  That law provides $67m for these grants, but a significant portion of the money is set aside or earmarked for specific recipients.  Nevertheless, slightly more than $19m will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Federal Ferry Boat Discretionary Grants can be used for capital costs only (not for operating expenses).  Eligible projects include construction of ferry boats, ferry terminals and shoreside facilities, and maintenance structures.  The law requires a non-federal match of at least 20 percent. 

Eligible ferries must be publicly owned or publicly operated or majority publicly owned that provide substantial public benefits.  This provides an opportunity for a private company to be involved in an application if it has a partnership with a public entity.

Completed applications must reach the Federal Highway Administration Headquarters by June 12, 2009, but first they must go through your State Department of Transportation, followed by submittal to the appropriate division office of the Federal Highway Administration.  Therefore, an applicant must work swiftly. 

If a proposal submitted previously for the Economic Stimulus round of grants is not selected under that solicitation, the appropriate State will be notified and asked if it wishes to update the application and apply under this fiscal year 2009 solicitation.  Thus, there is no need to submit for a second time a proposal that was previously submitted for the Economic Stimulus round competition.

For more detailed information about this solicitation, including the application format, go to the special web page of the Federal Highway Administration (www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/fbdsol.cfm).

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