Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE Rail Transportation Assistance Program (Rail TAP) RFAC Meeting April 28, 2010.
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Presentation on theme: "Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE Rail Transportation Assistance Program (Rail TAP) RFAC Meeting April 28, 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE Rail Transportation Assistance Program (Rail TAP) RFAC Meeting April 28, 2010 Periodic Program Review Regulations and Policies
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 24/28/2010 Welcome…
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 34/14/2010 The Programs… The Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) provides financial assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure. The intent of the program is to (1) preserve essential rail freight service where economically feasible and (2) preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail freight service. The maximum state funding for a RFAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed $700,000. The funding for the construction portion of any project cannot exceed $250,000. The final grant award will be based upon actual bid costs or agreed upon prices if work is to be performed by a sponsor's own labor forces. The Rail Transportation Assistance Program (Rail TAP), otherwise known as Capital Budget, is available to those having a line item in the current Capital Budget Bill. For those who do not have a line item, contact your local representative or senator to secure a line item. The project can be funded up to 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed the amount of the line item. The final grant award will be based upon actual bid costs or agreed upon prices if work is to be performed by a sponsor's own labor forces.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 44/14/2010 Enabling Legislation… Act 119 of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania (1984) established the Rail Freight Preservation and Improvement Act which provides the basis for the RFAP and Rail TAP programs. The goals of the programs are to provide “…state assistance for the preservation, rehabilitation and improvement of efficient and coordinated rail freight transportation services...”.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 54/14/2010 Funding the Programs… Subject to annual appropriation by the General Assembly. $40,000,000 in the last budget. Dollar value of requests for state financial assistance usually exceed available funding. Not all grant applications receive funding assistance or even the full amount requested.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 64/14/2010 Program Contributions…
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 74/14/2010 Draft Regulations… Enabling Legislation Purpose & Contents Applicability Definitions Eligibility Limit of Funding Program Administration Application Period & Deadlines Application Process
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 84/14/2010 Draft Regulations…(cont’d) Public Records Grant Selections Process Offer and Acceptance Standards, Methods, Techniques, & Designs Audits & Recordkeeping Inspection Payment Procedures
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 94/14/2010 Draft Regulations…(cont’d) Liability; Forfeiture of Funds; Repayment Waiver Effective Date
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 104/14/2010 Funding Limits Funding for projects under this Chapter is subject to approval and appropriation by the Pennsylvania Legislature. The maximum Commonwealth contribution for projects funded under this Chapter is 70 percent of the total project costs. RFAP projects have a maximum contribution of $700,000 of which no more than $250,000 can be attributable to capital costs. The maximum Commonwealth funding for a Rail TAP project will be determined by line item in the Capital Budget but may not exceed 70 percent of total project costs. No more than 50% of the grant can be used for right-of-way acquisition costs under this Chapter.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 114/14/2010 Program Administration Grants issued under the RFAP and Rail TAP programs will be subject to a 3% administrative fee to be assessed and collected by the Department on all requests for payment to fund the programs’ costs including but not limited to: application review; administration; engineering review; program management; fiscal management; planning; inspections; legal review; and, project audits. Notwithstanding the program’s costs, the Secretary, at his/her sole discretion may reduce or eliminate administrative fees assessed on an individual grant if he/she determines it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 124/14/2010 Public Records Non-proprietary information in the application for funding under this Chapter will be considered public record at the time of filing and will be made available for inspection. Proprietary information in the application for funding under this Chapter that may describe the revenues or expenses of the sponsor is not considered public record at the time of filing and will not be made available for inspection.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 134/14/2010 Grant Selection Process and Criteria Unless otherwise restricted by statute, the Department has absolute discretion in the selection of projects and in the determination of funding levels, priorities, critical project selection criteria, project phasing, project design and specifications and performance criteria. In the consideration of the application the Department may determine that a proposed project should be amended to accommodate available funding, anticipated use, or to better accommodate potential user needs. The Department may offer a grant under this Chapter for a project whose cost, specifications, terms or scope have been modified by the Department. The Department may confer with a sponsor to clarify the intent of, or amend the scope of, a proposed project. Under no circumstance will such consultation be considered as intent by the Department to offer a grant under this Chapter.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 144/14/2010 If Awarded … The sponsor will receive a letter notifying them of the decision and a proposed grant agreement that will describe any specific grant conditions including but not limited to the amount of the grant. The sponsor must notify the Department in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of the proposed grant agreement of their intention to accept or decline the agreement. If the sponsor either declines the proposed grant agreement or does not notify the Department in writing of its intention to accept the grant agreement within thirty (30) days, the Department may, at the discretion of the Director, withdraw the grant offer.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 154/14/2010 Design Standards The Department reserves the right to specify or make determination as to the standards, methods, techniques, design and dimensional criteria acceptable in projects funded by grants under this Chapter. The design and construction of an approved project are subject to the review and approval of the Department, including costs, materials, plans, specifications, design and operational details. Failure to meet special conditions, performance criteria or specifications may result in the withdrawal of the grant, disqualification from future consideration for a grant under this Chapter or declaration of a sponsor to be in default of the terms of the grant agreement.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 164/14/2010 Liability; Forfeiture of Funds; Repayment If a sponsor fails to comply with the terms and conditions of a grant issued under this Chapter. –The sponsor shall immediately reimburse the Department the amount for a demand is made by the Department, up to the amount of the grant. –The Department may, at the discretion of the Director, disqualify the sponsor from future consideration for grants issued under this Chapter. A sponsor aggrieved by a decision of the Department under this section may take an appeal under 2 P.A. C.S. § 501-508 and 701-704 (relating to practices and procedures of the Commonwealth agencies and judicial review of Commonwealth agency action) and 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to general rules of administrative practice and procedure).
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 174/14/2010 Waivers of Specific Requirements The Department may waive requirements to submit specific information or data normally required for a grant application. Waivers may be granted after written request to the Director and formal written response to the sponsor by the Director prior to submission of the completed application to the Bureau. In the event of an emergency or other event deemed of critical importance to the Commonwealth, the Secretary may waive any, or all, of the requirements of this Chapter otherwise not prohibited by statute.
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 184/14/2010 Policy Updates… Project Eligibility Project Evaluation Criteria Project Funding Application Requirements Programming & Procurement Engineering & Inspections Audits & Post Award Payment & Program Cost
S ETTING THE S TAGE FOR THE F UTURE 194/14/2010 How to Comment… Public Meetings –Comment Form Website –http://pa-rail.wgianalytics.com Email –firstname.lastname@example.org Call –Todd A. Brauer, AICP, PTP –(202) 241-2008