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  • # of rounds??

    How many rounds are there when it comes to the grants??

  • #2
    In a nutshell, as many as it takes. So far in 3 weeks, 4% of the money and 7% of the projected number of awards (7000) has been announced. At that rate, there's at least 60 more weeks to go. Even though the law states that all funds must be allocated by Sept 30th, 2003, that only means that FEMA has to know where the money is going, not us, so they won't have to make all public announcements by that date. Unless they start giving out more per round, it will be until next June until the well runs dry.
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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    • #3
      Hope you are wrong about how long it will take to notify all dept on status of receiving the grants. Seems like there will certainly be some big awards to be announced in the next few weeks, add that to the paid depts that requested less than what has been approved for that category of depts, and there should be a large amount of notifications taken care of. By-the-way how much money is FEMA/USFA holding back for administrative cost? How much was held back in the first two years of the grant? Was this money to be used to process and award grant money? How much does it take to set up an effective and efficient administrative function( personnel, computers, etc) to make the awarding of grants or notification that you did not make the cut? 60 weeks is really too extreme an amount of time to have depts. with marginal funds hold on to possible match money that could be put to use. I think the process of awarding or dening grant funds has lots of room for improvement.

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      • #4
        I hope I'm wrong about the timeline too. Big $$ grants will help up the total, but since the number of awards per round really hasn't been increasing at all, that's what is going to keep the process slow.

        FYI, there was no minimum $$ amount saved for career departments, that was only last year. This year the only stipulations are the Fire Prevention minimum (5%), the vehicle max (25%), and volunteer or vollie/combo minimum award monies (~56%). Technically, career could get nothing.

        I think there's somewhere around $20mil for administrative. I checked the final rule and didn't see anything but I only did a quick speed read on it.

        60 weeks is really too extreme an amount of time to have depts. with marginal funds hold on to possible match money that could be put to use.
        I agree, and I think that's why there are so many smaller awards being given out early in the game. I know that was one of the complaints last year and the cause of many departments to default on their award because they had to spend the matching funds on an unplanned repair or something. Obviously departments that have the matching for larger awards could handle minor repairs to equipment without compromising their matching funds.

        The process could be improved, and I'm sure it will. As they automate more and more of the scoring, tracking and administrative details, they'll be able to announce more awards at once, and be able to handle the 6 questions and 1199A input on a larger scale. Right now it's all manual, so it will be kinda slow. Considering that the program as a whole is not guaranteed to be repeated until passed by Congress, it makes logical funding sense not to spend money on technology upgrades unless the program is coming back next year. So they are working at the speed of the legislative body: dirt slow.

        Good luck and hang in there y'all.

        Brian
        Brian P. Vickers
        www.vickersconsultingservices.com
        Emergency Services Consulting
        Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
        Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree, and I think that's why there are so many smaller awards being given out early in the game. I know that was one of the complaints last year and the cause of many departments to default on their award because they had to spend the matching funds on an unplanned repair or something. Obviously departments that have the matching for larger awards could handle minor repairs to equipment without compromising their matching funds.
          Brian, I hate to disagree with you on this, but my understanding, is that awards were being announced on a scoring system. For example, all applictations were scored on a scale 0 - 100, with the highest scoring applications being awarded first. If this is correct, then $$ amount is not taken into consideration.

          Comment


          • #6
            Even though the law states that all funds must be allocated by Sept 30th, 2003,
            The Feds have until September 30th of 2004 to distribute this 'round' of grants. It will likely until be awards every week through at least next June.

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            • #7
              webteam is correct, I was reading the preliminary ruling which was copied and pasted from the 2002 program, or so it seems. The final rule document has 2004.

              wrfd9113 - I understood that scoring would be the order determinator as well, but it does seem odd that so few 4 and low 5-figure awards have been handed out, considering the fact that the average award is around ~100K. And the program rule docs also say that score will be adjusted in umpteen million different ways depending on population, cost-benefit, etc, etc. So low budget departments could have gotten a boost in score because the money makes more of an impact, so the order is legitimately high to low.

              Again, all speculation on my part as to the reasoning, but it is being distributed from the hi score to the end of the money.
              Brian P. Vickers
              www.vickersconsultingservices.com
              Emergency Services Consulting
              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

              Comment


              • #8
                Judging by the awards so far, there have been a lot of grants to rural departments for fairly small dollar amounts. It appears, as someone mentioned early, that these dollars were expected to make the most difference and get the most bang for the buck, so they received the highest ratings and were awarded first. Actually, I'm glad to see it.

                CT, MA and RI have only seen one award each so far (I'm in CT). These states can be perceived as "wealthy" with seemingly few rural departments so those numbers fall in line with their apparent logic of getting the money to the smaller rural departments first where it will do the most good. Even though I'm in one of those small, rural departments in CT, I wait patiently....that's all we can do right?

                And hey, the bottom line here is that we're only 4 weeks into the awards. Less than 10% of the money has been handed out to less than 10% of the 7000 depts expected to get something. We have a long way to go and lots of nail biting left.

                For me, the next big milestone to look for (other than a six question email) is whether we see a "no" in July or August when they come out. If we get thru that I'll be a little more relieved.

                Other than that, all we can do is sit back and ride this thing out to the end. Hang in there boys and good luck to everyone.

                Bruce Thivierge
                Portland CT VFD

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                • #9
                  Score is important, but....

                  While I agree with most of what has been written above, it was explained in Emmitsburg that the "timing" of the distrbution of grant awards "could" be influenced by where the Department is located. For instance if a bunch of top scoring Departments came from one State, they would "most likely" stagger the awards to that State to avoid any unfair perceptions of favoritism.

                  In other words some high scoring Departments may recieve notice later in the award period than others if their State has a lot of succesful grants.

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                  • #10
                    Now I remember where else I heard what mjboom said. Tyler posted that I think in one of the weeks right after his return from reviewing.
                    Brian P. Vickers
                    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                    Emergency Services Consulting
                    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                    Comment

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