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Asset Management Planning Grant Program

The purpose of this grant program is to assist eligible entities with completing or updating asset management plans for wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems.

The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (the Trust) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)  will provide up to $ 2 million in grant funds to qualifying applicants for the preparation of Asset Management Plans (AMP) for existing water infrastructure that includes either one, two or all three of the following: drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. The Trust will provide a grant award of $150,000 or 60% of eligible project cost, whichever is less. The eligible entities will provide the remaining amount with both In-Kind Services (IKS) and a capital contribution.

The Trust, in an an effort to streamline the process has prequalified consulting engineering firms that have both the capacity and experience to complete these projects. Eligible entities will be required to utilize one of the firms listed under the Prequalified Engineering Firms section below. Projects may use Clean Water or Drinking Water SRF loans to finance cash contributions if needed. The number of projects will be subject to the $2 million appropriated by the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust Board of Trustees for this purpose.

Since Asset Management is a process, the proposed project can be small or extensive and can include a variety of beneficial activities that are currently appropriate to meet the utility's planning requirements, including generating plans and/or necessary reports. MassDEP will favor proposals that include a clear description of the applicant’s current asset management status and goals, and those that demonstrate a strong commitment to participate in their AMP.

2020 Program Description

The Program Description and Guidance Documents can be found on MassDEP's SRF webpage

Purpose and Goals

Purpose

The purpose of this grant program is to assist eligible entities with completing, updating or implementing an asset management program for wastewater, drinking water, stormwater utilities or any combination of the three. Additionally, the program is aimed at assisting eligible entities with meeting federally required Fiscal Sustainability Planning.

Goals
  • Improve upon existing maintenance practices to ensure the regular replacement of mechanical systems prior to failure.
  • Develop and identify equipment replacement costs for Commissioners or overseers to establish and evaluate annual budget line items.
  • Outline the annual cost effects on a rate charge system and line item in annual budgets when an asset management plan is established.
  • Provide the eligible entity with an opportunity to prepare a Storm Water Utility Plan that will outline costs and methods for implementing regular maintenance to the storm water system.
  • Establish an inventory of existing equipment that will allow a replacement program to be developed.
  • Provide an AMP that will ensure that the operational continuity of the water resource infrastructure systems is in place to protect public health.
  • Assist with acquiring computer software and hardware for data collection, to track and organize asset management priorities more efficiently.

Eligible Entities and Activities

Eligible Entities 

Eligible Entities are those defined as Eligible Borrowers in MGL Chapter 29C, and includes: any city, town, special district, or other existing municipal governmental sub-unit which owns and controls a drinking water, wastewater, stormwater or water re-use treatment or conveyance system. An eligible entity will be referred to as the “applicant”, in this document.

Funding Eligible Activities
  1. Asset Inventory - All activities that expand the applicant’s asset information and ability to access and organize that information for management purposes. 
  2. Level of Service - All activities that clarify the applicant’s performance goals and means of measuring performance are eligible.
  3. Criticality/Risk Analysis - All activities related to asset characterization and identification of critical assets are eligible. 
  4. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Analysis - All activities that apply LCC analysis to inform decisions about capital projects are eligible. 
  5. Funding Analysis - All activities that lead to creating a sustainable financial structure for the utility. 
  6. Asset Management Software and Training - All activities required to select, purchase, install, integrate, and successfully run AM Software are eligible. 
  7. Asset Management Program Plan (AMPP) - The AM Planning may include provisions for creating a written plan for continuing to operate and/or develop the AMP.
  8. Asset Management Report (AMR) - The AM Planning may include provisions for generating reports of the conclusions of various asset evaluations and prioritization, level of service goals and performance analysis, LCC analysis, and rate structure review (etc.), as needed to meet the applicant’s objectives for the project.
  9. Public Education - The AM Planning may include provisions for sharing the conclusions of the AM Planning or the status and capabilities of the AMP with the public in any format. 

Additional information and an expansion of these topics can be found in the grant program description.

Grant Funding

The Trust will provide a maximum award of $150,000 or 60% of the total estimated planning cost, whichever is less, with the applicant providing the remaining amount with In-Kind Services (IKS) and/or a capital contribution. Therefore, the minimum local matching contribution (local match) that the applicant will be required to make is 40% of the total estimated cost. The IKS match is a contribution of the applicant’s staff time spent actively working on the proposed project’s Scope of Work (SOW) activities. 

The IKS contribution is limited to 50% of the local match, with the exception that small systems will be allowed to increase their IKS up to 70% of the required local match. Small systems may request a waiver to increase the IKS contribution to cover 100% of the required local match. The waiver request must justify the increase and is subject to approval by the Trust’s Board of Trustees.

While it is highly recommended that IKS be utilized to the greatest extent possible, it is not required. The applicant may choose to provide cash contributions to fulfill any fraction of their matching contribution. The cash contributions can originate from sources  including (but not limited to) a 5-year 2% interest SRF Planning Project loan and/or funds available from operational or reserve accounts.

Application Process

Proposal Deadline

2020 AMP Grant Program Description

Applicants may work independently or with one of the prequalified engineering firms listed below to prepare the required project proposal documents. Proposals are due by the Intended Use Plan (IUP) deadline, 12:00 noon on August 23, 2019

The proposal must include the following:

  1. Cover Letter Form. Provide the applicant’s contact information, Authorized Representative, the requested amount of grant funds, all proposed sources for the matching contribution, the identification of the prequalified engineering firm, and SRF participation information. 
  2. Asset Management Progress Survey(s). Complete one progress survey for each type of utility (drinking water, wastewater, and/or stormwater) to be included in the proposed project.
  3. Project Team. Provide a list identifying individuals proposed to participate in this project by name, organization, position, and their role in the project. 
  4. Participation Surveys. In order to receive credit in the proposal scoring matrix, these surveys must be completed and signed by the applicant’s personnel in key positions who currently participate in AMP activities, plan to participate in the project, and/or anticipate participating in future AMP activities. 
  5. Written Proposal. The proposal must contain specific information that is listed in detail in the program description linked above.  
  6. Online Project Evaluation Form (PEF). Before filling out the PEF, each applicant must determine if they will be filling out a Clean Water PEF or a Drinking Water PEF. If the project covers only drinking water utilities, the applicant should submit the Drinking Water PEF. If the project covers only clean water or stormwater utilities, the applicant should submit the Clean Water PEF. The applicant should also fill out the Clean Water PEF if the project covers any combination of more than one utility. Links to the forms and other resources can be found at MassDEP’s SRF Website

Further instructions for submitting the PEF and program specific guidance are provided in the grant program guidance document linked above.

The Trust has capped the grant funding for AMP projects at $2 million. Should the total amount of assistance requested by the applicants exceed this amount, MassDEP will be using a scoring system to rank the proposals; otherwise, all proposals will be funded. The highest-ranking proposals will be funded up to the capped amount, and those applicants will be placed on the draft IUP. The final grant recipients will be listed in the Final Intended Use Plan. 

Prequalified Engineering Firms

The Trust has prequalified engineering consultants that have demonstrated experience in developing AMPs. The list of firms is detailed below. The applicant must choose one of the prequalified firms to assist them throughout the process, from helping prepare the application and agreeing to projects costs, to submitting a final and approved AMP. 

Engineering Firm Manager  Phone  Email 
CDM Smith Michael J. Walsh 617-452-6000 Walshmh@cdmsmith.com
Comprehensive Environmental Inc. (CEI) Michael Ohl 508-281-5177 Mohl@ceiengineers.com
GHD Inc Marc Drainville 774-470-1630 Marc.drainville@ghd.com
Kleinfelder, Inc Kirsten Ryan 617-498-4778 KRyan@Kleinfelder.com
Stantec Erica Lotz 781-221-1163 Erica.lotz@stantec.com
Tata & Howard Karen Gracey 508-219-4021 Kgracey@tataandhoward.com
Tighe & Bond Daniel Roop 781-708-9827 DORoop@tigheBond.com
Weston & Sampson Margaret McCarthy 978-532-1900 x2359 Stantonl@wseinc.com
Woodard & Curran, Inc. Jessica Richard 978-478-7874 Jrichard@woodardcurran.com
Wright & Pierce Kevin Olson 978-416-8900 kevin.olson@wright-pierce.com

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