The REDI Project Implementation Guidance for local project owners describes the milestones that will be achieved at different phases of the project lifestyle.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has compiled technical and permitting information to help expedite the permitting process for development along the dynamic shorelines of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
The following New York State agencies are involved in the REDI Commission.
Department of State
Department of Environmental Conservation
Department of Transportation
Department of Health
Environmental Facilites Corporation
Empire State Development
Homes and Community Renewal
Department of Labor
Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
New York Power Authority
Office of General Services
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation
This collection reflects a variety of questions asked during REDI Regional Planning Committee Meetings and the REDI Conference on November 20, 2019. REDI Local Project Owners are encouraged to address unique and specific questions to the funding authority or oversight agency assigned for each REDI grant.
Q.1: How will NYS roll out the Regional Dredging Project?
A: A multi-agency Regional Dredging “Strike Team” has been convened to advance this project. The first step will include environmental testing and engineering to determine where the State will conduct dredging.
Q.2: The REDI Intake form asks for anticipated start and completion? What do these dates represent?
A: On the REDI Intake Form “anticipated start date” refers to when construction will commence (ground-breaking) and “completion” means that the project is able to function as per 100% design (ribbon cutting). For Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) or Environmental Facilities Corporation’s (EFC’s) REDI Application, the anticipated start date should be that for which design has started.
Q.3: The REDI Intake form asks for the “Grant Award”. What does that mean?
A: The “Grant Award” is the total REDI grant that was awarded to a project.
Q.4: We have already hired a contractor, does the Town still need to complete the REDI Intake and Engineering Report Forms?
A: Yes. If your project is underway, please indicate the date on which the construction commenced as the “start date” on the REDI Intake form. Whether the project is underway or being planned, please commit to submitting Engineering Reports and Design Plans by February 14, 2020; submission can occur prior to February 14, 2020.
Q.5: Can we move forward with engineering and design of the projects now?
Q.6: What is the cost of the 10% design engineering through the REDI Engineering Report Program?
A: The cost is variable depending upon the project. A general range of costs is $8,000 - $30,000. Costs will be negotiated between the State and the engineering consultant, O’Brien and Gere/Ramboll on behalf of the Local Project Owner.
Q.7: What is involved in the 10% engineering report?
A: The components of the Engineering Report are described in the REDI Engineering Template.
Q.8: Will drawings be part of the 10% engineering report or will it be purely a narrative?
A: There will be some conceptual drawings, refinement of cost estimates and alternatives considered.
Q.9: If municipalities opt in to have 10% design engineering through the REDI Engineering Report Program, will they have input in the final recommendation?
Q.10: After the engineering reports are done and they move into construction phase and doing RFP’s, will there be a list of companies to avoid?
A: Please review a list of debarred consultants and contractors found at https://ogs.ny.gov/debarred-and-non-responsible-entities.
Q.11: If a municipality has already engaged an engineering firm, can they continue to have them perform the 10% engineering design? Would the expenses be eligible for REDI reimbursement?
A: Yes, a Local Project Owner can continue engineering with the firm it has engaged. Eligible project costs for design and engineering may be funded by the grant as long as these costs were incurred on or after April 1, 2019.
Q.12: Will municipalities get the CAD documents for use?
A: Raw data (CAD and GIS) can be transferred to municipalities that opt-in to the Engineering Report Program.
Q.13: Are long term maintenance costs eligible?
A: No. The long term maintenance and operation costs for your REDI project are ineligible for reimbursement. Supplemental work once a project is satisfactorily completed would not be covered by the REDI Program.
General Oversight Question
Q.14: How will the Funding and Oversight Entities, and any other Agency with a role in the project, coordinate efforts? Which Agency will the Grantee communicate with?
A: The Funding Authority will be the primary point of contact relating to the funding. The Oversight Agency will be the primary contact for project implementation. The Funding Authority will coordinate with the Oversight Agency during the grant administration process for project approval, questions about budget or scope changes, and permitting matters. The Grant Disbursement Agreement(s)/Funding Agreement(s) will be entered into with the Funding Authority. The Oversight Agency will oversee the project’s implementation, monitor the project’s progress and advocate the project schedule to meet milestone achievements. During the construction phase, they may complete periodic site visits to verify that the project is proceeding according to schedule and in compliance with permit requirements.
Funding Authority Questions
Q.15: What is the expected turnaround time for contracts?
A: Once the executed Grant Disbursement Agreement or Funding Agreement is in final form, we will make every effort to return a fully executed Agreement to the Grantee within one week. Once the Grantee has received a fully executed Agreement, requisitions may be submitted.
Q.16: What is the turnaround time to pay a requisition? Does this vary for reimbursement vs. payment on invoice?
A: In either case, we anticipate making payment as soon as possible but no later than 4 weeks from the date a completed requisition package is received.
Q.17: In 2017, we were awarded $500K for a break wall project. We then created an account for HCR at that point - would that work to use that same account for this process?
A: The Grantee may establish one segregated account for all REDI Grant projects funded by DASNY. If a previously used segregated account exists in the grantee’s name, that account can be used so long as the account is now strictly being utilized for REDI funded project(s).
Q.18: Can Grantees combine projects and have them funded under one program or one Funding Authority?
A: Each Funding Authority will enter into a Grant Disbursement Agreement or Funding Agreement with the Grantee. If the same Funding Authority is administering multiple projects for the same Grantee, certain projects may be combined. This is a fact specific determination. DASNY and EFC will work with the Grantees and the Oversight Agency to determine the most efficient way to proceed with contracting.
Q.19: Will the grants need to go through the Legislative approval?
A: The Funding Authority will seek approval of the grants in accordance with existing process and consistent with the authorization legislation.
Q.20: What are the terms and schedule for grant completion and for project completion?
A: EFC and DASNY will enter into a funding agreement with each grantee after review of the requested supporting documentation and oversight agency approval. EFC and DASNY’s Funding Agreement will expire three years from the date of execution. Please notify EFC or DASNY as soon as possible if you do not expect to complete the project within that time frame.
Q.21: What procurement process must be followed?
A: Grantees are expected to follow their own procurement policies and General Municipal Law.
Q.22: DASNY allows invoice payments. Will other funding agencies offer this?
A: Yes. For both EFC and DASNY, the grantee can submit invoices for eligible project costs performed in conjunction with the project to the Funding Authority for payment
Q.23: Will a municipality enter into a contract with each state agency that is administering their project?
A: Each Local Project Owner will enter into a REDI Grant Disbursement Agreement with the project’s respective Funding Authority.
Q.24: Is there an MWBE requirement?
A: Yes. With respect to grants administered by DASNY and EFC, municipalities are encouraged to use their best efforts to seek out and utilize Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB) contractors and vendors.
Q.25: Can Grantees use Grant funds to pay for internal labor to undertake the project?
A: Labor costs that constitute “direct labor costs” as described in Treasury Regulation §1.263A-1(e)(2)(i)(B) or “indirect labor costs” for employee benefits as described in Treasury Regulation §1.263A-1(e)(3)(ii)(D), all of which are capitalizable expenditures directly related to the Project and none of which if for overhead, administrative or other similar fees of the Grantee are eligible. The Labor Costs are costs of a type that are properly chargeable to capital account under general Federal income tax principles and will be reflected in the Grantee’s books and records and audited annual financial statements as costs of the Project.
Proper Documentation will be sent to you by your Funding Authority.
Q.26: Can Grantees use Grant funds to pay for the depreciated value of equipment used to undertake the project?
A: No. Since there is no expenditure of funds, these costs would not be reimbursable with grant funds.
Q.27: Can Grantees count the depreciated value of equipment used to undertake the project toward the 5% match?
A: Yes, it is anticipated that Grantees will be able to apportion the use of their equipment according to rates set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and document this toward their 5% match. However, as stated in the above questions, these costs would not be reimbursable with grant funds.
Q.28: Can grant funds be used to pay for acquisition of real property?
A: The grant funds may be used to pay up to the appraised amount of the real property acquisition. The Grantee will need to provide an appraisal meeting Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) guidelines. Grantees are encouraged to contact their Funding Authority as soon as possible regarding real property acquisition to be certain that the proper form of appraisal is obtained. It is expected that the Grantee will remain the owner of the property for a period of at least 10 years.
Q.29: Can attorney fees be paid from Grant funds in connection with land acquisition; formation of a district, or other legal costs?
A: Certain legal fees directly related to a real property closing and formation of a district, may be paid with grant funds. This is a fact specific determination. Please contact the Funding Authority to discuss the specifics. Other attorney fees, professional fees and administration costs are not reimbursable, nor will they qualify towards the Grantee’s match requirement.
Q.30: My project may require an easement to complete. Can the cost of the easement to reimbursed or count toward the 5% match?
A: While the outright acquisition of real property is an eligible cost, easements must be analyzed on a case by case basis due to the varying valuations, durations, and impact they have to property owners. Contact your Funding Authority to discuss your specific situation.
Q.31: Will we be able to get reimbursed for legal and engineering costs?
A: Design and engineering costs may be funded by the Grant as long as these costs were incurred on or after April 1, 2019. Certain legal fees directly related to a real property closing and formation of a district may be paid with grant funds. This is a fact specific determination. Please contact the Funding Authority to discuss the specifics.
Project Scope of Work Questions
Q.32: What if the Grantee needs to modify the scope of a project? What if a Grantee doesn’t want to proceed with one of the projects? What if there are funds left over from one project? Can they be applied to a different project?
A: REDI Grantees are expected to complete the awarded projects within applicable time frames. Any requests for scope or budget changes, or the disposition of remaining funds, will be determined on a case by case basis by the Oversight Agency and REDI Commission.
Resilient Construction Guidance
Q.33: Will Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issue design criteria or guidance for the lake level?
A: There is no single design elevation that is appropriate for every shoreline location or type of project. In determining the appropriate design elevation, you should work with a Professional Engineer to evaluate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), local geology, water elevations, and wave heights at the project location. In order to build resilience, reduce the risk of future property damage, and minimize habitat impacts, DEC has compiled general guidelines for coastal design and development projects. The goal of these guidelines is to share technical data, regulatory guidance, best practices, and available resources for development along the dynamic shorelines of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. These guidelines can be found in DEC’s Great Lakes ad St. Lawrence River Coastal Development Fact Sheet (PDF). (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/rediguidance101819.pdf)
Q.34: Is there going to be any expedited permit processing?
A: DEC recommends meeting with local DEC permit office for a pre-application meeting to provide clear direction on project specific permitting needs. DEC will explain what information/detail is needed for any necessary DEC permit applications, will assist in coordinating with other involved agencies (United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), NYS Department of State (DOS), and others), and can provide guidance on State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR). DEC will expedite permit review, but approval will depend on obtaining the requested information in a timely manner from the applicant or their agents (design professional).
Q.35: We have multiple REDI grant awards for projects and want to bundle projects for SEQR to allow them to issue notification of lead agency status once for all projects?
A: Yes, but individual SEQR determinations will be needed for each project. Where multiple projects are interdependent at some level, a single SEQR review and determination could be undertaken to address them together.