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2013-15 Consolidated Grant Application FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions 

I can’t make the form work, what do I do?

To use the application forms below you must be using Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 9.0 or newer. This is the only way to save your information and submit your application electronically. Please download the newest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader .

If that fails, please contact us for personal technical assistance.

Chapter 2 of the application packet indicates that a 50 percent match is required for operating projects (and 20 percent match is required for capital projects). But the packet also says that all projects must secure a 5 percent minimum local match. Which is it?

Contractor’s match must be at least 5 percent of the total project cost. The Federal award requires 50 percent match for an operating project, but that match may come from the grantee (transportation provider) or from the State in the form of a grant such as Rural Mobility Competitive funding. The amount of cash and/or in-kind contribution from the grantee is called the contractor’s match.

What can my contractor’s match be made up of?

The minimum 5 percent contractor’s match can be direct match from sources such as a cash award from a tribe or community organization, transit sales tax, reserve account, or fundraiser. It may also contain in-kind match that is supported by an in-kind valuation plan approved by WSDOT. Examples of in-kind match include goods and services donated by a third-party who would otherwise be collecting revenue for those goods and services such as a volunteer accountant, donated parking space, and free advertising. In-kind cannot be used for capital grants.

What types of items are eligible as in-kind match? 

In-kind contributions are non-cash contributions provided by third parties to an organization. In-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies, and services, and should directly benefit and be specifically identifiable to the project or program. Professional services performed by volunteers that contribute to organizational functions are allowable in-kind contributions (services that would otherwise be paid for by the organization—technical assistance, administrative, training, marketing, driving). WSDOT must approve your in-kind valuation plan.

Am I limited to 5 percent contractor’s match?

No. Any combination of contractor contribution and state grants may occur to reach the 50 percent. An example follows:

If Dial-a-trans Co. submits an application for a $100,000 operating project, the minimum amount required toward the project by Dial-a-trans (contractor’s match) is $5,000. Federal operating funds require a 50 percent match, but that $50,000 may be in the form of state grant funds such as state rural mobility funds or state paratransit/special-needs funds, less the amount provided by Dial-a-trans.

  • $5,000 from contractor, $45,000 from state grant, $50,000 from federal grant
  • $5,000 from contractor, $95,000 from state grant
  • $10,000 from contractor, $90,000 from state grant
  • $8,000 from contractor, $60,000 from state grant, $32,000 from federal grant
Will higher contractor match result in higher evaluator scores?

It reflects well on your application, but is not necessary. The evaluators will be looking for evidence of strong community support and financial commitment by the applicant agency.

Any organization’s best hope for funding is to submit an application on a project that scores highly among our evaluators independent of contractor’s match amount. Greater evidence of local support (5-plus percent match dollars provided by the organization) will in many cases improve the chances of scoring well.

You must commit to 5 percent of the total project cost, but we encourage you to tap all of your resources that can be used to pay project-related expenses (DSHS grant, United Way allocation, donated project-related goods or services [i.e., “in-kind”]) to offer as much contractor’s match as you can afford (6%, 10%, 20%...)

How do I apply for matching funds if I already have federal funds?

Please describe your need for state funds in your narrative. This can be done in several places including question 4 (leveraging resources) and the text box following the budget and revenue forms in section VII. Additionally, you should indicate that you are using federal funds in the revenue form in section VII.

FTA is more flexible regarding the types of match they allow than other federal agencies. FTA will allow Medicaid as match, but Department of Health and Human Services will not allow FTA funds as match for their grants.

What if actual 2011-13 expenses or revenues are different than those estimated on our last application? For example, fuel costs were higher than projected two years ago. Do you want the actual amount we spent or do you want the amount from the 11-13 application?

Your accounting does not have to match exactly what was originally submitted in your previous grant application or in your grant agreement, if your budget has been modified due to unexpected costs or unanticipated losses in revenue. But the budget must reflect the same project and assumptions used in the previous grant application. The applicant should use the text box in Project Form Section VI and/or the Supplemental Information page to explain these budget variances.

I do not see the federal or state funding source we were awarded from WSDOT in 2011-2013 in the drop-down boxes located in the revenue section of the project budget.

Please use ‘Federal: FTA WSDOT’ for all 5310, 5311, 5316 or 5317 grant funds awarded in 2011-2013. Select “Other” from the drop-down menu for all state Rural Mobility Competitive and Paratransit/Special Needs Non-profit grant funds awarded in 2011-2013.

What can I put in the Supplemental Information section of the Project Form?

Anything else that you either didn’t have room to write in the previous sections or may provide reviewers with a more complete understanding of your project.

How much is going to be available?

WSDOT typically awards about $40 million per biennium through the consolidated grant process.

Is there a chance that we will not be granted 100% of the amount requested?

There is a possibility that an applicant will receive less than requested. WSDOT does its best to look at past performance, what similar projects cost, and balance that with the applicant’s request. All applicants are encouraged to explain the factors that resulted in large increases between last biennium and the new application term, if the budget has changed substantially.

What happens if my RTPO hasn’t finalized their project list (ABC’s) by the application deadline?

The RTPO ranking process is a separate process from the applications. Your RTPO may take additional time to complete their ranking.

Can I submit my application directly to my WSDOT regional project manager? 

No. All applications had to be turned in by 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2012 to or on a CD/DVD.

When are we likely to know about being awarded a grant?

WSDOT’s current plan is to make announcements in April. This may be contingent on federal and state legislative and budgeting processes.

For questions specific to the Puget Sound Regional Council application, see the PSRC FAQ webpage .