Identifying funding for your municipal project
“Doing more with less” is a constant struggle for municipalities. Demands for public services and programs increase, but finding ways to fund these projects is becoming increasingly more difficult. I’ve come across a number of municipalities looking for alternative funding sources, which is a smart way to increase financial means for projects. The following departments and agencies offer a number of resources for municipal projects ranging from transportation planning to economic development.
While this may be an obvious place to look, the government has set aside billions of dollars for various transportation projects. From public transportation, city planning and national highways, the DOT offers a number of funding options for municipalities. MAP-21 and the TIGER grants are just two of many options that the federal government offers local departments.
The HUD offers Community Development Block Grant funds which help communities revitalize neighborhoods and economic development. Communities have discretion as to how they can use these funds. Tourism, historic preservation and infrastructure initiatives are all eligible projects for CDBG funds.
If your project has an environmental focus, a smart place to start is the EPA website. The organization offers funding for projects which either focus on rebuilding the environment or have environmental benefits. They also offer a list of websites which provide funding opportunities for specific projects like bicycle and pedestrian paths, watershed protection and tribal initiatives.
Similar to the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers grants and financial assistance to municipalities with projects that will improve water and natural habitats. Areas and projects eligible for this funding can include watershed districts, pump stations and visitor centers.
As the only national charitable partner of the National Park Service, the NPF funds grants and programs that enhance national parks. Whether this includes building trails, transportation planning or environmental and traffic studies, the foundation provides opportunities for communities to enhance their tourism resources.
These resources are just a starting point to help you identify project funding. For more funding opportunities across a wide variety of disciplines, check out grants.gov to search for all government-funded grants available in the U.S.
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