Business Oregon recently filed revised rules for the state’s Regional Infrastructure Fund with the secretary of state’s office and they became effective December 22. While the fund will continue to provide grants and loans to local governments for Regional Solutions projects, the revised rules modify the process for grant and loan applications and award determinations. Under the updated rules, Regional Solutions Advisory Committees will recommend projects from their regions to a new Grant and Loan Review Committee, which will be designated by Business Oregon. The rule changes were made primarily to improve transparency, consistency and timeliness of grant and loan awards, ensuring economic vitality across all 11 Regional Solutions regions. The League provided comments to the draft rules, including a request for the requirement of a city representative in the composition of the new committee.
Each region will receive a base of 5 percent of the total amount of funding available during any round of applications. Most of the funding for the current biennium has been allocated to regional projects, and the new process would generally not be applicable to pending projects. However, the governor’s budget requests an appropriation of $11 million in lottery bonds for the Regional Infrastructure Fund in the 2017-2019 biennium. The League will support that Regional Solutions budget request, as this fund has been used to successfully address regional priorities and leverage other resources.
The rules, flow chart of the new process and a summary of comments and responses to the public comments can be found here.
Contact: Wendy Johnson, Intergovernmental Relations Associate – firstname.lastname@example.org