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Florida Communities Trust Highlights

Application Process

The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts grant program uses Application Form SMWW-2. Please discontinue using Application Form SMWW-1. The Florida Communities Trust has developed an Application Instruction Guide providing helpful information for filling out the application. The SMWW-2 Application and Instruction Guide, along with additional resources for completing the application, are on the Application Preparation Resources page.

Eligible Applicants

Local governments and non-profit working waterfront organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code are eligible to apply for funding.

Award Limits

The total amount of any award or combination of awards applied for by any applicant under any application for any project shall not exceed $5 million during any one cycle or the amount appropriated by the Legislature if the appropriated amount is less than $5 million.

Match and Eligible Sources of Match (If Provided)

Match is not required for the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts program. However, the Florida Communities Trust encourages applicants to provide an increased financial contribution by awarding additional points in the application for match. Please refer to Application Form SMWW-2 for information on match levels and corresponding point values. Eligible sources of match, if provided, are:

  • Existing or future cash from the applicant
  • Cash or grant from a local, regional, state, or federal agency
  • Cash from a private donation
  • Value of real property donated by the landowner in a documented bargain sale or donation agreement

Identifying a Project Site

A project site is defined as the specific area(s) identified by a boundary map or legal description and certified survey, where Florida Communities Trust funds are proposed to be used for the acquisition of land. A project site may include up to three (3) separate ownerships.

A project site may include non-contiguous areas, so long as the non-contiguous areas are part of a unified scheme of development and management within the same Working Waterfront and sufficiently close that the unified scheme can be maintained.

Applicants are encouraged to inventory available properties and determine which sites are most competitive (score the highest) by self-scoring the potential sites.

To minimize the possibility of encountering a prolonged or complicated site acquisition, it is strongly recommended that applicants also take into consideration any serious impediments to a successful real estate closing such as known environmental hazards, an unreasonable number of parcels to be acquired, or an unwilling seller.

Because the State of Florida will have an executory interest in the land, the Florida Communities Trust shall have the right to refuse to deliver funds for closing a site where hazardous materials contamination in the sole view of the Florida Communities Trust, presents a liability to the state that outweighs the benefits derived from the acquisition of the site.

All transactions must be voluntarily-negotiated sales with a willing seller. The use of condemnation or the threat of condemnation is not considered a voluntarily-negotiated transaction. It is important to know that the property owner is at least willing to consider an offer to sell.

Preparing an Application

Well prepared applications are key to project selection. The Florida Communities Trust recommends that applicants recruit an experienced team of professionals or knowledgeable volunteers to assist with preparation of the application. The team should include individuals with experience in aquaculture, commercial fishing, business planning and management, comprehensive planning, real estate, public education, historic and natural resource protection, and facility development.

Responses to questions may be typed directly on the application form in a "typeover" mode to prevent lines from shifting. Additional pages may be used, if necessary. Do not alter the original language or format of the application form (i.e., section headings, subsection headings and criteria).

Submitting an Application

Applicants must submit four complete sets of application materials (one original and three copies) in 2 inch, 3 ring binders. Please arrange each binder in the same order as presented in the application (e.g., project information, acquisition plan, business summary, project evaluation criteria, and exhibits).

The application must be transmitted with an original signature cover letter on local government or non-profit working waterfront organization letterhead that binds the applicant to fulfill all commitments made in the application. The transmittal letter must also identify a key contact person for the project. All partners to the application are required to provide an original signature letter including the binding statement. A sample transmittal letter, along with additional resources for completing the application, are on the Application Preparation Resources page.

Prior to making copies of the grant application for submittal, carefully review the original to detect any math errors, missing criteria or missing pages.

Mail or deliver the four complete sets of application materials to the following by the application deadline:

Florida Communities Trust
Carr Building, Mail station 103
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000

Applications received after the deadline shall not be considered by the Florida Communities Trust.

Business Summary

The Business Summary provides information on the criteria outlined in the Business Summary section of Application Form SMWW-2 and must be provided with the application.

Every project is unique and every question in the Business Summary section may not apply to all projects. Please fill out the Business Summary as completely as possible and answering every question that might apply to your project so Florida Communities Trust staff may assess the sufficiency of the project. Applications submitted without a Business Summary will not be considered by the Florida Communities Trust for recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Application Review

Following the receipt of applications, Florida Communities Trust staff will review each application. Florida Communities Trust will notify applicants of the timely receipt and status of their application. A project will be eligible for scoring only if its purpose is to restore or preserve working waterfronts as defined in Section 380.503(18), Florida Statutes.

Application Evaluation and Ranking

Applications will be evaluated as they are submitted at the time of the application deadline. No additional information shall be accepted after the application deadline, unless requested by Florida Communities Trust staff for clarification purposes. Florida Communities Trust staff will conduct site visits as needed during the evaluation period to verify the conditions represented in the application.

Florida Communities Trust staff, with input from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other agencies, will also evaluate an application's Business Summary for sufficiency based on information provided in Form SMWW-2. Florida Communities Trust staff will prepare a recommended Business Summary sufficiency determination for consideration by the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board.

Following the application evaluation period, Florida Communities Trust will provide a written evaluation report and Business Summary sufficiency determination to each applicant. The evaluation report contains the Florida Communities Trust staff analysis (including any information obtained during project site visits) and recommended score for each criterion addressed in the application. Staff will provide copies of the evaluation reports and Business Summary sufficiency determinations to the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board. Applications containing a Business Summary deemed insufficient by the Florida Communities Trust will not be considered by the Board of Trustees.

Applicants will have an opportunity to provide written comments to Florida Communities Trust on a project's evaluation report, including the Business Summary Sufficiency Report, for staff consideration. Applicant comments must be submitted to the Florida Communities Trust in writing at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled project ranking meeting of the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board.

The Florida Communities Trust Governing Board will hold a public meeting to determine a recommended ranking list of projects based on the final evaluation score of each project and actual funds available. Applicants will be provided an opportunity to discuss their Business Summary sufficiency determination and preliminary evaluation score at this meeting. The Florida Communities Trust will then forward a recommended ranking list to the Board of Trustees for consideration. Florida Communities Trust will provide a copy of the recommended ranking list to applicants prior to the Board of Trustees meeting.

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    Last updated: July 09, 2013

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