Funds Available to Help Communities Transition Local Planning Services
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today announced the agency is now accepting applications for transition funding from the 212 communities for whom ECD formerly provided local planning services. Governor Bill Haslam included $1 million for the transition in his 2011-2012 budget and each community applying for grant funds will receive an equal amount. Grant applications will be e-mailed directly to each of the client communities and applicants will have until September 1, 2011 to return the form. Applications will also be available on the agency’s web site at www.tn.gov/ecd.
“We understand this is a period of transition for those communities who used ECD for planning purposes,” said Commissioner Hagerty. “As we move to make local planning truly a local function, we want to provide the help needed to make that happen as seamlessly as possible.”
Commissioner Hagerty added that only communities with contracts for local planning services with ECD during the 2010-2011 fiscal year and who received a notice of contract termination from ECD will be eligible to apply for the grants. The applicant community must be willing to match the grant with funding equal to their 2011 Local Planning Assistance service fee for the transition and must guarantee the funds will be used for services from a qualified planning professional.
ECD announced it would end local planning services for communities in April as part of a reorganization of the department. As part of the reorganization, ECD announced it would temporarily maintain a staff of planning professionals to assist local communities in obtaining planning services through a private firm, a local development district or through other options. If the community has signed an agreement with a development district to provide planning services, the development district may apply for the transition grant, but will be required to provide proof of a contract or service agreement in order to qualify.