by Carolyn Berndt and Mitchel Herckis

With the New Year begins a new cycle of Congressional spending bills unresolved for fiscal year 2009, and federal agencies are issuing several grant opportunities for local governments. Below are three public safety and environmental grants that local governments may want to consider applying for during the first quarter of 2009.

Adult and Juvenile Offender State and Local Reentry Demonstration Projects

New federal funding will soon be available for communities to help former prisoners find a new path in life.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the Department of Justice has announced it will be issuing Requests for Proposals for the Second Chance Act grant programs on March 23.

Signed into law in April of last year, the Second Chance Act will help prisoners who are returning to society break cycles of crime and start new lives through providing housing, job training and placement, mentoring, substance abuse treatment, and other transitional services.

On March 23, the BJA will issue a formal announcement for both “State and Local Reentry Demonstration Grants,” as well as “Mentoring Grants to Non-Profit Organizations.” Applications for both grants must be submitted by May 21.

Fact sheets from the Council of State Governments, available at, outline the requirements for each type of grant. The cost-sharing for the State and Local Demonstration Grants program are high, including a 50-percent matching requirement (half of the match can be an in-kind match, but half of the match must be in cash). The Mentoring Grants to Non-Profit Organizations have much less stringent requirements and do not require matching funds.

DHS Emergency Operations Centers Grant Program

The Department of Homeland Security has opened the application period for $34 million in grants under the 2009 Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) Grants Program. EOCs are physical locations for coordinating response and recovery actions and resources. While a significant portion of the funds were designated for particular projects by Congress, more than $12 million will be available to state, local, and tribal governments for competitive grants.

The EOC grants will provide up to $1 million for construction projects or up to $250,000 for renovation projects to create or improve crisis command centers. The program requires a local grantee cost-share or in-kind match of 25 percent. The grants will be administered through the state, and therefore all applications will be reviewed by a state-designated administrative agency to ensure applications are consistent with statewide efforts and priorities. To access the grant information, visit and search for Funding Opportunity Number DHS-09-GPD-052-1970.

EPA Community Action for a Renewed Environment Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering nearly $3 million in grants to local governments in 2009 to reduce pollution through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. CARE is a community-based program that builds partnerships to help the public understand and reduce toxic risk from numerous sources.

Applications for the CARE grants are due March 16. EPA is planning national webcasts for prospective applicants to ask questions about the application process:

  • February 3: 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern time
  • February 24: 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern time
  • February 27: 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern time

For more information related to the CARE program, webcasts, and a link to the Request for Proposal, visit
(Reprinted from the National League of Cities Web site.)

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose.
No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the
Texas Municipal League.

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