Alberta Community Resilience Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP)

Program Funding

Are private entities/individuals eligible for funding under this program?

No, private entities and individuals are not eligible for funding under this program. These parties are encouraged to work with an eligible applicant to determine if the proposed project is a mutual priority. If an applicant chooses to champion a private project, the project may be considered as part of their application submission.

Further guidance can be found by referring to the ACRP Application Guidelines.

How will funding be distributed between municipalities, given that mitigation needs are widely varied?

While it is recognized that not all applicants will receive funding, AEP has developed a number of different checks to ensure fair process and equal access to funding, including submission deadlines, an internal evaluation and cumulative prioritization of all eligible projects, and defined program boundaries.

Can an applicant undertake the proposed works and apply for funding later?

Yes, applicants may construct a project without a commitment by the province to the project, subject to all legislative requirements. However, applicants must have applied under the ACRP prior to the start of construction and the applicant is responsible for all costs incurred.

Eligible applications will be reconsidered for program funding up to two years following completion of the proposed project. Two years post-construction the application will be withdrawn. Applicants can continue to submit applications for new, eligible projects.

Are buy-out/land purchase options eligible for funding?

Buy-outs and land purchases, for the purpose of gaining access to or to facilitate construction of an eligible project, may be considered for high risk areas where economic and feasibility studies support this direction.

What provincial policies apply to projects submitted under the Alberta Community Resilience Program?

In addition to the regulatory requirements that must be met, current provincial policies and/or direction will be considered in all decisions. For example, the province does not support construction of obstructive development in floodway areas. This policy direction is supported by the Department’s Flood Hazard Identification Program and informs the Disaster Recovery Program.

New policies and regulations, such as Room for the River and the Floodway Development Regulation (Bill 27), will also be considered as they come into effect.

Can applicants use funding from other programs to pay for the cost-shared portion of a project approved under ACRP?

Project may be funded using multiple funding sources if the project is within the scope of another grant program. This excludes DRP-eligible portions of a project, which are ineligible for funding under ACRP. Applicants may not use ACRP to fund cost-shared portions from the Flood Recovery Erosion Control (FREC) Program.

Grant Approval Process

What is the intent of the Community Resilience and Mitigation Assessment? Does it need to be approved by Council?

Each community is expected to conduct an assessment of their community’s current state of "resilience" through the identification of hazards, assessment of vulnerability, and valuation of existing mitigation – location, purpose, effectiveness, etc. This document provides the Grant Review Committee with information about the communities’ commitment to flood mitigation, as well as the range of mitigation opportunities that have been explored and/or previously implemented.

A template for the required Community Resilience and Mitigation Assessment is located under the "Forms" section above. This plan should be supported by the applicant's Council. Please refer to the ACRP Application Guidelines for additional information.

What happens if an applicant misses an application submission deadline?

Applications received after September 30 will not be forwarded for decision until the following submission deadline and decision period.

What is the difference between not eligible and not approved?

A project that is not eligible is one that is outside of the scope of this program. A project that is not approved is one that is eligible under the program and may still be considered for funding in subsequent fiscal years.

How will Program funds be allocated?

Program funds have been allocated to each budget cycle; these funds must be allocated during the assigned fiscal year. Allocation of funds within a fiscal year will depend on the applications received.

Is there a maximum amount the program will allocate per project?

There is no limit to funding allocated per project; however, only the highest priority projects province-wide will be funded. It is unlikely that lower priority projects will be funded in the short term given the limited funding available. Applicants are encouraged to only apply for their highest priority asks, as supported by their Community Resilience and Mitigation Assessment.

If a project is to be implemented in phases, how will approvals be considered?

If a project is determined to be a high priority (once prioritized with all other applications), a decision is made on whether or not to fund the project. Once a project is approved, there are a number of ways to allocate the funds if the project cost is prohibitive within one fiscal year.

Applicants may be asked to implement their project in phases, depending on the scope of the project, so it may be funded over a number of years. Furthermore, projects in excess of $3 million will be considered for funding over multiple years to ensure effective use of funds.

Please note that the entire scope of a project or project phase must be identified to receive initial approval. Approval cannot be granted for unknown project elements. Additions and significant scope changes are viewed as new projects.

How will the Grant Review Committee prioritize projects? Will the applicant’s identified priority for a project be considered?

The committee will be using its own criteria focused on the desired outcomes of the program to determine individual project priority. Each project will be evaluated as separate and distinct and on its own merits. The Grant Review Committee will prioritize projects that contribute to public safety and protect critical infrastructure. Other factors that are considered include cost-benefit, project feasibility and environmental benefits.

My community submitted an ACRP application last year, but the scope of our proposed project has changed. Should I submit a new application to ACRP?

Please work with your Program Coordinator to amend your existing application.

Project Construction

What regulatory requirements may apply to projects approved under ACRP?

Authorizations under the Water Act and Public Lands Act are the primary regulatory requirements for most projects. Obtaining these authorizations may include a referral to one or more of the following: River Engineering, Aboriginal Consultation Office, and Fisheries and Wildlife staff. Projects may also require authorization from other agencies, such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Can funds be used for fisheries offset compensation?

Any offset compensation owed as a result of the construction of a project is not eligible under ACRP and must be paid by the applicant.

If an applicant receives funding from ACRP, can they begin construction on the project right away?

Funding approval under ACRP should only be viewed as the Government of Alberta’s commitment to fund the project. Approval for funding does not equal approval to construct.

All required regulatory authorizations must be secured prior to commencing construction.

Grant Administration, Reporting, and Audits

If a project is approved for funding, is there a defined date by which time the project must be complete?

Grant expiry dates are defined in the Grant Agreement. Grant expiry dates are based on the projected construction schedule/timeframe, submitted as part of a project application. Please refer to the Terms and Termination section of your grant agreement.

How soon after a project is complete will it be subject to an audit?

The final project report, including invoices for eligible costs must be submitted no later than sixty (60) days after the project is substantially complete, or the grant expiry date, whichever is first. Financial audits will be conducted after the report is received.

Is there a maximum allowable contingency for each project?

Projects may be approved with a maximum allowable contingency of 20 per cent. If detailed engineering has already been completed, the required contingency for the project should be amended to reflect the reduction in risk.

Project costs have increased since we received our grant. Can we increase the value of our grant due to cost over-runs?

A new application will be required requesting additional funding. The request will be reviewed following with the next submission deadline.

 

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Updated: Jul 20, 2016