Applicant Guidance

Button - Apply Online

All Municipal Planning Grant (MPG) applications must be submitted through the online Grant Electronic Application and Reporting System (GEARS). (Online application will be available August 1, 2018.) Grants are available to municipalities with a confirmed local planning process. Municipalities without a confirmed local planning process may only apply for funding to obtain confirmation.  The work documents below should be used to prepare the content of your application before you begin the online application process.

Before Applying

  • 2019 Program Description – provides an overview of the grant program including the purpose, available funding, competitive criteria, and this year's grant priorities. Review to determine the eligibility of your town and project. Pay special attention to the competitive criteria and statewide priorities to determine if your project is a good candidate for funding through this program.
  • Application Training - 2019 Municipal Planning Grant training webinar on creating a competitive application, the 2019 statewide priorities, and review of the GEARS, the Grant Electronic Application and Reporting System.

Developing an Application

  • Municipal Resolution for FY19 – meet with your local selectboard, planning commission, and other entities to discuss and agree on a project and to complete the required Municipal Resolution. Municipal organizations other than the planning commission (e.g. conservation commission) may apply but must have approval from both the planning commission and selectboard in order to do so. 
  • Application Questions (WORD Version) – write responses to the application questions offline first, this will prevent you from losing any unsaved work in the grant system and will allow individuals without an online account to review the application. Responses can be pasted into the online application once they have been finalized.  
  • Application Instructions - use these page by page instructions to prepare the narrative responses (see page 5), complete the online application forms and to electronically submit. 
  • Procurement Requirements - rules for for selecting a consultant and obtaining other services using the grant, with new provisions for hiring regional planning commissions in FY19.  
  • Rural Towns - a list of towns eligible to have the Regional Planning Commission serve as an agent of the town for the MPG.
  • Project Examples - work plans, budgets and deliverables from a number of recently completed MPG projects to help inspire and inform your projects. 

Preparing the Online Application in GEARS

  • MPG Roles – review and determine who in your municipality will fill grant roles. We strongly recommend designating two individuals for the Municipal/Authorizing Official (M/AO) role and designating a grant administrator. 
  • Create an online "New User" account  – (if you don't already have one) following the instructions provided on the online application log in page. If you already have an account, log in and update any contact information that may have changed. Note that all individuals identified as Municipal/Authorizing Officials (M/AO) or Grant Administrators must register for an account as a first step. 
  • Initiate an online application – only the M/AO, or Administrator who is authorized by the M/AO, can "initiate" a Municipal Planning Grant application. To assign an Administrator who can initiate and prepare the application, an M/AO can send an email to MPG staff (see contact info below) with the name of the administrator. The Writer or Reader roles for an MPG application can be assigned at the same time or later in the same way (all those seeking roles in the application must first fill out a “new user” account).  
  • Application Instructions - use these page by page instructions to prepare the narrative responses, complete the online application forms and electronically submit. 
  • Electronically submit the complete application – the application must be submitted electronically by either your Municipal/Authorizing Official or Grant Administrator prior to the October 1, 2018, ​6:00 PM deadline. If you have any difficulties or questions about your application please do not hesitate to contact DHCD staff. Staff will be available for technical support until 6:00 PM on that day.

Budgeting for the New Local Match Requirements

Beginning this grant cycle, fiscal year 2019, a cash match of 10% is required for all grants. If you plan to apply for MPGs in this or future years, be sure to prepare local funding for the match. Many municipalities establish a planning fund or line item to support local planning activities and leverage additional funds from state and other grant programs. If your municipality does not have a planning fund, we encourage you to speak with your elected officials about creating one.

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