Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lee MPO will resubmit its Complete Streets Initiative for TIGER IV grant

 In October, the Lee MPO submitted a $10 million TIGER III grant application for a complete streets initiative, as proposed by BikeWalkLee, based on the MPO's recently adopted countywide bike/ped master plan. (See June blog story.) Forty-five letters of support were submitted by a broad group of community organizations and agencies.  The grant awards were announced in December, but we were not among the 5% of winning applications.

In January, the USDOT announced another round of TIGER grant applications.  Lee MPO staff, accompanied by Darla Letourneau of BWL, had a de-brief with USDOT officials about the strengths and weaknesses of our TIGER III application to determine whether to resubmit our application.  We were told that the MPO's application scored high on all the criteria and was actually recommended for funding by the staff panels.  However, we lost out in the last step of the process where geographic balance and other factors were taken into account.  We were encouraged to resubmit our application for TIGER IV.  At Friday's MPO meeting, the Board was informed of this plan.  The pre-application is due Feb. 20th and the full application is due March 19th.

MPO staff is working to update the application and further enhance a couple of sections.  Note that the 45 letters of support that were submitted with the TIGER III application will be part of the resubmittal, so new letters are not needed.  Grant awards are likely to be made before the summer.  We know its a competitive process but given the very positive feedback we heard from USDOT staff, we are hopeful that we'll be successful this time!

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