State Aid for Library Construction Program @MHLS

The State Aid for Public Library Construction Program for our region is administered through the Mid-Hudson Library System. To learn more about this program please visit the New York State Division of Library Development’s web site.

Contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin, at cconlin@midhudson.org for any questions about the construction grant program including applying for and closing grants.

General Information for State Aid for Library Construction

The State Aid for Library Construction program provides supplemental funding to projects that increase library services and accessibility, increase library staff and facility efficiency, reduce library energy use and costs, and help libraries recover from disasters. Eligible projects include renovation of existing spaces, high speed internet installations, building acquisition, new facility construction, and more. Each year funding available for library construction in New York State and the Mid-Hudson Library System exceeds need and demand for library construction statewide and locally. MHLS administers this aid program by allocating funds based on each library project’s ability to meet state eligibility guidelines and the MHLS Board Priorities for Funding. Provisions are made according to NYS regulations for reduced matching funding requirements for libraries serving economically disadvantaged communities.

General Information from the Division of Library Development (DLD)

Timelines

Getting Ready for 2021

To get ready for applying for your construction aid:

  • Update (or create) your library’s board approved, prioritized facility plan.
  • Register for a NYS Directory Service Account (necessary to access the online application)
  • FEIN and SED Vendor Number: In order for a public library to apply for funding from the NY State Library’s Public Library Construction Grant Program, the library must have its own FEIN number, which will enable the library to receive a NY State Education Department vendor number.  A public library must be assigned a vendor number in order to receive construction grant funds.
    • No FEIN? You will need to apply for one from the IRS.
    • No NY State Education vendor number? Julia Maxwell in the NY State Library’s Division of Library Development will help the library complete the process for receiving an SED vendor ID number. She can be contacted at LDconstruction@nysed.gov or by calling (518) 474-4734
  • Get an Energy Audit.
    • You will receive additional points if the project you apply for is part of an energy efficiency improvement as outlined in the MHLS Board Priorities for Funding.
    • NYERDA’s Green Energy Green Jobs program has thorough and affordable audits
  • Is your building more than 50 years old?
  • Start getting quotes for your project from contractors
    • It can be difficult to get contractors to respond and provide quotes on their letterhead, which is required documentation for applying for this grant
    • You cannot use architect’s quotes for price estimates for work
  • For an overview of the State Aid for Public Library Construction Grant Program, check out this webinar from Rebekkah Smith Aldrich:
2021 Timeline

Completing Your Application for Construction Aid

Below you’ll find detailed information for completing each part of your State Aid for Library Construction Aid application. This is a competitive application process so please do your best to complete all pieces of the application. You can access a short checklist document here to organization the information needed for your application, as well as the recording of the Technical Assistance Workshop.  If you have any questions, contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin.

General Information for the Application
  • Accessing the grant application:
    • All applications for State Aid for Library Construction must be filed online. The link to the application portal will be available at: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/
    • A NYS Directory Service Account will be necessary to complete your online application. You can register for a NYS Directory Service Account here.
    • Please note that portal passwords expire periodically and may need to be reset. For username and password questions or help with login, please contact LibDevGrants@nysed.gov

 

Forms to be Completed Online in the Application Portal

The sections below are online forms that must be completed in the online application portal. It may be helpful to compose your responses in a separate document and paste them into the report once you’ve finalized your responses.

Application Form Section

This form is one section of the application. It’s completed online in the application portal, which can be accessed here: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/

  • The application form includes information on:
    • Building address
      • This is for the building where your project is taking place
    • Building ownership
    • Library site ownership
    • Building built date and physical dimensions
    • Construction projection information
    • Library Director contact information
    • Additional person contact information
    • Project scope (new construction, expansion, etc.)
    • Project Costs
      • Requested aid funds
      • Information about bonds for project
    • Project timeframe for start and completion
Additional Funding Sources
  • List funding sources that will contribute to this construction project (library bank accounts, other grants)
  • Do NOT include the aid you expect to receive from this application
Project Narratives Section

The Project Narratives section of the application includes the tabbed sections below. Your responses to the narrative questions will be used by the MHLS Incentives Committee to evaluate your grant. It may be helpful to compose your responses in a separate document and paste them into the report once you’ve finalized your answers.

Abstract

  • A brief description (limited to 150 characters) of the construction project.
  • This is listed on the NYSL website and in information sent to Legislators, be descriptive, but concise.

Description

  • Include a complete description of the project for which applicant is requesting funding.
  • If this project is part of a larger project during this award funding period, please describe the entire project.
  • When a project is part of a larger project identify both clearly so that the application project can be easily identified within the larger project description.
  • Describe construction activities including the intended physical alteration or improvement to the building.

Impact of Project

  • Describe why your construction project matters and how it will benefit your community.
  • You can use the Narrative Worksheet to draft your response to the Impact of Project Narrative.
  • If applicable, include justification for requesting a reduced match based on MHLS definition of “economically disadvantaged community.”
    • Free or Reduced School Lunch Rates
      • Below is one resource to find the percentage of student enrollment that is eligible for free and reduced lunch under the national school lunch program:
        • Visit: https://portal.nysed.gov/pls/cn_port/mel3_pkg.elig_enroll_query
        • Click the arrow icon next to the School Food Authority Field, and search for your library’s school district
        • Click the link for your district to fill the SFA and LEA fields
        • Select the month for Claim Period and the School Year
        • Under SFA Agency Type, tick the box under Public for School
        • Click the Find button.
        • You can repeat this process to find school lunch rates for other relevant months or school districts
    • Census Poverty Rates

Timetable

  • The timetable should be as specific as possible, indicating
    • The projected beginning date for the project
    • The duration of the proposed construction/renovation
    • The projected beginning and ending dates for all contractual services
    • Schedules for all other significant activities impacting the project
  • The timetable should list all related project activities taking place during the award funding period, broken down by year.

 

Budget Narrative

  • Description of budget requests, vendor costs
  • Associate the proposed vendor with the construction or renovation work and cost
  • Describe all items entered on the Project Budget pages
  • The Budget Narrative should reflect the Project Budget entries and attached quotes
  • If the vendor quotes contain options, the narrative must indicate those options and the associated dollar value
  • Identify the costs that will be match fund items

 

Budget Section

The Budget section includes the areas below. When completing this section fill in the actual cost, not requested grant amount.

  • Purchased Services (Code 40)
    • Consultant Services or Contracted Services
  • Supplies & Materials (Code 45)
    • Do not include supplies to be purchased by your contractor/vendor
  • Equipment Expenses (Code 20)
    • Any equipment that has a unit cost of $5,000 or more

 

Vendor Quotes, Cost Estimates

The Vendor Quotes, Cost Estimates will be uploaded as Attachments in the Attachments section.

  • Must be uploaded as PDF files
  • Must be on contractor letterhead
  • Only contractor quotes are acceptable, architect’s and engineer’s estimates are not acceptable.

Hard Copy Documents to Complete and Submit to Casey Conlin by MHLS Delivery

The documents below must be completed as described and sent to Casey Conlin ahead of the deadline through MHLS Delivery.

FS-10 Form

The FS-10 Forms (must be signed in blue ink).

  • 3 hard copies, signed in blue ink with project costs left blank must be sent to MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin
  • Be sure to include your  name title when signing.
  • FS-10 forms can be printed from the online application.
Payee Information Form
  • One hard copy of this form, signed in blue ink, must be sent to Casey Conlin, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator via MHLS Delivery
  • Form available here: http://nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/construc/piform.pdf
  • You must have an FEIN and Vendor Number at the time of Application.
    • In order for a public library to apply for funding from the NY State Library’s Public Library Construction Grant Program, the library must have its own FEIN number, which will enable the library to receive a NY State Education Department vendor number.  A public library must be assigned a vendor number in order to receive construction grant funds.
      • No FEIN?
      • No NY State Education vendor number?
        • Julia Maxwell in the NY State Library’s Division of Library Development will help the library complete the process for receiving an SED vendor ID number. She can be contacted at LDconstruction@nysed.gov or by calling (518) 474-4734.
      • Note for FY2021-2024 applications: In 2019, SAM, the federal system for registering DUNS numbers (needed on the Payee Information form IF AND ONLY IF the library already has one), began requiring a notarized letter in order to renew the number (apparently in response to fraudulent use of the system). We have been informed that the system is apparently backlogged, and libraries are not getting numbers renewed in a timely fashion. Libraries may still apply for construction aid if they do not receive a renewal by the time the applications are due. They should note on the Payee Information form that they have requested a renewal, and the State Library will accept that at the time of application. There is apparently an automatic update from SAM sent to the SED Grants Finance office on a regular basis, so when the numbers are renewed, the State Library will be notified.

 

Substitute W-9
  • One hard copy of this form, signed in blue ink, must be sent to Casey Conlin, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator via MHLS Delivery
  • Form available here: http://nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/construc/subw9.pdf
  • Despite what is indicated in the Payee Information Form instructions, a substitute W-9 Form must be completed by all construction applicants.

 

PDF Documents To Be Uploaded to the Application Portal

The documents below should be uploaded in PDF format when possible. File names will ideally identify the library and what type of document it is.

Assurances
  • The Assurances Document (must be signed in blue ink)
  • File must be uploaded
  • File is found here: https://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/construc/assurances.pdf
  • Must be signed by Library Board President
  • Assures compliance with relevant laws and regulations applicable to the State Aid for Library Construction Program
  • Read this document carefully:
    • There is an item at the end of page 1 regarding leased space which should NOT be checked if the building is not leased
    • There are two questions regarding SAM funds at the top of page 2.
      • All libraries must check the first box.
      • Libraries receiving SAM funds must also check the second box.
Certificate/Proof of Available Funds to Finance Project
  • Files must be uploaded
  • Also referred to as “Proof of Available Funds”
  • Examples of documentation:
    • Bank Statement
    • Letter on official letterhead signed by Board Official
    • Proof of Bond: tax exempt bonds, bond anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, or similar form of obligation. (See instructions for required attachments).
    • Legislative Member Item

 

Short (or Full) Environmental Assessment Form
  • The Short Environmental Assessment Form
  • Completed documents should be uploaded as PDF files
  • The library can be the lead agency.
  • Include the documents below:
    • SEAF Part 1
    • SEAF Part 2  & 3
    • Map
      • A screenshot of the library’s address in google maps or other map, with the address noted on the document may suffice
  • More information on SEAF and SEAF Workbooks
  • In most cases, the Short Environmental Assessment Form will be sufficient. Contact Casey Conlin if you believe you must complete the Full Environmental Assessment Form

Pre-Construction Building Photographs
  • Files must be uploaded
  • Detailed photographs of the proposed construction project site are required to accompany each application. Pictures must be submitted as part of the online application process.
  • Ideally multiple pictures and captions can be combined into one PDF or word file to upload.
  • Individual photo files should be labeled.
  • Documents such as engineering plans, architectural drawings and concept illustrations if available are helpful but not required.
Smart Growth Form
  • The Smart Growth Form (must be signed in blue ink)
  • Completed document must be uploaded
  • File is found here: http://nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/construc/smartgrowth.pdf (updated for 2021 projects)
  • “District” can be school district or library district
  • “Firm” can be the library or an architect
Certification of Required Minimum Lease/Legal Agreement and Project Approval from Building Owner (if applicable)
  • Must be uploaded as PDF file
  • Required if the library does not own the building
  • Must verify the following:
    • Certify that the lease agreement or other legal arrangement for the building will be in effect for a minimum 10 years from the date of anticipated project completion
    • That there is full awareness of and agreement with the construction project implications
    • That the owner has the legal authority to approve the improvement of the space, and
    • That the building is open to the public

Office of Facilities Planning Approval (if applicable)
  • Files must be uploaded.
  • If the library building is owned by a School District or BOCES and the total State Aid for Library Construction project cost will be $10,000 or more, the applicant must submit plans and specifications to the State Education Department’s Office of Facilities Planning (OFP) for review and approval.
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Approval Documentation (if your building is 50 years or older)
  • Filed in Application Form OR Uploaded PDF file of Approval Letter from SHPO
  • NOTE: SHPO REVIEW PERIOD IS 30 DAYS, AND CAN TAKE 6 TO 8 WEEKS FROM THE TIME MATERIAL IS ACCEPTED TO Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)
  • See Attachment A in the Formal Agreement with the State Education Department for a list of projects exempt from SHPO Review.
    • If your project is listed in this document, copy and paste the relevant text into your Application Form under SHPO
  • If you project is not listed in Attachment A, you must get approval from SHPO
Municipal Consent (applicable for site/building acquisition projects)
  • Upload certification forms as PDF files
  • If a library is purchasing property (vacant land or a building), then provide documentation from the local municipality that the proposed use of the site/building that is being acquired is allowable according to local land use.
  • See DLD’s State Aid for Library Construction: Guidelines and Instructions for more information about Municipal Consent documents.
Bond Paperwork (if applicable)
  • File must be uploaded
  • Contact Casey Conlin for more information about this construction aid and bonding.

Copy of Energy Audit (if applying for energy conservation point in MHLS priorities)
  • File should be uploaded.
  • You will receive additional points if the project you apply for is part of an energy efficiency improvement as outlined in the MHLS Board Priorities for Funding.
  • NYERDA’s Green Energy Green Jobs program has thorough and affordable audits

Closing State Aid for Library Construction Projects

Once your construction project is complete, you can follow DLD’s Closing a Construction Project FAQ to close your project and receive the final 10% of your project funding.

The application portal used to apply for construction aid is used to complete the closing process. The portal can be found here:https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/. Please note that portal passwords expire periodically and may need to be reset. For username/password questions or help with login, please contact LibDevGrants@nysed.gov

MHLS Board Priorities for Funding

2021 MHLS Board Priorities for Funding

To be considered for funding a project must:

  1. Meet eligibility requirements as defined in NYCRR Title 8 – Education §90.12
  2. Be part of the library’s board approved, prioritized facility plan [Sample Facility Plan Outline] which is reported to MHLS through the Construction Needs Action Memo issued annually in April. If a library is breaking a large project into phases this must be itemized with a timeline within the facility plan, and
  3. Provide for at least one of the following outcomes (points are awarded for each outcome the project addresses, so, the more the better!):
    • An increase in services through an increase in usable public space or increased staff efficiencies (e.g., new buildings, additions to current buildings, renovation of existing areas for new uses); and/or
    • An increase in access (e.g., compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); improved broadband; optimization of a space to bring in a new or underserved population; creation of climate controlled space to ensure access to historically relevant materials); and/or
    • Energy conservation in the context of a professional’s recommendations or with an historic preservation element. For the purposes of the MHLS board’s ranking, a “professional’s recommendation” will, at least, include the results of a Level 2 ASHRAE Energy Audit or comparable energy study which includes a comprehensive walk through of the facility, site staff interviews, utility bill analysis, fuel neutral, unbiased evaluation of potential low-cost/no-cost and capital improvement energy efficiency upgrades, and an energy study report that outlines potential energy and cost savings opportunities for your facility that has been conducted within the past five years. Libraries enrolled in the Sustainable Library Certification Program will also be eligible for this point. Libraries are expected to comply with the ENERGY STAR standards detailed in the MHLS ‘Useful life energy conservation standardsfor the purposes of this grant; and/or
    • Disaster recovery in the context of a substantial loss of access to library services due to a low probability-high consequence event(s) (e.g., fire, flood). This will apply to libraries: (1) located within a declared state or federal disaster area, or (2) not located within a declared disaster area if sufficient evidence documents a low probability-high consequence event resulted in substantial loss of access to library services. Within the grant narrative the library must adequately describe: a) length of forewarning; b) magnitude of impact; and c) duration of impact, meaning lack of access by the public to library services; and/or
    • Leadership in sustainable design in the context of pursuit of certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED); Green Globes; Living Building Challenge; Energy Star; Net Zero Energy Building Certification and/or Passive House.

MHLS Definition for an Economically Disadvantaged Community

MHLS definition for an 'economically disadvantaged community'
  1. a political subdivision within which 15 percent or more of the population is living in poverty as shown on the latest federal census; or
  2. a public school district within which the percentage of student enrollment that is eligible for free and reduced lunch under the national school lunch program is 40 percent or more for at least one month during the twelve months prior to the date of filing of the grant application; or
  3. a political subdivision as described in #1 within which 10 percent or more of the population is living in poverty and a public school district as described in #2 within which the percentage of student enrollment that is eligible for free and reduced lunch under the national school lunch program is 30 percent or more.

Previously Awarded Library Construction Aid

Previous Awards from NYS Division of Library Development

Relevant Legislation

 

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