State Aid for Library Construction Program @MHLS

The State Aid for Public Library Construction Grant 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 Casey Conlin at cconlin@midhudson.org for any questions about the construction grant program including applying and closing grants.

 

2020-2021 Grant Cycle

  • The Grant Application Portal is now open.

    • For background information and questions about the State Aid for Library Construction:

    • Accessing the grant application:

    • Checklist for Application (short checklist document available here)

      • Application Form
        • This form is completed online in the application portal, which can be accessed here: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/
        • Includes information on:
          • Building address
            • Building where 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
      • Project Narratives
        • These will be completed online in the application portal, which can be accessed here: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/
        • Your responses to the narrative questions will be used by the MHLS Incentives Committee to evaluate your grant.
        • The Project Narratives section includes the following areas:
          • 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 2020 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.”
              • 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
          • 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
      • Project Budget
        • These will be completed online in the application portal, which can be accessed here: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/
        • Tip: fill in actual cost, not grant request 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
      • Contractor Quote Documents
        • 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.
      • Certification of Available Funds 
        • Files must be uploaded
        • Also referred to as “Proof of Available Funds”
        • Examples of documentation:
          • Bank Statement
          • 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
          • Letter on official letterhead signed by Board Official
      • Additional Funding Sources
        • This is completed online in the application portal, which can be accessed here: https://eservices.nysed.gov/ldgrants/
        • List funding sources that contribute to this construction project (bank accounts, grants)
        • Do NOT include the aid you expect to receive from this application
      • Bond Paperwork (if applicable)
        • File must be uploaded
      • 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)
      • 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.
      • Short Environmental Assessment Form (must be signed in blue ink)
      • Smart Growth Form (must be signed in blue ink)
      • FS-10 Form (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.
        • Print FS-10 forms from the online application.
      • Payee Information Form & Substitute W-9 (must be signed in blue ink)
        • 1 hard copy of each, signed in blue ink must be sent to Casey Conlin, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator. 
          • Payee Information Form
            • 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.
                • If the library has a DUNS number, that number must be currently registered in the federal (NOT State) SAM system (www.sam.gov). If the library DOES NOT have a DUNS number, it does NOT need one to apply for construction aid.Note for FY2020-2021 applications: Earlier this year, 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 we will accept that. There is apparently an automatic update from SAM sent to our Grants Finance office on a regular basis, so when the numbers are renewed, we will be notified.”
          • Substitute W-9
      • Pre-project 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.
        • Individual photo files should be labeled.
        • Multiple pictures and captions can be combined into one PDF or word file to upload.
        • Documents such as engineering plans, architectural drawings and concept illustrations if available are helpful but not required.
      • Assurances Document (must be signed in blue ink)
        • File must be uploaded
        • File is found here: http://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 regarding leased space which should NOT be checked if the building is not leased
          • There are two questions regarding SAM funds.
            • All libraries should answer the first question.
            • Libraries receiving SAM funds must also answer the second question.
      • 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

It’s not too early to start planning for the 2021-2022 grant cycle.

    • To get ready for applying for your grant :
      • 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:

 

 

 

2019-2020 Grant Cycle

The Grant Application Portal is now closed. 

Construction grants are anticipated to be officially announced and funds distributed by the Division of Library Development in July, August, or September of 2020.

 

 

MHLS Board Priorities for Funding

2019 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 New York Library Association’s 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.

 

 

Recently Awarded Grants from NYS Division of Library Development

 

Relevant Legislation

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