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Chapter 413-4 THE ONEGEORGIA AUTHORITYS REGIONAL E-9-1-1 FUND PROGRAM

Rule 413-4-.01 Scope of Rule

This regulation governs the operation of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Program as established by the OneGeorgia Authority (O.C.G.A. 50-34-1et seq.) through a resolution adopted by the OneGeorgia Authority Board on August 13, 2002. In said resolution, the OneGeorgia Authority authorized the Department of Community Affairs (hereinafter referred to as "Agent") as the implementing entity for purposes of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Program's operation and administration.

Rule 413-4-.02 Definitions

The definitions for purposes of this regulation are identical in all respects to the terms defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34-2, O.C.G.A. 46-5-120 (Georgia Emergency Telephone Number '9-1-1-' Service Act of 1977), and GEMA's "9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Number Plan."

Rule 413-4-.03 Purpose

The purpose of the OneGeorgia Authority Regional E-9-1-1 Fund is to provide a program of financial assistance that includes grants and other forms of assistance authorized by O.C.G.A. 50-34-1et seq. to finance activities that will assist applicants in providing enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone services ("E-9-1-1") on a regional (i.e., multi-county) basis in counties that are not currently served by 9-1-1, thereby promoting the health, welfare, safety, and economic security of the citizens of the state. Any system funded in part with monies from the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund must meet the standards and requirements for E-9-1-1 systems as set forth in GEMA's "9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Number Plan."

Rule 413-4-.04 Eligible Applicants

(1) Eligible applicants and recipients of grant and loan funds awarded under this program shall include, but not be limited to, general-purpose local governments (municipalities and counties), local government authorities, and joint or multi-county development authorities. Note that in order to be eligible for funding consideration, a proposed E-9-1-1 system must be "regional" in nature and also meet the Threshold Requirements described at 413-04.07(2). One Georgia Authority defines "regional" as an E-9-1-1 system that is:
a) jointly owned by two or more counties;
b) owned by an authority that contains at least two counties; or
c) involves an intergovernmental service agreement between multiple public jurisdictions containing two or more counties.

Rule 413-4-.05 Fund Availability

(1) Funding appropriated or otherwise made available to the One Georgia Authority will be made available to eligible applicants on an as-needed basis through a selection process that will be announced through the Authority and/or Agent's publication of notices of fund availability (NOFAs). Such NOFAs will be published on the Authority's (www.One Georgia.org) and Agent's (www.dca.state.ga.us) websites and at the discretion of the Authority and Agent, may also be mailed to eligible applicants, applicant associations and/or placed in advertisements in certain local or state publications.
(2) The OneGeorgia Authority's NOFA will establish submission guidelines. Applications will be accepted at any time an eligible applicant has an eligible project and will be reviewed based upon the criteria provided in Section 413-04-.07 of these Rules.
(3) Eligible applicants must apply for assistance under this program in a format and manner prescribed by Agency. Application manuals and guidelines may be obtained from the Authority or Agent at:

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Program

c/o Office of Economic Development

60 Executive Park South, N.E.

Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231

(4) The application manual provided will include information outlining program requirements, forms, mailing addresses, telephone numbers of contact persons and other necessary and pertinent information.

Rule 413-4-.06 Eligible Activities

(1) Eligible uses of funds provided under the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund include those activities and the provision of facilities and services as described in O.C.G.A. 50-34-1et seq. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the provision of such public infrastructure, services, facilities and improvements needed to implement enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone services. More specifically, such activities include, but are not limited to, the provision of planning services and technical assistance integral to the development of needed addressing systems, databases and other informational and technology systems; the purchase of machinery, equipment and software; technology infrastructure; public utilities; public facilities and services; real property rehabilitation; the acquisition of real property; site preparation and improvements; construction; and any other necessary activities allowed under O.C.G.A. 50-34-1 eq seq. that are integral and necessary for the development and deployment of enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone services. On-going administrative and maintenance costs are not eligible. Any activities funded with monies from OneGeorgia's Regional E-9-1-1 Fund must meet GEMA's standards for E-9-1-1 systems as set forth in GEMA's "9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Number Plan."
(2) In general, the public acquisition and/or improvement of public facilities and infrastructure can be undertaken directly by a general- purpose local government(s) or authority with Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies. In some situations, a private entity may be required to provide facilities and/or equipment to allow an E-9-1-1 system or facility to become fully operational. In such situations, Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies may be expended for the public acquisition and/or improvement of financed assets and facilities that may be used and operated by private entities. In such cases, such privately used assets and facilities must generally be owned or controlled by a local government and/or authority and leased, subleased or sold to the business or enterprise in accordance with O.C.G.A. 36-62-7 and/or O.C.G.A. 50-34-6.
(3) The OneGeorgia Authority reserves the right to establish criteria regarding the nature, types and forms of financial assistance that the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund provides. In general, assistance for "public" facilities owned by local governments and/or authorities will take the form of grants. Facilities that are to be used exclusively by a private entity through the arrangements described in Section 413- 04-.06(2) will generally take the form of low-interest loans or loan/ grant combinations. The exact structure and amount will be determined by the activity to be financed, the financial capacity of the private entity, and the tier status of the applicant. Loans will be structured using generally accepted public and private financing instruments and procedures. All recaptured funds must be returned to the OneGeorgia Authority.

Rule 413-4-.07 Review of Applications

(1) All applications received from applicants will be reviewed to determine the merits of the applications and the proposed use of funds. The One Georgia Authority and/or DCA will rate and review all applications that meet the Threshold Requirements outlined in Section 413-04-.07(2). Applications will be rated according to a point system with the maximum number of points available to an application is set at 400 points. In order to be fundable, an application must receive a minimum score of 275 points. The rating criteria are outlined below.
(2) Threshold Requirements (Application must generally meet all requirements in order to be rated.):
(a) The application is from eligible applicants;
(b) The project takes place within two or more counties, at least one of which does not currently have 9-1-1 emergency telephone service;
(c) The proposed E-9-1-1 facility would be:
a) jointly owned by two or more counties;
b) owned by an authority that contains at least two counties; or
c) involve an intergovernmental service agreement between multiple jurisdictions that include two or more counties.
(d) The proposed project evidences a revenue- and cost-sharing agreement between multiple jurisdictions that include two or more counties;
(e) Applications must include a Cooperating Agreement entered into by the cooperating units of government. This agreement should designate the unit of local government or authority that will serve as lead applicant. (A sample cooperating agreement is included in this Application Packet.)
(f) The proposed use of funds are for eligible activities and will be carried out in a manner consistent with the state constitution, state law and in accordance with the applicants' (or sub-recipients') enabling legislation and authority; and
(g) (Reserved.)
(3) Tier Status (60 Points Possible). Applications will be awarded points based upon the Tier Designation of the "lowest" County (pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-7-40) participating in a particular intergovernmental agreement or project. Greatest consideration will be given to tiers of greater need. Points will be allocated as follows: Tier 4 and/ or 3 - 20.0 points; Tier 2 - 40.0 points; and Tier 1 - 60.0 points. In order to participate in a project, Tier 4 and 3 counties must meet the criteria for regional projects in 413-04-.07(2). Applications will be awarded points based upon the Tier Status of the lowest Tier county in a qualified application per section 413-04-.07(2) of these regulations.
(4) Project Feasibility (120 Points Possible). Applications will be awarded "feasibility" points according to the following scale: poor - 0.0 points; below average - 30.0 points; average - 60.0 points; good - 90.0 points; excellent - 120 points. The criteria detailed below (413- 10-.07 (4) A-K) will determine where on the "Feasibility" Scale an application ranks:
(a) The description of the proposed project and activities are clearly described and documented;
(b) The project demonstrates financial and economic viability for initial capital costs and ongoing operations through the economies of scale available in a multi-county project.
(c) Each participating government has demonstrated favorable public support for the proposed project through public hearings, referendums, or other means;
(d) The responsibilities for carrying out each activity are clearly ascribed to a participating entity and each entity has firmly committed in writing to carry out its part;
(e) Project readiness concerns are addressed (as applicable):
i) engineering/ architectural/environmental,
ii) infrastructure/utility/network access issues, including submission by each applicant of supporting documentation from local phone company(ies) that they are currently or will be capable of providing E-9-1-1 service within the proposed project timeline;
iii) the development of an address and street-name database with geographic locations for each address coordinated with the private carrier;
iv) commitments to fund ongoing operations/maintenance, etc.;
v) other public and private sector investors are committed and ready to invest,
vi) all needed real property is acquired or under option,
vii) any needed regulatory approvals obtained (GEMA approval of plans, government permits, etc.),
viii) administrative capacity is adequate, and
ix) (soft projects) professional service providers have adequate credentials and work history, etc.
(f) Provisions are in place for joint ownership and revenue- or cost-sharing and/or a draft or executed contract for services between two or more counties is in place;
(g) Each participating local political jurisdiction has endorsed the project in writing and has pledged the required revenues to maintain the project;
(h) Each participating "private carrier" has endorsed the project and pledged its cooperation;
(i) Underwriting analysis (as applicable) is adequate;
(j) Project costs are verified through original source documents, architectural and engineering reports, or certified appraisals; and
(k) Applicant certifies that project complies (or will comply) with all applicable federal, state, and local law and regulations.
(5) Project Impact (110 Points Possible). Applications will be awarded "Impact" points according to the following scale: poor - 0.0 points; below average - 27.5 points; average - 55.0 points; good - 82.5 points; excellent - 110.0 points. In order to determine where on the "impact" scale a project ranks, the following criteria will be analyzed:
(a) The amount of total state assistance per person served;
(b) Amount of private leverage per person served;
(c) The amount of public leverage per person served;
(d) Cost savings (per capita) of regional system as compared to a single-government system;
(e) Improved regional competitiveness;
(f) Impact on regional emergency response efficiencies for various public safety departments;
(g) Budget savings for each county involved in the regional system; and
(h) The removal of impediments to regional cooperation.
(6) Program Strategy (110 Points Possible). Applications will be awarded "Strategy" points according to the following scale: poor - 0.0 points; below average - 27.5 points; average - 55.0 points; good - 82.5 points; excellent - 110.0 points. In order to determine where on the "strategy" scale a project ranks the following criteria will be analyzed:
(a) The project represents an innovative approach to the provision of public safety and E-9-1-1 services in rural Georgia, for example through the establishment of centralized dispatching for the public safety entities served by the E-9-1-1 system;
(b) The proposed strategy complies with the standards set forth in GEMA's "9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Number Plan";
(c) The proposed project will result in the enhancement of the public safety workforce through job training, skill upgrades, education, etc.;
(d) The proposed project will likely lead to indirect local and regional impact by:
i) attracting development/investment;
ii) supporting/ enhancing local or regional development strategies and priorities; and
iii) supporting/enhancing local or regional institutions and quality of life.
(e) Financial and programmatic alternatives have been considered for the proposed project and eliminated;
(f) The proposed project supports the overall objectives of the State, DCA, GEMA and the OneGeorgia Authority and supports the State's development strategy for rural development and regional cooperation; and
(g) For non-construction portions of a project, no similar studies, plans or documents have been produced in the last five years, and if they have, they have been used to the extent possible and/or are in need of updating or expanding.
(7) The criteria in this rule ( 413-04-.07 ) are designed to assist DCA in making a decision and only constitute minimum standards. Additional factors may be considered depending on the nature of a particular project and its relative merit compared to competing proposals and the availability of funding at the time of application. The decision made by the OneGeorgia Authority shall be final and conclusive.

Rule 413-4-.08 Awarding of Funds

(1) Award limits will be based on the number of counties participating within a particular project as follows:
a) two counties - maximum of $400,000 per project;
b) three counties - maximum of $500,000 per project;
c) four counties - maximum of $600,000 per project; and
d) five or more counties - maximum of $700,000. These limits can be waived upon recommendation of the Director of the OneGeorgia Authority.
(2) Once selected for funding, awarded funds will be made available by the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent through an award contract incorporating by reference the approved final application and adding any special conditions that may be necessary or appropriate. As part of the award conditions, recipients must file a report on the impact and performance of the project, in a format pressscribed by the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent.
(3) The OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent may approve an award subject to certain general or special conditions that will be incorporated into the award document. Because of the limited amount of funds available, the One Georgia Authority or its Agent may also award an amount less than the amount requested in the application. Applicants will have thirty (30) days from the date of award to accept any special conditions and/or the reduced award amount. If the applicant fails to accept the special conditions or lower award amount within the required period, the OneGeorgia Authority and/ or the Agent with OneGeorgia Authority approval my unilaterally withdraw the award.
(4) The OneGeorgia Authority or its agent will provide recipients with specific instructions and forms to be used for drawdown of funds awarded under the award contract.

Rule 413-4-.09 Statement of Conditions

In addition to the certifications made on the face of the award statement, the recipient of funds must further certify that:

(1) No applicable state laws, rules, regulations, or applicable local ordinances shall be violated in carrying out this project and expending Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies.
(2) Recipient will adhere to applicable state and local procurement requirements and it will maintain documentation to confirm such adherence. For activities not applicable to state procurement requirements, recipient agrees to procure such services and activities through a fair and open competitive procurement process that is openly advertised through appropriate media and in compliance with any applicable local procurement laws or regulations.
(3) Recipient's accounting records shall be maintained in a manner consistent with generally accepted government accounting standards.
(4) If the recipient is a development authority with powers set forth at Chapter 62 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, then the project financed in part by Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies shall only be leased or sold as provided by Section 36-62-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
(5) The recipient (in accordance with state law) shall undergo an annual financial audit conducted in accordance with government auditing standards established by the comptroller general of the United States. The recipient shall submit copies of all audits that cover all or part of the award period to the agency.
(6) No real or apparent conflict of interest shall be engaged in by any person or party (or any person or party with whom they have family or business ties) who is involved in any aspect of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund project.

Guidelines for Applicant Submission. The following guidelines are designed to assist applicants in submitting complete Regional E- 9-1-1 Fund applications that meet the intent of the program. For further information about program intent, eligible activities, and the rating and selection process, please read the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund regulations and the application forms included with this application manual. Note that these guidelines are not meant to duplicate in their entirety the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund regulations; rather, these guidelines are designed to highlight important program requirements and emphasize critical steps in the application process.

Guidelines for All Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Applicants.

1. Please follow all application instructions and fill out all forms as completely as possible. The rating and review criteria provided in this manual are not to be filled out by the applicant. These criteria are provided as a guide to the kinds of projects that may be competitive under the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund, and applicants should include any information that would enhance their application based on the criteria. Note that the rating and review system is used only as a guide for the OneGeorgia Authority and/or its Agent in making its funding decisions. Other factors unique to a specific application may also be considered.
2. Note that the application manual includes an application checklist for needed forms and supporting documentation. This checklist will assist the applicant in preparing as complete an application as possible. For any item requested in the application, supporting documentation will strengthen the application, and, if not provided, may be requested by the reviewer if deemed necessary to arrive at a recommendation. For example, if a public infrastructure project were being proposed, a preliminary engineering report would strengthen the application.
3. The Regional E-9-1-1 Fund is designed to be a flexible community and economic development tool to assist in providing enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone services to Georgia's counties not currently covered by such service; however, resources for the program are limited. All potential applicants should seek the advice of the OneGeorgia Authority and/or DCA and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) prior to submitting a Regional E-9-1-1 Fund application.
4. All applicants should carefully read the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Regulations and the Statement of General Conditions. In addition to the Statement of General Conditions, an award may be subject to additional special conditions at the discretion of the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent. All award recipients are subject to audit by the Department of Audits and to monitoring by the Authority or its Agent. In addition, Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies are required to be included in recipient's annual independent financial audit or report of agreed upon procedures.
5. The initiation of project activities prior to an award could endanger Regional E-9-1-1 Fund funding. While the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund is flexible, initiation of project activities prior to award may indicate that Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies are not needed. Please check with the One Georgia Authority or its Agent as soon as it appears that such a situation may occur. Under certain circumstances and with the advanced written approval of the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent, other funds may be used on an interim basis to finance a project for which Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies are being sought. regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies, if approved, may then be used to fund the project on a permanent basis. Nonetheless, all Regional E-9-1-1 Fund requirements must be met, and the applicant must demonstrate that Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies are necessary to the project. In addition, the recipient will be required to document the source and use of all funds used in the project, including interim funds. All Regional E-9-1-1 Fund applications must include information about any interim financing to allow the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent to determine the eligibility of the proposed interim financing arrangements.
6. All attached budget forms identify source and use of funds. The specific use of Regional E-9-1-1 Fund monies should be clearly identified as well as the use of all other funds. All sources of funds should be identified. Sources of funds must equal uses. Prior to drawdown of funds or upon audit or monitoring of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund project, documentation will be required showing how Regional E-9-1-1 Fund and other project funds have been spent.
7. Eligible activities are listed in the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Regulations that are part of this manual. Generally, activities are eligible if they are listed in the regulations and if they assist an eligible applicant in carrying out its responsibilities under state law, specifically, in the provision of enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone service. Nonetheless, if activities other than public facilities or infrastructure are being planned, please contact the OneGeorgia Authority and/or DCA to verify that proposed activities are eligible. Note that private ownership of project assets is generally not eligible under the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund.
8.
(A) Conflicts of Interest - In general, no person who is an elected or appointed official, employee, agent, consultant, officer or any person serving in a similar capacity with any participating public agency, that exercise or have exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to any Regional E-9-1-1 Fund activities can benefit from a Regional E-9-1-1 Fund project. Those persons who are in a position to participate in a decision-making process or gain inside information regarding Regional E-9-1-1 Fund proposed or related activities, who may obtain a personal, financial interest, or benefit from the project, or have any interest in any contract, subcontract or agreement with respect to any Regional E-9-1-1 Fund project are also prohibited from benefiting from the project. The prohibitions against benefiting from a Regional E-9-1-1 Fund project would apply to the covered individuals or those with whom they have family or business ties, for one (1) year following their tenure in the covered position.
(B) Exceptions - Upon written request, the OneGeorgia Authority may grant an exception to the provisions of paragraph A above, on a case-by-case basis, before funds are expended. Exceptions can only be granted when the One Georgia Authority determines that the exception will serve to further the purposes of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund Program. To seek an exception, a written request for an exception must be submitted by the applicant to the OneGeorgia Authority or its Agent which:
1) fully discloses the conflict or potential conflict of interest, prior to the applicant undertaking any action which results or may result in any conflict of interest, real or apparent; and
2) describes how the conflict of interest was publicly disclosed; and
3) includes a written opinion of the applicant's attorney that the interest for which the exception is sought would not violate state or local law.
9. Other guidelines or requirements may be established by the One Georgia Authority in order to further the purposes of the Regional E-9-1-1 Fund.