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ARPA Closeout & Obligation Best Practices

The State's Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) will be hosting a webinar on behalf of the Maryland Department of Budget and Management on ARPA Closeout & Obligation Best Practices. The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

This webinar will focus on the obligation process for ARPA funding, including how to prepare for the 2024 obligation deadline and utilize new guidance on obligations.  The discussion will also include best practices for managing the closeout of federal program funding.

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ARPA Reporting Deadline Approaching

The American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) reporting deadline is April 30, 2024. All NEUs who have received ARPA funding are required to submit this annual report, which covers expenditures incurred between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. For NEUs who report quarterly, the report will cover expenditures during the period of January 1, 2024, through March 31, 2024. Keep in mind that the Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) continues to support Maryland municipalities to inform them of their reporting responsibilities throughout the month, including through individual phone calls beginning this week. 

 

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Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability

The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) was established in 2012 to give students “real life” experience and provide Maryland communities access to the University of Maryland’s expertise in fields ranging from health care, planning, real estate finance, environmentalism, information technology, and more.

Students address issues like municipal service provision and management, economic development, environmental shifts, park and streetscape design, transportation operations, and more in their coursework. Projects have included the cost-effectiveness of LED streetlights and implementation plan, an examination of micro-mobility and safe routes to school, the feasibility of expanding a local airport, and other real, practical projects with an emphasis on scheduling, best practices, implementation, and monitoring.

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New Protect Local Waterways Website

This Friday, March 22, is World Water Day.  Celebrate by reading up on how you can protect the streams and waterways that run through your community.

Protect Local Waterways is a new award-winning web resource on how local leaders can help support the economy, public health, education, and infrastructure while protecting their communities' environmental assets. Created by local officials for local officials, this website includes an extensive learning library spanning 11 environmental topics. From understanding the benefits of trees to building community buy-in on environmental behaviors, this learning library is the perfect place to start. Take action today to secure fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water for your municipality. Visit our website.  

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MML's 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Maryland Municipal League is seeking nominations for the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award.

MML’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a city/town elected or staff official with a strong record of service to MML and the cities and towns of Maryland. Criteria considered includes:

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Federal Transportation Funding Opportunity Updates

Check out the latest information on federal transportation grants, including municipal eligibility and application deadlines, using the U.S. Department of Transportation's Competitive Grant Funding Matrix

Grant programs of specific interest to MML members may include:

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2024 Academy Graduate Classes

Attention Academy for Excellence in Local Governance graduates: This spring and summer the Academy will be offering not one, but two, Academy graduate classes.

The first takes place on Friday, May 17 and will provide an overview on How to Assess your Local Government’s Fiscal Risks. Led by University of Maryland School of Public Policy Assistant Professor Thomas Luke Spreen, the class will introduce participants to a framework for evaluating a local government's resiliency through the use of financial metrics.  Participants will also learn how to identify and institute policy changes that build fiscal resiliency, along with strategies to navigate unexpected financial challenges. To register for this class, contact Academy Registrar Elizabeth Hinson at [email protected].

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Smart Growth Summit

 

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 2nd, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, MD, for an all day Smart Growth Summit.The event will be led by the National Center for Smart Growth in partnership with Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Municipal League, and Maryland Association of Counties.

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State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program Interest Form

To finalize the exact amounts that the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) Committee should allocate for each grant program, the Committee is seeking eligible entities' responses to whether they would like to sign up for the offered programs. The deadline to respond to this survey is: Friday, March 22nd, 2024.

Responding to this survey is imperative so that the SLCGP Committee can make final determinations on the allocation of precise dollar amounts for each program. 

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ARPA Spending Trends Roundtable

The Municipal Technical Assistance Program is hosting a roundtable on Maryland ARPA Spending Trends and Success Stories on February 27th from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST. This roundtable-style webinar will review municipal 2023 ARPA spending trends and invite towns to share examples of ARPA-funded projects. ARPA funding has offered municipal leaders a significant opportunity to carry out projects and initiatives with a wide-ranging impact. And keep in mind that all ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) must be obligated by December 31, 2024.

If your town is still determining how best to apply this critical federal funding before the obligation deadline later this year, we welcome your participation! Click here to register

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Office of the Municipal Omsbudsman for Clean Water

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new Office of the Municipal Ombudsman. The office serves as a resource for municipalities navigating Clean Water and can help you identify technical assistance, funding opportunities and brainstorm options.

The Office of the Municipal Ombudsman is Independent, Impartial, and Confidential.

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Sustainable Maryland Leadership Training

Join Sustainable Maryland staff and energy finance experts on Monday, February 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for a hybrid (in person and Zoom) leadership training on Accessing Funding for Climate and Energy-related Projects. Participants will learn about the Climate Solutions Now Act (CSNA); existing and upcoming funding opportunities related to building electrification, electric vehicle transition, adopting renewable energy, and best practices for securing funding. Details, including how to register, are available on Sustainable Maryland's Leadership Training events page.

 

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Maryland Office of Overdose Response Announces Competitive Grant Program

Maryland’s Office of Overdose Response (MOOR) is pleased to announce our Competitive Grant Program for fiscal year 2025! The purpose of our Competitive Grant Program is to distribute funding to the highest-scoring proposals received from state and local governments, as well as from private and not-for-profit community-based partners, that align with Maryland’s strategic priorities and serve to meet some of the greatest needs around the State. The funding available for our Competitive Grant Program is approximately $6 million. For information on eligibility and requirements, as well as key dates and how to apply, visit the MOOR website.

 

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American Rescue Plan SLFRF Funding Info

The Maryland Municipal League wants to know how your municipality is using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) received through the American Rescue Plan Act.  This exercise will be immensely helpful as the League begins communications with State legislators interested in knowing how Maryland’s cities and towns are using these funds.  In short, the more effectively we use SLFRF funds to lift our communities, the more receptive State legislators will be to assisting municipalities during the upcoming General Assembly session.   

Please share how your municipality is using SLFRF funds on the MDCommunities Discussion page.  Doing so will also help other cities and towns still determining best uses in light of the December 2024 deadline for obligating SLFRF funding. 

Water Infrastructure Funding in ARPA and IIJA webinar

The Department of Budget and Management's Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) will be hosting a webinar on Water Infrastructure Funding in ARPA and IIJA on December 7, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 3 WaterTA Program at the University of Maryland (UMD) Environmental Finance Center.

The Department of Budget and Management's Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) will be hosting a webinar on Water Infrastructure Funding in ARPA and IIJA on December 7, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 3 WaterTA Program at the University of Maryland (UMD) Environmental Finance Center. This webinar will include presentations from representatives from MDE and the EPA WaterTA Program at UMD on applying for water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure funding and relevant technical assistance.

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ARPA Fund Obligation Deadline is Approaching!

Nearly every Maryland municipality received State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021. Roughly a year from now every municipal recipient will need to have obligated those funds or risk having to return that funding to the U.S. Treasury.

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that nearly 50% of local governments had not obligated SLFRF funds as of March 31, 2023. The Maryland Municipal League cannot stress enough the urgency to obligate and spend these funds, especially with the need to pass FY2025 budgets by June 30, 2024. 

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Federal Funds Mapping Service Available

The State of Maryland Department of Budget and Management’s Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) has unveiled a new federal fund mapping service. Maryland municipalities can submit infrastructure projects or priorities to the fund mapping service through the Project Intake Form and receive tailored information on relevant Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) programs. If your municipality has additional questions, or would like to learn more, please contact the MTAP team at [email protected].

Accessing 2023 MML Fall Conference Content

If you attended the Maryland Municipal League Excellence in Leadership Fall Conference earlier this month and forgot to download PowerPoints and other content, those resources remain available to all conference participants on the MML member app. 

In addition, for a limited time, all MML members may access the following workshop presentations at MDCommUnity, the League's members-only platform:

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Deadline for 2024 Summer Conference Workshop Proposals EXTENDED!

The deadline for submitting workshop proposals for the Maryland Municipal League Summer Conference has been extended to October 10, 2023. Proposals can be submitted via the Workshop Proposal Form .

MML’s Conference Planning Committee will begin reviewing workshop proposals for the 2024 Summer Conference beginning October 15 and is focused on generating a program that covers the diverse array of opportunities and challenges facing the state’s municipal leaders. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Stacie Spragins or Tom Reynolds.

Leveraging Federal Funds Webinar

The Maryland Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) has announced a new webinar: Blending ARPA CLFRF & IIJA and the new ARPA CLFRF Interim Final Rule to take place on September 13, 2023 from 12:00-1:00pm EST. This webinar will provide an overview of:

  • Methods available to leverage Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) to successfully pursue Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) opportunities. 
  • A re-introduction to the IIJA. 
  • The 2023 ARPA CLFRF Interim Final Rule (IFR), including new expenditure categories, and the limited impact of the new IFR for municipalities who designated their entire award under the standard allowance for revenue loss.
If you would like to attend this webinar, please register at the following link and feel free to forward this invitation to any colleagues for whom this webinar would be relevant. Registered participants will receive a follow up email containing a link to the event.  
Please submit any questions you have prior to the webinar through the Question Submission Portal as far as possible in advance; questions submitted during the webinar may also be addressed if time permits.