(1) The department shall establish the building communities fund program. Under the program, capital and technical assistance grants may be made to nonprofit organizations for acquiring, constructing, or rehabilitating facilities used for the delivery of nonresidential community services, including social service centers and multipurpose community centers, including those serving a distinct or ethnic population. Such facilities must be located in a distressed community or serve a substantial number of low-income or disadvantaged persons.
(2) The department shall establish a competitive process to solicit, evaluate, and rank applications for the building communities fund program as follows:
(a) The department shall conduct a statewide solicitation of project applications from nonprofit organizations.
(b) The department shall evaluate and rank applications in consultation with a citizen advisory committee using objective criteria. To be considered qualified, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed project:
(i) Will increase the range, efficiency, or quality of the services provided to citizens;
(ii) Will be located in a distressed community or will serve a substantial number of low-income or disadvantaged persons;
(iii) Will offer three or more distinct activities that meet a single community service objective or offer a diverse set of activities that meet multiple community service objectives, including but not limited to: Providing social services; expanding employment opportunities for or increasing the employability of community residents; or offering educational or recreational opportunities separate from the public school system or private schools, as long as recreation is not the sole purpose of the facility;
(iv) Reflects a long-term vision for the development of the community, shared by residents, businesses, leaders, and partners;
(v) Requires state funding to accomplish a discrete, usable phase of the project;
(vi) Is ready to proceed and will make timely use of the funds;
(vii) Is sponsored by one or more entities that have the organizational and financial capacity to fulfill the terms of the grant agreement and to maintain the project into the future;
(viii) Fills an unmet need for community services;
(ix) Will achieve its stated objectives; and
(x) Is a community priority as shown through tangible commitments of existing or future assets made to the project by community residents, leaders, businesses, and government partners.
(c) The evaluation and ranking process shall also include an examination of existing assets that applicants may apply to projects. Grant assistance under this section shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the total cost of the project, except, under exceptional circumstances, the department may reduce the amount of nonstate match required. No more than ten percent of the total granted amount may be awarded to qualified eligible projects that meet the definition of exceptional circumstances defined in this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, exceptional circumstances include but are not limited to: Natural disasters affecting projects; emergencies beyond an applicant's control, such as a fire or an unanticipated loss of a lease where services are currently provided; or a delay that could result in a threat to public health or safety. The nonstate portion of the total project cost may include cash, the value of real property when acquired solely for the purpose of the project, and in-kind contributions.
(d) The department may not set a monetary limit to funding requests.
(3) The department shall submit biennially to the governor and the legislature in the department's capital budget request a ranked list of the qualified eligible projects for which applications were received. The list must include a description of each project, its total cost, and the amount of state funding requested. The appropriate fiscal committees of the legislature shall use this list to determine building communities fund projects that may receive funding in the capital budget. The total amount of state capital funding available for all projects on the biennial list shall be determined by the capital budget beginning with the 2009-2011 biennium and thereafter. In addition, if cash funds have been appropriated, up to three million dollars may be used for technical assistance grants. The department shall not sign contracts or otherwise financially obligate funds under this section until the legislature has approved a specific list of projects.
(4) In addition to the list of ranked qualified eligible projects, the department shall submit to the appropriate fiscal committees of the legislature a summary report that describes the solicitation and evaluation processes, including but not limited to the number of applications received, the total amount of funding requested, issues encountered, if any, and any recommendations for process improvements.
(5) After the legislature has approved a specific list of projects in law, the department shall develop and manage appropriate contracts with the selected applicants; monitor project expenditures and grantee performance; report project and contract information; and exercise due diligence and other contract management responsibilities as required.
(6) In contracts for grants authorized under this section the department shall include provisions which require that capital improvements shall be held by the grantee for a specified period of time appropriate to the amount of the grant and that facilities shall be used for the express purpose of the grant. If the grantee is found to be out of compliance with provisions of the contract, the grantee shall repay to the state general fund the principal amount of the grant plus interest calculated at the rate of interest on state of Washington general obligation bonds issued most closely to the date of authorization of the grant.
Effective date—2011 1st sp.s. c 48:
See note following RCW 39.35B.050
Effective date—2006 c 371:
See note following RCW 27.34.330
Findings—1997 c 374:
"The legislature finds that nonprofit organizations provide a variety of social services that serve the needs of the citizens of Washington, including many services implemented under contract with state agencies. The legislature also finds that the efficiency and quality of these services may be enhanced by the provision of safe, reliable, and sound facilities, and that, in certain cases, it may be appropriate for the state to assist in the development of these facilities." [ 1997 c 374 § 1.