Cat Blake, Civic Technology Analyst
Local governments in Maryland have a short application window for a new grant opportunity that will fund broadband and other projects. Applicants that are interested in the State of Maryland’s FY 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program must file their applications by September 23.
The State of Maryland currently is accepting applications for the FY 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program (http://goccp.maryland.gov/grants/programs/cesf/). While construction of broadband infrastructure is not an eligible cost, this grant opportunity presents other avenues to address community connectivity needs. No match is required for this program.
CTC’s understanding is that projects that would increase the virtual availability and accessibility of critical resources and programs (i.e., enable those resources to be accessed via an internet connection) will be competitive.
Laptops and hotspots that are used to meet the program’s goals have been specifically identified (during technical training conversations related to the funding) as eligible costs, as have projects that would provide the technology needed for local government staff to continue to administer key programs remotely.
The State’s program is intended to address the following in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19:
- “Identified short- and long-term barriers that impact communities’ abilities to address the needs of vulnerable children and youth and their families,”
- “Identified short- and long-term law enforcement needs, including corrections, reentry, and courts,” and
- “Identified short- and long-term barriers that impact victim service providers, inclusive of domestic violence and sexual assault service providers, as well as child advocacy centers.”
Proposed projects must support at least one of the following funding priorities. Boldfaced items could be broadband-related:
- “Equipment and supplies;
- Providing for the continuity of judicial operations and support for therapeutic or specialty court services;
- Providing for the continuity of youth development program operations for underserved populations, as well as for those programs that can remain open for children of essential workers;
- Emergency support for reentry partners to ensure safe transition from incarceration to community;
- Travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas);
- Victim housing assistance;
- Virtual projects that assist residents in connecting with online services; and
- Innovation and Technology Advancements, including:
- Support to conduct virtual abuse intervention programs
- Support to conduct evidence-based virtual youth development programming
- Law enforcement virtual employee screening/fit for duty assessments.”
The period of performance for this opportunity is April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021; applicants can request reimbursement for costs incurred after April 1, 2020. One application is allowed per organization (so organizations with multiple proposed projects should submit a single application that collocates all requests)—though multiple agencies within a county may each submit applications.
The program’s total budget is $10.5 million, and there is no cap on individual awards. Awards are expected to be competitive; the State has indicated that it expects funding requests to amount to three to four times the program budget.
The window for this program is short: Applications are due by September 23 at 3 p.m., and applicants must request a User ID via the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services by September 16, if they do not have one already.
Our team is available to provide further guidance and assistance preparing applications. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can help.