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FAQs

 

Applications

When are Public Infrastructure applications due?

The LCDBG Public Facilities Program has a two year funding cycle, which will be divided into two phases.

Phase I – For FY 2018 and FY 2019 LCDBG Public Facilities Program

Project Severity packages will be accepted by the OCD on June 9, 2017. OCD will score the project severity packages. These project severity packages will be reviewed for funding under the FY 2018 – FY 2019 program years. 2

Phase II – For FY 2018 LCDBG Public Facilities Program

OCD will make determinations regarding the past performance threshold criteria beginning on page 5 as of July 14, 2017. All applicants that meet the past performance threshold criteria as of July 14, 2017 and receive a project severity score that is in the top sixty percent of all applicants’ project severity scores that meet the past performance threshold criteria as of July 14, 2017 will be invited to submit a full application to the Public Facilities program. Invitations to submit a full application will be issued around July 28, 2017. OCD will conduct Application Workshops on August 7, 2017 (Baton Rouge) and on August 8, 2017 (Pineville). Full applications for the Public Facilities program will be due to OCD on October 27, 2017. Project severity applicants that do not meet past performance threshold criteria as of July 14, 2017 will not be included in the calculation to determine the top sixty percent of the applicants.

Phase II – For FY 2019 LCDBG Public Facilities Program

OCD will make determinations regarding the past performance threshold criteria beginning on page 7 as of July 13, 2018. All applicants that meet the past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 and receive a project severity score that is in the top sixty percent of all applicants’ project severity scores that meet the past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 will be invited to submit a full application to the Public Facilities program. Invitations to submit a full application will be issued around July 27, 2018. OCD will conduct Application Workshops on August 6, 2018 (Baton Rouge) and on August 7, 2018 (Pineville). Full applications for the Public Facilities program will be due to OCD on October 26, 2018. Project severity applicants that do not meet past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 will not be included in the calculation to determine the top sixty percent of the applicants. Full applications received in the FY 2018 program year that meet past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 and receive a project severity score that is in the top sixty percent of all applicants’ project severity scores that meet the past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 and were not funded under the FY 2018 program year will be considered under the FY 2019 program year. Project severity applicants that do not meet past performance threshold criteria as of July 13, 2018 will not be included in the calculation to determine the top sixty percent of the applicants.

 

Civil Rights

When preparing the “Contract and Sub-Contract Activity Form” (formerly the MBE), should every contract be listed for each grant?
No, only list those contracts (construction and/or non-construction) that were awarded since the last reporting period.  For example:  If a contract was awarded and reported during a previous cycle, it should not be reported again.

What are some ways to show a “Good Faith Effort” has been made to ensure compliance with Section 3?
Example activities may be found in the 2015 Grantee Handbook on pp. 58-59.

When completing the “Section 3 Summary Report” during the preparation of closeout documents, what amounts should be entered in Box 3 of page 1 and Boxes 1A and 2A of page 2?
These boxes should reflect the amounts that have been or will be spent, not necessarily the amount of the grant award or the contract award.          

 

Community Development (CD) Plan

What should the grantee include in the CD Plan?
1.  Determine the needs of the community.

2.  Determine the appropriate strategy (Item 4) to meet the needs (Item 2).  Include strategy objectives, activities, timing, monetary amounts and potential sources of funds, both LCDBG as well as other funds.

3.  Note if there are any population group or groups experiencing high rates of unemployment. If there are no particular unemployed group or groups that can be identified, note that fact.

4.  Use the information you have gathered to write the CD Plan, being careful to adhere to the outline structure detailed in the visual layout as well as the official instructions contained in the Community Development Plan exhibit of Section A in the Grantee Handbook.

What should the grantee include in its strategy?
Explain strategy by including objectives, activities, timing and monetary amounts in Item 4.

 

Engineering

When submitting Plans & Specifications (P&S), how many copies do you need and what else do you need submitted with them?
One copy of the P&S should be submitted to the OCD.  Please also submit a construction cost estimate and a copy of the DHH Transmittal letter if applicable.

What needs to be transmitted to DHH for their review?
All water & sewer projects need to be submitted to DHH.

Do you need a copy of all Addendums, even if it’s just a wage rate update?
Yes, please submit a copy of all addenda to the OCD.

Is there a LCDBG Change Order process?
All LCDBG Change Orders must utilize the following procedure:

 1. The engineer & the contractor sign and date the C.O.
 2. Submit the C.O. to Jeff Tessier, OCD engineer, by fax, mail or e-mail.
 3. Jeff will approve it and email or fax it back to you.  This is for your records.
 4. Get the Mayor or Parish President to approve an original.  Keep and distribute as many copies as you need.
 5. Submit one copy to the OCD with all signatures.

Why are my Topographic Survey fees ineligible?
Topographic Survey is covered under basic services.  In the Application Package, Section VI, Engineering Fee Schedules and Policies for the LCDBG Program, there are some Additional Services Fees that are allowable.  They are limited and in the application there must be a detailed explanation.

What can be sent to you by email and what has to be mailed?
All paperwork that can be mailed, including P&S, revisions, Change Orders, and Resident Project Representative Certification Forms, should be mailed.  If it does not have to be expedited, mail it.

What are you looking for in a Severity Package?
Documentation and verification from outside sources is needed. 
If there is a Compliance or Administrative Order, a copy needs to be inserted in the Severity Package.  If there is a bad smoke test, DMRs, citizen complaints, work orders, news articles, complaints or write ups from any outside agency or organization, a copy needs to be inserted in the Severity Package.  

 

Environmental Review Record (ERR)

When should the ERR be submitted?

To ensure that the State has sufficient time to review the ERR for completeness and to allow adequate time to revisions, the ERR must be received by the  State within four calendar months of the date of the authorization to incur costs letter.  The Grantee must receive permission for the OCD to publish either the Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds or the Combined Notice within five months of the authorization to incur costs letter.

When and/or why should an extension be requested?

A request for extension should be submitted to the OCD prior to the ERR submittal deadline.  A request for extension should be made when the deadline  will be missed due to unforeseen circumstances such as late response times from agencies.  The request should include the reason that the extension is  needed.  The request should also include dates, such as when the ERR process began, when letters were mailed, and when responses were received.   

What does “wetland adjacent” mean?

A project is “wetland adjacent” if the project shares a border with a wetland.

What is the difference between site specific and area wide?

The project description and the map must indicate whether the ERR is site specific or area-wide for public facilities projects.  For a site specific project, the  project description and the ERR map would note the particular site.  A site specific map would indicate the streets or specific lines where work is being  done.  If the exact location of the project has not been determined, however, it is necessary to clear the entire project area.  Only the boundaries of the area need to be marked on the map.  If a project is cleared as site specific and the project site/location or scope of work changes from what was originally cleared, an amendment to the ERR is required and must be submitted to the OCD for review.

What agencies should be contacted?

Completion for the Statutory Worksheet is the first step in the ERR process.  The worksheet will indicate which, if any, agencies should be contacted for comments.

What if there is more than one person listed as a contact for the same Indian Tribe?

Each person listed on the HUD website as a contact must be contacted, regardless of whether they belong to the same tribe.

What if FEMA does not have a flood map for the area being cleared? 

For those areas that FEMA has developed preliminary maps, HUD has indicated that these should be used.  If FEMA has not published flood maps or  developed preliminary maps of the area, the grantee must make a finding based on best available data, such as the municipality/parish engineer, or local  Flood Control Agency.

 

Financial

When and how should an audit be submitted to the OCD?

An audit or financial report is required annually from each grantee within six months from the grantee's fiscal year end.  It can be submitted by e-mail to Janelle.Dickey@la.gov or one copy can be mailed to the Office of Community Development, P.O. Box 94095, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095. 

Do Financial Management Questionnaires (FMQ) need to be updated?

Yes.  An FMQ should be updated anytime there is a change in authority or responsibility.  It should be sent to OCD by mail.  Requests for Payment cannot be processed unless the signatures on it match those on the FMQ.

When will a deposit be made for a Request for Payment (RFP) that was submitted?

RFPs are first processed by the OCD and then sent to the Office of Financial Support Services (OFSS), which makes the payments to the grantee.  The deadline for OFSS to receive the RFP is Thursday in order for funds to be available in the grantee's account the following Friday.

How can I see if a payment was made?

Go to the OSRAP Vendor Search page, enter the grantee's Federal Employer Identification Number, select the payee, add filter information if needed, and then click "find payments."  Payments that have been made can be sorted by date to make the search easier.  Click on the Check/EFT Number to see detailed information about the payment.


 

Labor

How do I obtain a wage decision?
Go to www.wdol.gov and “Selecting DBA WDs.”  You can then browse by a list of states/territories.  Choose Louisiana, and then find the correct parish in the list provided.  The wage decisions are separated into the four major categories (Building, Heavy, Highway, and Residential).

Which wage decision do I need?
As mentioned in the Grantee Handbook, the local government has a “ten day responsibility,” which is to ensure that the wage decision(s) that is in effect ten days prior to the bid opening is part of the original bid package (or becomes part of the package via addendum, which must be sent to all who obtained a bid package).  Note: the “Ten Day Call” (an exhibit in the Labor section of the handbook) is no longer an LCDBG requirement.

Can I award a construction contract to a prime contractor prior to receiving clearance from LCDBG?
Yes.  While it is normal to receive contractor clearance prior to contract award (via an executed Verification of Wage Decision and Contractor Eligibility form; an exhibit in the Labor section of the handbook), LCDBG allows contracts to be awarded prior to this provided the award is made “contingent upon” approval/clearance by this office.

Once a contract is awarded, how quickly must I submit it to LCDBG?
The Notice of Contract Award (which is an exhibit in the Labor section of the handbook) must be submitted to LCDBG within 30 days of the award date.  Failure to do so will result in a finding when the monitoring visit takes place.

If an additional classification is needed for the project, what is the process?
To request an additional classification for the project, the HUD 4230A form must be submitted to LCDBG.  For instructions on exactly how to fill out the form, please see “Additional Classifications” in the Labor section of the handbook, as well as the instructions in the exhibit.

When interviewing employees on the job site, whom/how many do I have to interview?
You must interview all prime contractors, any subs whose contract is $100,000 or more, and any subcontractor that has a large number of payroll problems.  Additionally, you should interview any subcontractors that are present during the time of the interviews.  You must interview half of the laborers and at least one of each other classification present on the jobsite that day.

Do the contractors have to use the HUD WH-347 payroll form, or can they use their own version of a payroll form?
No, contractors are not required to use the WH-347 payroll form.  However, it is strongly recommended that they choose to do so.  If the contractor chooses to use their own payroll form, all required items from the HUD WH-347 must be included, including the “signature page” of the WH-347 (called the Statement of Compliance), which must be verbatim.  The WH-347 is a standard, straightforward form that contains all information needed by LCDBG (and HUD/DOL) and it can be found in the exhibits of the Labor section in the grantee handbook, as well as on DOL’s website (www.dol.gov).  See the Labor section of the handbook for more guidance on payrolls and how to complete them.

If there are underpayments on the project, does that mean there will be a finding once LCDBG monitors the grant?
Not necessarily.  If, during monitoring, LCDBG is the one who discovers the underpayment, then it will result in a finding.  However, if the consultant discovers the finding prior to the monitoring visit, and the process of restitution is underway at the time of the monitoring visit, then the result will not be a finding.  If the restitution process is still ongoing at the time of monitoring, then there will be an area of concern in the monitoring letter.  If the restitution process is complete, and all restitution has been paid at the time of monitoring, then there is no finding nor area of concern, and LCDBG considers the issue resolved, as the normal, expected procedure is being followed (consultant discovers underpayment and completes the restitution process).

If there are CWHSSA (overtime) violations, is restitution all that is needed, or are there additional penalties associated with those types of underpayments?
There are additional penalties.  For CWHSSA violations, in addition to restitution being paid, there are also “Liquidated Damages,” which is a pre-determined penalty assessed by HUD.  That penalty is $25 per worker, per day for overtime violations.  For example, if two workers were underpaid for overtime for two days, then the resulting penalty for liquidated damages will be $100; $25 per worker (two workers), per day (two days).  All payments for liquidated damages must be paid via wire transfer.  For most cases, the violating contractor can request a waiver from HUD for the penalty and HUD will generally grant the waiver (if it believes the error was an unintentional mistake).  However, if HUD believes that this error was made intentionally, or if there are previous instances in which the violating contractor has made the same error, HUD may choose to not grant the waiver (in which case liquidated damages must be paid via the wire transfer).  Please refer to the Payroll review Flowchart in the exhibits of the Labor section of the handbook for an overview of this process, as well as the “Corrective Actions Regarding Labor Standards Violations” part of the Labor section for further guidance.

If there were underpayments of any kind, when/where must that be reported?
Any restitution from the project must be reported on the Final Wage Compliance Report, which is part of the closeout documents, which can be found in the exhibits of the Monitoring and Closeout section of the handbook.  Additionally, if restitution for the project reaches $1,000 or more for any contractor or subcontractor, a Labor Standards Enforcement Report (an exhibit in the Section B of the Grantee Handbook) must be submitted to LCDBG once the corrective actions have been completed.

 

 


Workshops for the FY 2019 LCDBG grants were held May 7 - 8. The following presentations were given for consultants and engineers: Labor, Civil Rights, Community Development Plans, Procurement, Environmental Review Record, Financial, Engineering, Acquisitions and Contracts.


Yes!  Our most recent Technical Assistance workshop was held on Jan 28-30.  Please see the presentation for procurement and citizen participation procedures here.


Helpful Links 

 

Acquisition and Relocation

Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation (HUD site)

Civil Rights

Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD site)

Community Development

Code of Federal Regulations

24 CFR Part 570.480 - Subpart I

Federal Register

Poverty Data by Census Tract

Economic Development

Standard Occupational Classification (U.S. Department of Labor site)

U.S. Census Bureau - North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Louisiana Economic Development (LED)

Environmental

HUD Region VI ERR Guidebook

Tribal Assessment Directory Tool (HUD)

FEMA's Flood Map Service Center

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wetlands Mapper

Office of Coastal Management Coastal Zone Boundary Map

Sole Source Aquifers (EPA)

Endangered Species (FWS)

Air Quality (EPA)

Airport Hazards

Contamination and Toxic Substances: NEPAssist and EPA Envirofacts 

Additional Links

American Factfinder

Dun & Bradstreet-DUNS Numbers

HUD Guidelines for Conducting Income Surveys

Rural Development (USDA)

Rural Federal Funding Database