Below are responses to questions OahuMPO has received about the FFYs 2017-2020 TAP Call for Projects
Q: OahuMPO has programmed an estimated amount of TAP funding in future years into the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). What would happen if OahuMPO were to get more funding than estimated?
A: Additional appropriations are unlikely to be more than five percent and are not expected to be sufficient to fund an additional project. At a minimum, OahuMPO would want to program the amount subject to lapse in a given year. A small adjustment in the funding for programmed projects could be considered.
Q: If an applicant were also to secure funding from the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (HDOT) Call for TAP Projects (from the area TAP funds), how could that affect their application? What would that mean for the mix of federal vs. local share?
A: This will be taken into consideration by the TAP evaluation committee and OahuMPO’s Policy Board. Readiness-to-go is an important factor in project selection. Any area TAP funds cannot be used as local match for TAP-U. (“Area TAP funds” fund projects selected by HDOT; “TAP-U funds” fund those selected by OahuMPO.)
Q: Can you clarify the requirements of when the local match needs to be in place? Is this at the time of the application, the time of obligation, or a different time? This is in reference to the applicant checklist: Has the total funding request, including contributions by all sources, been supplied?
A: Local match funding needs to be in place before an award is made. Essentially, that means OahuMPO needs to see evidence of commitment of local share no later than the time of the Policy Board meeting at which projects will be selected/funding will be programmed (this meeting was originally schedule for January 2017, but may be pushed back 30 days due to the deadline extension). For example, if the City/County of Honolulu is providing the local share, we would expect to see a City Council resolution and updated city budget showing the local share is allocated to this specific program by the time of the January 2017 Policy Board meeting (again, this may be pushed back 30 days).
Q: Please clarify the requirements for “certification by a licensed design professional” for projects that are purchase only.
A: To ensure a project is successful, it seems unlikely that a federal agency would accept separating out the purchase of equipment from the eventual design & installation. OahuMPO would expect a licensed design professional (e.g., professional engineer, licensed architect, licensed landscape architect) to be involved in the project to ensure that all applicable codes, laws, accessibility requirements, etc., were met both for the equipment itself and for the eventual installation. As part of the application, OahuMPO would expect to see a line item in cost estimate/project budget for that licensed design professional, identification of that professional (not necessarily by name, but something like “consultant engineer” or “engineer with the City/County”) and the project description should specify how/when the licensed design professional is involved.
Q: Please clarify the distribution timeline for funding.
A: Please see the pages from our Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) at this link, which show the distribution of TAP funding for the next 4 years (2017 through 2020).
As you will see, the distribution is NOT equal across the years; it’s roughly $1 million in 2017, 2018, & 2020, with $3.8 million in 2019. These numbers include an assumed 20% local match.
Keep in mind that this is when the federal funding will be available (and, we’ve assumed, the local match) & therefore when the reimbursement moneys would be available. Applicants could theoretically propose a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to incur a great deal of cost earlier and just wait for the reimbursement if their cash flow can take it.
Q: Please confirm the largest project that could be proposed, based on funding amounts.
A: Looking again at the pages from the TIP, the total federal share that is available from 2017-2020 is $5,511 million. With an assumed 20% local match of $1.378 million, that means a project total of $6.889 million. The 20% is a minimum. However, the federal share would not increase beyond that $5.511 million. (Note that future-year amounts are estimates; hopefully the federal share may be a little larger, but we cannot assume that is the case, since federal money can also be rescinded.)