Grant Funding Opportunity For Municipalities and Districts

CA State Water Boards Prop 1 Storm Water Grant Program

 

By John Quiring

 
 

Prop 1 Storm Water Grant Program

The State Water Resource Control Board’s Proposition 1 Storm Water Grant Program is happy to announce that the Round 2 solicitation is now open and accepting applications! Please refer to the Solicitation Notice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information about this solicitation and how to apply at the Website below:

  • https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/swgp/prop1/

Due Date: July 2, 2020

Matching Funds: 50%

Purpose:  For multi-benefit storm water management projects which may include, but shall not be limited to, green infrastructure, rainwater and storm water capture projects and storm water treatment facilities.

Available Funding:  $100 million

Maximum/minimum Funding:

  • Per Applicant:  Minimum – $250,000; Maximum – $10 million
  • An applicant may apply for as many projects as it can manage within the term of the SWGP.

Project Type: Implementation Grants Only (no planning grants)

Special Considerations: Must provide multiple benefits (see NOFA for examples), be included in a local IRWM Plan as well as a Local Resource Plan.

Applications will be accepted online through the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST) under the Request For Proposals (RFP) titled: “Prop 1 Round 2 Storm Water Grant Program (SWGP) Project Proposals”.

A webinar for applicants is scheduled for May 12th at 2:00PM to discuss program and application requirements. Login details will be posted on the SWGP webpage above at a later date.

For more information, contact John Quiring, Director of Community Development & Infrastructure Funding at (559) 449-2400 or John.Quiring@qkinc.com.

Covid-19 Message to Clients, Partners, and Friends

Covid-19 Message to Clients, Partners, and Friends

 

By Ron Wathen, PE, President & CEO

 

Covid-19

To our clients, partners, and friends,

Our mission at QK is to be an indispensable partner to our clients, communities and each other.  With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we recognize that many daily activities continue to be disrupted.  At QK, we embrace our role in minimizing the negative impacts of COVID-19. Our highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our employees, clients, and vendors, as well as families and friends. This communication outlines measures implemented in order to do our part to help contain the outbreak while maintaining service to our clients.

QK intends to continue working on projects, meet deadlines and deliverables, and more importantly, reach your vision for your projects.  We have a fluid and flexible workforce that is fully equipped to work offsite as needed.  This capability will help us continue to serve you as we all work together to get through this public health issue. We will continue to serve you as always with your best interest in mind.

In addition, QK is taking the following steps to urge staff to proactively observe the following health guidance to prevent the virus spread:

  • All employees have been educated about proper hygiene and social distancing.
  • We have reduced in-person meetings, opting instead for video and audio conferencing as the norm.
  • We have educated staff on the latest CDC guidance on best practices to prevent the virus spread.
  • We have minimized or stopped all non-essential travel. Travel considered essential must be pre-approved.
  • QK is also advising employees to avoid large gatherings and implement social distancing.

We thank you for your continued partnership.  We feel confident that together, we will get through this public health event and come out stronger on the other side. 

We look forward to remaining an indispensable partner to you, our communities and each other. 

Respectfully,

Ron Wathen, PE
President & CEO

How A Park Can Transform A Neighborhood

How A Park Can Transform A Neighborhood

 

By Mike Ratajski

 

Porterville

November 9th was a beautiful warm sunny Fall Saturday in Porterville.  I was invited to attend the dedication ceremony for the Fallen Heroes Park located on the city’s east side.  Today, in the neighborhood around Fallen Heroes Park, you can walk to the local “jerky” store, take your car for a fill-up at the gas station and do-it-yourself spray wash or stop in at the local café for a good “home cooked meal”, but there was no place for kids or families to play, picnic, and just hang out…until now.

Fallen Heroes Park is the latest destination on the Tule River Parkway Trail that will eventually connect this little neighborhood to the broader community of Porterville.  Fallen Heroes Park, originally called “Chase Park”, is dedicated to the fallen heroes of the community – soldiers, police officers, and fire personnel who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and lives of others.

The honorable Mayor, Milt Stowe, led a brief dedication ceremony and following him, the Director of Parks and Leisure Services, Donnie Moore said, “This is the community’s park.  It takes a whole community to keep something like this looking nice.”  After the ceremony, people stayed.  After all the coffee, iced tea, donuts, and cookies were gone, the neighbors didn’t want to leave.  They were hooked.   I took the opportunity to walk around and talk to as many as I could.  It’s interesting what I discovered just by listening.

When you create a beautiful park with many amenities, neighbors have a tendency to take “ownership” of their little green space.  This park already has the distinction of local ownership.  In fact, this opening day was quite the event that people were waiting for.  A little boy who lived nearby would walk up to the construction foreman before opening day and ask him, “When you gonna open my park?”

Ownership

Already the residents were taking ownership – even the little ones.  That’s a very good sign.   This boy and most of the many happy kids that live nearby now have a place to play and socialize rather than in the street or a spot on the floor in front of the television.  No longer does Mom have to scream, “Get off your rear, stop playing video games, and go out and play!”   Well, that’s wishful thinking, but at least there is now another option.

Local business owners surrounding Fallen Heroes Park used to be concerned about having a park built next door to them because they feared that the park may attract the homeless, crime, and gangs.  They did a “total 180” and are now embracing the park.  The two property owners to the east actually paid for a pedestrian gate between their businesses and the park so their employees would have a place to relax and eat lunch.

I spoke with the owner of the booming tire business across the street.  He was anxious for the park to open because he knew that once it did, his customers, particularly those with young kids, would now have a place to take them while their cars are being worked on. 

The local residents next door were obviously pleased that the dilapidated fence that looked more like a giant toothless comb was replaced by a beautiful masonry wall.

Another factor that contributes to this concept of “ownership” is that the neighborhood had a role in determining what they wanted in their park.  Of course nearly everyone wants a splash playground nowadays.  The residents on Chase Avenue and the blocks around it now have a place to retreat during the brutal summer heat in Porterville…and get to know each other.

According to the American Planning Association (APA), for those concerned that parks may foster crime and illegal activity, evidence now exists that the opposite may be true.  When next to residential areas, parks have been shown to create neighborhoods with fewer violent crimes and damage to property, and neighbors tend to support and protect one another.  Parks support frequent, casual contact among neighbors.  This leads to the formation of neighborhood social ties, the building blocks of strong, secure neighborhoods where people tend to support, care, and protect one another.  In addition, time spent in nature such as the beautifully landscaped environment of Fallen Heroes Park and the future Tule River Parkway adjacent to residential neighborhoods helps relieve mental fatigue; thus, reducing aggression.

QK should be proud of the role we have had in creating these wonderful green, fun-filled places that help transform neighborhoods.  Though the park has been open for nearly two years, crime is non-existent, and judging by the changes that have already taken place as well as this “pride of ownership” that I saw in the local residents and businesses that day, it appears that the neighborhood around Fallen Heroes Park was off to a very good start.