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Currently, Economic Development offers 7 programs:

  1. Smart Communities Grants (matching)
  2. Smart Sites Shovel Ready Certification Program
  3. Retail Strategies Full-Service Program (matching)
  4. Retail Strategies Retail Academy Program (matching)
  5. Strategic Economic Development Plans
  6. Customized City Projects
  7. Downtown Revitalization Grants


1. Smart Communities Grants – Up to $5,000 and must be matched by the member

  • For economic development related activities to help members attract and retain retail, commercial and industrial customers, including:
    • Feasibility studies, brownfield remediation, façade grants, grant writing, rail studies, website design, signage, downtown revitalization/upfits, business retention, building/parcel layouts, tourism activities and marketing materials.
  • Not eligible until any previous grant is closed out.
  • Grant must come from the city/town and approved by manager.
  • Must document proposal, including pictures if applicable and source of matching fund — funds can also be matched with another grant received.
  • Funding will be awarded to qualified applications on a first come, first serve basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


2. Smart Sites Shovel Ready Certification Program – up to $25,000 per site

  • Smart Sites program is a shovel ready site qualification program designed to support economic development opportunities for members. Smart Sites makes its member communities more competitive for recruiting projects and existing business expansions.
  • Sites must be a minimum of 25 acres in the site submission and must remain at least 25 acres after engineering work completed
  • Must be served by municipal electric service
  • Have water and sewer service within 500 feet of the property
  • Submissions require the completion of a detailed Request for Information with a copy of the property deed, tax map, archeological reports, and environmental phase 1 report and other due diligence materials
  • The proposed site must pass a review by engineering and consulting firms and the Economic Development staff
  • Site and RFI information are to be updated annually and the project must undergo recertification every three years to remain as a Smart Site. The cost of recertification is covered by ElectriCities.
  • Non-Power Agency members are eligible for this program at the ElectriCities discounted rates. A contract is required between ElectriCities and the member for management of the program. All costs are borne by the member.
  • Funding will be awarded to qualified applications on a first come, first serve basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


3. Retail Strategies Full-Service Program is a 3-year program fully matched by member ($20,000/$12,500/$12,500)

Retail Strategies is a full-service consulting firm that develops and implements long-term retail real estate strategies for our members. The process involves a team of experienced experts making connections between the public and private sector.

  • The program is for any power agency member that chooses to participate with a limited number each year, depending on funding.
  • All members that have agreed to participate in the program must have matching funds.
  • The member pays the full cost for Retail Strategies if the member continues the program after the 3-year program ends.
  • Non-Power Agency members are eligible for this program at the ElectriCities discounted rates. A contract is required between ElectriCities and the member for management of the program. All costs are borne by the member.
  • Funding will be awarded to qualified applications on a first come, first served basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


4. Retail Strategies Retail Academy is a 6-hour training program for those members with a population under 10,000 and matches a member’s $5,000 expense.

  • The program is for any power agency member that choose to participate with a limited number each year, depending on funding.
  • Non-Power Agency members are eligible for this program at the ElectriCities discounted rates. A contract is required between ElectriCities and the member for management of the program. All costs are borne by the member.
  • Funding will be awarded to qualified applications on a first come, first served basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


5. Strategic Economic Development Plan Programs

  • The program is to update strategic economic plans originally prepared during 2004-2009 time frame. The program provides a member with an overview of demographics, a synopsis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis from member staff and community.
  • Cost ranges from $20,000 – $24,000 and covered completely by ElectriCities.
  • The program is for any power agency member that chooses to participate with a limited number each year, depending on funding.
  • Non-Power Agency members are eligible for this program at the ElectriCities discounted rates. A contract is required between ElectriCities and the member for management of the program. All costs are borne by the member.
  • Funding will be awarded to qualified applications on a first come, first served basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


6. Customized City Projects – Administered by Corporate Communications for 3 members for each agency ($10,000)

  • The program is for projects that create long-term impact for Power Agency members’ utility and/or city.
  • Past projects have consisted of websites, videos and city signage, such as welcome signs.
  • “Temporary” projects like funding for an event are not eligible.
  • Funds for this program come from the Corporate Communications budget and are approved by the Corporate Communications Department, with some input from Economic Development.
  • Six project slots available each year – three per agency on a first come, first served basis. Applications that cannot be funded in one year are moved to the head of the line for the next year.


7. Downtown Revitalization Grants ($10,000)

The program was initiated in 2018 and consists of a non-matching grant to assist a Power Agency member in revitalizing their downtowns.

  • Proceeds from the Downtown Revitalization Grant may be used for a wide range of purposes so long as that purpose advances the downtown revitalization goals of the member community and has the approval of the city/town manager. Examples of grant funding priorities include downtown revitalization studies/action plans, streetscape plans, building reuse studies and attraction or retention programs.
  • The program is available to a member once every three years.
  • In any calendar year that a member receives the $10,000 grant, the member community is not eligible for the $5,000 Smart Communities Grant.
  • Two grants are available for each power agency, for a total of four grants per year.
  • The Economic Development Grants are awarded using scoring matrix that has a maximum of 10 points starting at 1 point for the following categories:
    • Project development – well thought out and addresses established priority of community
    • Project budget – budget for project is appropriate and any additional funds required to complete project beyond the grant are available.
    • Project impact – project/program is part of a downtown revitalization initiative and will benefit the town/city by increasing tax base, electric load, quality of life and/or will help create new jobs.
    • Rating Factors:
      • High @ 3 points
      • Medium @ 2 points
      • Low @ 1 point
      • Automatically get 1 point for submission
      • Average score must be 8 points or higher

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