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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 61DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
SUBCHAPTER EGUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTRATION OF TEXAS LOCAL PARKS, RECREATION, AND OPEN SPACE FUND PROGRAM
RULE §61.133Grants for Outdoor Recreation Programs

(a) Program purpose and priorities. All grant applications submitted to the department for outdoor recreation programs are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized according to the Project Priority Scoring System set forth in this section. Scored applications are presented to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for approval. In general, recommended priorities for outdoor recreation projects are:

  (1) to ensure applicant performance on active grants and compliance at previously assisted grant sites;

  (2) to recognize and reward local planning;

  (3) to increase recreational diversity;

  (4) to expand access to water-based recreation opportunities and improve fish and wildlife habitat;

  (5) to improve geographic distribution of park and recreation opportunities;

  (6) to maximize the use of funds for conservation and recreation opportunities;

  (7) to improve park and recreation opportunities for an underserved population;

  (8) to reward local resources and cooperative efforts between project applicants and other entities;

  (9) to encourage the acquisition of public parkland and conservation of significant natural resources;

  (10) to renovate existing, obsolete facilities;

  (11) to promote sustainable park design and development;

  (12) to provide linkages to other public park and conservation areas; and

  (13) to support the department's Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan.

(b) Local master plan standard requirements. Minimum master plan standards must be met to qualify for planning and priority points. Local applicants may submit applications without having a department-endorsed master plan; however, only those applicants that have a TPWD endorsed park, recreation and open space master plan will receive points for completing a local plan. In addition, only proposals that address priority needs identified in endorsed plans will receive priority points under the provisions of subsection (c)(7) of this section. Master plans must have been received in an approvable format at least 60 days prior to the application submission deadline at which time credit is sought. The following are minimum master plan standards:

  (1) Proof of adoption. The plan must be formally adopted or otherwise endorsed by act or resolution of the applicable governing body of the applicant, and the endorsement must be included with the document.

  (2) Jurisdiction-wide scope. The plan must be complete, comprehensive, and assess the entire jurisdiction area of the project applicant. County plans must cover the entire county, and city or district plans must cover the entire city or district. For large urban areas, the plan should cover the entire jurisdiction, and then may break the jurisdiction down into regions, sectors, precincts, districts, etc., as appropriate. Master plans that contemplate service delivery across more than one jurisdiction may be submitted by a local applicant, with any necessary supplemental information, provided the plan has been formally adopted or otherwise endorsed by act or resolution of the applicable governing body of the applicant.

  (3) Plan duration. The plan must specifically identify the time period within which the goals and objectives of the plan are to be carried out. Plans should cover a minimum ten-year period. If a plan is more than five years old, a brief summary of plan accomplishments to date, as well as applicable updates of demographics, goals and objectives, standards, and maps must be provided to enable the department to recognize and credit program progress. Any revision of priorities other than an update of accomplishments must present a new priority listing justified by additional public input. Plans older than 10 years will be considered obsolete and new plans will be required.

  (4) Plan content. The following information should be included in the document:

    (A) introduction;

    (B) goals and objectives;

    (C) plan development process (discuss when the planning process began, plan phases, public input received, survey/studies conducted, committees and/or personnel involved, etc.);

    (D) area/facility concepts and standards, including:

      (i) population/area service and acreage goals;

      (ii) "typical" park and facility standards; and

      (iii) applicable local codes, ordinances, and other requirements for community or neighborhood development.

    (E) inventory of existing park, recreation and open space areas and facilities (including schools).

    (F) needs assessment and identification. Information under this subparagraph shall be area- and facility-specific, and may include basic support facilities/infrastructure which are critical to the recreational experience. A discussion and identification of open space needs in the master plan, or a separate open space plan, shall be included.

    (G) prioritization of needs. Applicant shall include:

      (i) priority lists for outdoor and indoor needs (may be separate or combined);

      (ii) if necessary, a map of all specific area(s) intended for open space acquisition and preservation, identified as a need, discussed, and prioritized, if desired;

      (iii) where appropriate, a discussion of renovation/redevelopment needs, which may be ranked as a priority; and

      (iv) plan implementation recommendations, including a timeline and discussion of resources for meeting priorities (which must identify and prioritize which needs are to be met, where, and when). Any revision of priorities other than an update of accomplishments must present a new priority listing justified by additional public input.

    (H) illustrations, maps, charts, surveys, etc.

(c) Outdoor recreation project priority scoring system.

  (1) Outdoor recreation projects presented to the commission shall be scored according to the criteria, rating factors, and point values set forth in this subsection.

  (2) The priority ranking of a project will depend on its score in relation to the scores of other projects under consideration.

  (3) Funding of projects will depend on the availability of TRPA funds.

  (4) Projects which have not been approved after two considerations by the commission, without alterations to significantly raise the project score, shall be returned to the applicant and not accepted for resubmission.

  (5) Each site of a multiple-site project shall be scored individually. Individual site scores will be weighted on a pro-rata share of the total budget for the entire project. All weighted scores will be added together for the total project score.

  (6) If the applicant is in full compliance at previously assisted grant project sites and is progressing on schedule with all active grant projects in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, the application will be scored and presented for award consideration. If the applicant does not meet the requirements of this paragraph, the application will not be scored or considered further.

  (7) A project proposal meeting the requirements of paragraph (6) of this subsection shall be evaluated according to the extent that:

    (A) the applicant has a current department-endorsed master plan or other comprehensive plan on file with the department at the time of application and the project will satisfy the priority outdoor recreation needs identified in the plan required by this subparagraph. Scoring shall be as follows, up to a total of 15 points:

      (i) for having a current department-endorsed master plan on file at the time of application submission - 5 points;

      (ii) for satisfying 3 of the top 5 priority needs - 10 points;

      (iii) for satisfying 2 of the top 5 priority needs - 6 points; and

      (iv) for satisfying 1 of the top 5 priority needs - 3 points.

    (B) the project will provide diversity of park and recreation facilities One point will be awarded for each type of significant and diverse recreation facility. Each facility must be identified as a need in the applicant's locally adopted park, recreation and open space master plan or, if the applicant does not have an adopted master plan, by a documented public input process, up to 10 points.

    (C) the project will expand access to water-based recreation opportunities along existing natural water bodies, provide desirable habitat conditions for fish and wildlife, and will not degrade the resource. Scoring shall be as follows, up to a total of 4 points:

      (i) project expands access to water-based recreation on an existing wetland, river, continuous flow stream, pond, lake, gulf, bay, or estuary: 1 point;

      (ii) project preserves, restores, or improves habitat conditions for fish and wildlife: 1 point;

      (iii) project is provided in an area that currently has limited public access to water-based recreation along existing natural water bodies: 1 point;

      (iv) project provides a link to existing natural water bodies that support water-based recreation opportunities: 1point.

    (D) the project will improve the geographic distribution of park and recreation lands and facilities in the project's service area or within the applicant's jurisdiction, up to 10 points.

      (i) project provides the first public park in the applicant's jurisdiction or intended service area: 10 points; or

      (ii) project provides significantly new and different park and recreation opportunities (other than school facilities) at the project site: 1-10 points. Points for this item shall be awarded only if specific recreation elements are identified as a need in a locally adopted park, recreation, and open space master plan or, if the applicant does not have an adopted master plan, by a documented public input process. Point awards shall be calculated as follows: new and different facility costs, divided by total construction costs, multiplied by 10.

    (E) the project maximizes the use of development funds for outdoor recreation and conservation opportunities, up to a total of 20 points, determined by dividing the direct recreational and conservation costs by the total construction costs and multiplying the result by 20.

    (F) the project improves park and recreation opportunities for an underserved population, up to 12 points.

      (i) project improves opportunities for low-income citizens based on economic and demographic data for the service area from the most recent federal census data: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as low-income by 5. Maximum of 5 points.

      (ii) project improves opportunities for minority citizens based on economic and demographic data for the service area from the most recent census data: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as minority by 5. Maximum of 5 points.

      (iii) project provides park and recreation opportunities for physically/mentally challenged citizens, which exceed the federal and state required accessibility standards. 2 points.

    (G) the project involves local resources or documented cooperation between the applicant and other public or private entities to provide park and recreation opportunities at the project site(s). Maximum of 20 points.

      (i) project involves the contribution of resources from sources other than the applicant, including publicly owned non-parkland, which serves as all or part of the applicant's matching share of funds. Maximum of 15 points. Points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, determined by dividing the total outside contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 15.

      (ii) project includes documented contributions via the applicant or outside resources above the 50% required match. Up to five points will be awarded based on the following criteria: (Additional Contribution Amount / Required Match) x 5.

    (H) the project provides for the acquisition and conservation of park and recreation lands, including publicly owned non-parkland, which consist of natural resources or provides desirable open space or needed parkland. Total point range: 0-25 points for not more than one of the following:

      (i) project provides for the acquisition and conservation of a government-identified natural area which is recognized in an acceptable, published planning document for having valuable or vulnerable natural resources, ecological processes, or rare, threatened, or endangered species of vegetation or wildlife: 0-25 points, based on acreage and/or quality; or

      (ii) project provides for the acquisition and conservation of natural open space that is two acres or larger in size, relatively free of man-made structures, and which is identified in an acceptable and adopted local, jurisdiction-wide open space plan or master plan: 0-15 points, based on acreage and/or quality; or

Cont'd...

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