Grant & Loan Programs: EDGE

Regulations

Table Of Contents • Chapter 413-2

413-2.01 Scope of Rule

This regulation governs the operation of the OneGeorgia EDGE Fund Program as established by the OneGeorgia Authority (O.C.G.A. 50-34-1) through legislation signed by the Governor on April 21, 2000. The OneGeorgia Authority authorizes the Department of Community Affairs (herein after referred to as “agent”) as the implementing entity for purposes of the EDGE Fund Program’s operation and administration.

Authority O.C.G.A. 50-34 et seq.

413-2.02 Definitions

The definitions for purposes of this regulation are identical in all respects to the terms defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34 et seq.

  1. Competitive Project. Competitive Project generally describes a situation where a business enterprise is considering no less than two communities as a site for relocation or expansion, where at least one community is outside this state, and at least one, but not more than one, is in this state. A project is not considered a competitive project when the competition involves only the relocation of an existing company from one Georgia community to another Georgia community.
  2. Rural County. Which is not defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34-2, shall be defined using the most recent data and estimates from the U.S. Bureau of the Census to mean a county with a population less than 50,000 where 10% or more of the population lives in poverty.
  3. Conditionally Eligible County, which is not defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34-2, shall be defined as a county with a population of 500,000 or less that shares a geographic border with a rural county.

413-2.03 Purpose

The purpose of the OneGeorgia EDGE Fund Program is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site in a competitive project; and, where the EDGE Fund is used when the health, welfare, safety and economic security of the citizens of the state are promoted through the development and/or retention of employment opportunities.

413-2.04 Eligible Applicants and Recipients

Eligible applicants and recipients of grant funds awarded under this program shall include, but are not limited to general purpose local governments (municipalities and counties), local government authorities, joint or multi-county development authorities, state authorities or any combination of the above. All local government units that are party to an application must be in compliance, where applicable, with the requirements regarding comprehensive planning (O.C.G.A. 50-8-1 et seq.), report of local government finances (O.C.G.A. 36-81-8[b]), local service delivery strategies (O.C.G.A. 36-70-1 et seq), and local government authorities registration (O.C.G.A. 36-80-8 et seq).

413-2.05 Fund Availability

  1. Funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Authority will be made available to eligible applicants for projects when a competitive project cannot locate or expand without special financial assistance.
  2. The Authority will establish and announce funding availability. Applications will be accepted throughout the fiscal year and will be reviewed based upon the criteria provided in Rule 413-2.07.
  3. Eligible applicants must apply for assistance under this program in a format and manner described by the OneGeorgia Authority. Application manuals and guidelines may be obtained from the Authority and are on this website:

    OneGeorgia Authority
    1200-B Hillcrest Parkway • Dublin, Georgia 31021
    (478) 274-7734
    www.onegeorgia.org
  4. The application guidelines provided will include information outlining program requirements, forms, mailing addresses, telephone numbers of contact persons and other necessary and pertinent information.
  5. EDGE assistance may be provided to eligible recipients and subrecipients in the form of grants and/or loans. Specific terms and conditions of any assistance will be detailed in an Award Agreement between the OneGeorgia Authority and Recipient.
  6. As a condition of receiving EDGE assistance, recipients and/or subrecipients will generally be required to acknowledge OneGeorgia Authority approved terms and conditions to any assistance that may include, but not be limited to, the requirement for the repayment, recapture or deobligation of a portion or all of any EDGE assistance should the expected jobs and investment or other public benefits not materialize as promised by the recipient and/or subrecipient. The OneGeorgia Authority will generally require the recipient and the participating business or private user to execute a Performance and Accountability Agreement. Such an agreement would establish performance standards (such as job creation and private investment), reporting requirements, and conditions for repayment, among other terms, as conditions of the award.

413-2.06 Eligible Activities

Eligible uses of funds provided under the EDGE Fund include those activities and the provision of facilities and services as described in O.C.G.A. 50-34.

Eligible uses of funds for this category shall include, but are not limited to:

  1. Public Land Acquisition/Site Development
    1. For siting and/or improving publicly owned infrastructure
    2. For publicly owned industrial and technology parks, and airports
    3. For publicly owned improvements for tourism development
  2. Public Infrastructure Improvements
    1. Publicly owned water and/or sewer facilities and improvements
    2. Publicly owned improvements for pollution control
    3. Publicly owned railroad spurs
    4. Publicly owned road improvements
    5. Drainage improvements on public rights of way
    6. Site preparation on publicly owned land
    7. Publicly owned telecommunications assets
  3. Publicly Owned Machinery and Equipment
  4. Publicly Owned/Privately Leased Fixed Assets (sites and buildings) and/or Machinery and Equipment

With certain proposed grant activities, it is important to note that the proposed use of EDGE Fund monies will dictate whether the funds can simply be granted to the applicant, or whether they will be granted to the applicant but require a lease agreement between the applicant and participating subrecipient. In general, public acquisition or improvements of public facilities and infrastructure can be paid for by the applicant with EDGE Fund monies and do not have to be leased to a subrecipient through a development authority. Where EDGE Fund monies are expended for the public acquisition and/or improvements of privately used land, buildings, machinery and equipment, or other private assets, the assets must be owned or controlled by the applicant and leased or subleased to the private user.

The Authority may also require the applicant to recapture some or all of the EDGE Fund assistance if ownership of project assets is transferred to an entity other than the applicant. The Authority also reserves the right to establish criteria for the recapture of grant funds upon transfer of project assets to an entity other than the applicant or upon any event that violates state law, the public purpose of the grant program, or any of the grant conditions. All recaptured funds must be returned to the Authority, unless otherwise specified by the Authority.

413-2.07 Review of Grant Applications

All applications received from eligible applicants will be reviewed in a timely manner to determine the merit of the applications and the proposed use of funds. The criteria in the following sections will be used to determine the merit of each application.

  1. Applications will be reviewed based upon enhancement of community or economic development opportunities. Applicable criteria include, but are not limited to:
    1. Numbers and types of jobs retained and /or created;
    2. Total private capital investment;
    3. Impact on the state, regional and community economy and tax base;
    4. Degree of local financial commitment;
    5. Consistency with local and regional development goals and objectives;
    6. Project readiness;
    7. Project feasibility;
    8. Wage levels compared with average wages of industry in the impacted area;
    9. Reasonableness of cost estimates; and
    10. Local demographics.
  2. All applications for funding from this program must provide written certification from the applicant, addressed to the OneGeorgia Authority, to the effect that the applicant is authorized under the laws of the State to carry out the project and activities that are the subject of the application, and that the proposed expenditure of funds is in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.
  3. In its review of applications, the Authority will consult with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Department of Community and any other individuals or agencies as appropriate for receiving advice.
  4. The criteria in this rule (413-2.07) are designed to assist the Authority in making its decision and only constitute minimum standards. Additional factors may be considered depending on the nature of particular projects and their relative merit compared to competing proposals, and depending on the availability of funding at the time of application.
  5. The decision that the Authority makes shall be final and conclusive.
  6. Projects documenting that public benefits exceed public costs will receive greatest consideration under the program’s rating criteria.

413-2.08 Awarding of Funds

EDGE Fund grants or loans are not limited in amount. Assistance amounts will be determined following consultation with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and approved by the Authority. Final approval of assistance amounts is at the discretion of the Authority.

  1. Applications will be considered for funding when the project takes place in a Rural County.
  2. Applications from applicants within Conditionally Eligible Counties will also be considered where those counties:
    • Share a border with a Rural County; and
    • Are part of a project that has been endorsed in writing by a neighboring Rural County; and
    • Can demonstrate a project will convey a significant economic benefit to a neighboring Rural County through regional impact, revenue sharing or other evidence of regionalism.
  3. Once selected for funding, funds will be made available by the Authority through an award agreement incorporating by reference the approved final application and adding any special conditions that may be necessary or appropriate. As part of the award conditions, recipients must file a report on the impact and performance of the project, in a format prescribed by the Authority.
  4. The Authority may approve a grant subject to certain general or special conditions that will be incorporated into the award agreement. As a condition to the award, the OneGeorgia Authority will generally require the recipient and the participating business or private user to execute a Performance and Accountability Agreement. Such an agreement would establish performance standards (such as job creation and private investment), reporting requirements, and conditions for repayment, among other terms, as conditions of the award. Because of the limited amount of funds available, the Authority may also approve and/or award an amount less than the amount requested in the application. Applicants will be notified immediately if the requested amount and the approved amount will be different. The applicant will have thirty (30) days from the date of award to accept any special conditions and/or the reduced assistance amount. If the applicant fails to accept the special conditions or lower assistance amount within the required period, the Authority may unilaterally withdraw the award agreement.
  5. Award agreements will be issued with an expiration date. If an applicant fails to request a drawdown of funds prior to the expiration date, the application approval will expire and funds will not be issued.
  6. Awards will be committed to competitive, time-sensitive projects when location decisions are pending. The Authority may deny approval of an application when the application is received after the company/project has, verbally or in writing, selected a location or made a location commitment to a community.

413-2.09 Statement of Conditions

In addition to the certifications made on the face of the award statement, the recipient must further certify that:

  1. No applicable state laws, rules, regulations, or applicable local ordinances shall be violated in carrying out this project and expending EDGE Fund monies.
  2. Recipient’s internally adopted procurement procedures meet applicable state requirements and will be adhered to and documentation shall be maintained to document such adherence.
  3. Recipient’s accounting records shall be maintained in a manner consistent with generally accepted government accounting standards.
  4. If the Recipient is a development authority, then a project financed in part by an EDGE Fund grant shall only be leased or sold or administered as provided by Section 36-62-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, local constitutional amendment, local law passed by the legislature, or other general enabling legislation, as applicable.
  5. The recipient shall undergo an annual financial audit conducted in accordance with government auditing standards established by the comptroller general of the United States. The recipient shall submit to the Authority copies of all audits that cover all or part of the grant period.
  6. No real or apparent conflict of interest shall be engaged in by any person or party (or any person or party with whom they have family or business ties) who is involved in any aspect of the EDGE Fund project.