The Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision identifies grant opportunities through Grants.gov and other regional communication networks. The organization typically seeks grants for replacing aging diesel vehicles with newer, cleaner versions. Once a grant is identified, staff check the eligibility requirements and reach out to potential applicants to gauge interest. They also reach out to community members to show what is available and how they can help. As a nonprofit, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision can act as either a partner that guides the project or can fully coordinate the grant application and implementation.
Once a grant and a partner are identified, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision starts compiling all the information it needs to apply for the grant. The information typically included in the grant application for the vehicle they are attempting to replace includes its travel routes, travel schedules, the service it provides, fuel type, title, make, and model.
If a grant is successfully awarded, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision gets back in touch with the partner and begins working through the procurement process. Depending on the grant and the partner, the procurement process can include a request for bids.
After going through the procurement process, the partner can purchase the new vehicle, which can be financed. Most grants require that, before the grant funding can be distributed, the partner must destroy the old vehicle and provide proof. The destruction process is typically explained in the terms of the grant, but generally requires a three-inch hole in the engine and cutting the chassis. As long as the engine can no longer be used, the other parts from the vehicle can be saved and used on other vehicles in the fleet. Upon certification of the old vehicle’s destruction, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision requests reimbursement on behalf of the partner and the grantor pays out the funding like a rebate.
The funding varies based on the grant and the vehicle being purchased. For the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding, there is a 75/25 match. State funding and funding from other sources, with some caveats, canbe put towards how much needs to be put up in matching funds. The partner manages the financing with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision managing the grant process.
The average time from when a grant is identified to project completion is around 24 months. This can be quicker depending on internal procurement processes and the available stock of vehicles being purchased.