2024 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Conference Report)

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Virginia Make Ready Initiative

Item 103 #13c

Item 103 #13c

First Year - FY2025 Second Year - FY2026
Commerce and Trade
Department of Housing and Community Development FY2025 $30,000,000 FY2026 $0 GF

Page 99, line 40, strike "$127,802,325" and insert "$157,802,325".

Page 101, line 42, strike "20,000,000" and insert "50,000,000".

Page 101, line 48, after "reappropriated" insert "with the exception of the amounts designated in 7. of this paragraph L.".

Page 102, after line 41, insert:

7.a. Out of the amounts in this paragraph, the department shall utilize up to $30,000,000 in the first year from the general fund to establish a program to provide supplements to current Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant projects for “make ready” costs. Projects receiving money from these funds shall be limited to projects funded with resources from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund or the Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which were awarded during the fiscal year 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant round. The department shall limit “make ready” costs to utility pole replacements and mid-span pole installations. Any balances, for the purposes specified in this paragraph 7., which are unexpended on June 30, 2025, shall revert to the general fund.

b. The department shall establish an application process for the unit of government under contract with the department for the delivery of passings in mutual agreement with its private-sector partner to apply for a grant to supplement “make ready” costs occurring on or after January 1, 2024. Applicants shall be required to submit the following information: (i) the number, cost, and location of pole replacements or mid-span pole installations; (ii)  documentation sufficient to establish that the pole replacements or mid-span pole installations described in the application have been completed or will be completed within 120 days of the receipt of funds; (iii) documentation sufficient to establish the costs for which funds are requested; (iv) documentation that demonstrates estimated project costs for utility pole replacements and mid-span pole installations included in the approved fiscal year 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant application; and (v) any other information, protections, or criteria determined by the department as necessary to effectuate the provisions of this paragraph 7.

c. The department shall award funds on a competitive basis to projects that, in the determination of the department, are “at-risk” for completion by December 31, 2026.

d. The department shall develop scoring criteria to prioritize eligible applications that (i) facilitate broadband service to the greatest number of unserved/underserved contiguous locations per mile; (ii) include a match from the project's private sector partner, which will be determined by the department; (iii) will accelerate the completion of projects; (iv) are cost effective; and (v) incorporate other criteria determined by the department. The department shall review and award funds monthly starting on September 1, 2024, and award funds no later than June 1, 2025.

e. Any awards made to an eligible applicant shall be limited to a percentage of the make ready costs included in the unit of government's fiscal year 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant application as determined by the department. In no circumstance shall the department award more than $30,000 per mile for pole replacements and/or mid-span installation costs included in any application for these funds.  

f. The department may award the funds provided in this paragraph 7. to supplement undergrounding costs for redesigned projects that change the deployment method from aerial to underground. Redesigned projects must be approved by the department prior to any release of these funds for undergrounding costs. The relevant provisions of paragraphs 7.a. through 7.e. shall apply for any undergrounding application process established by the department. No more than $30,000 per mile shall be awarded for undergrounding costs."


(This amendment provides $30.0 million the first year from the general fund to the Virginia Make Ready Initiative to supplement costs for make ready work related to projects funded under the fiscal year 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative.)