House Committee Discusses LMC Grant Navigator Program and Assistance to Cities to Support Grant Application Process

January 23, 2023

The League provided an overview of the newly developed Grant Navigator Program and stressed the importance of state assistance to maximize access to new federal grant funding for under-resourced cities.

The League provided testimony on Jan. 18 to the House Sustainable Infrastructure Policy Committee on the need for additional assistance for local units of government in identifying and accessing new federal funding streams.

With almost 400 new infrastructure grant opportunities authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), as well as programs to address climate resiliency authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), cities have more opportunities than ever to access funds that will help assist with the cost of infrastructure projects.

Smaller cities face big challenges in applying for funding

As the League explained in the presentation to the committee, smaller jurisdictions have immense challenges in applying for funds including lack of financial resources, staff bandwidth, and challenges in matching up projects to resources — all of which can often make applying for grants at the state and federal level out of reach for many cities.
View the slide presentation used in the committee testimony (pdf)

As a part of the League’s testimony, City of Nisswa City Administrator and League First Vice President Jenny Max discussed the unique challenges of a city like Nisswa in the upfront costs and staff time it takes to get an application together.

LMC Grant Navigator Program and other opportunities discussed

Pointing to potential solutions, the League highlighted the initial successes of the LMC Grant Navigator program, which provides $5,000 grants to help cities understand, identify, and apply for federal, state, foundation, and nonprofit grants with a focus on cities with populations under 4,000.

The League stressed the importance of increased state involvement for the provision of state technical assistance and state funding to help cities of all sizes have an equitable shot at grant resources. Members on both sides of the aisle who serve on the committee expressed interest in a state role to better assist cities in accessing opportunities.

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