One of the first questions people ask about the PENNVEST Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program is, view “Will we be able to get a grant?” PACD developed the Loan/Grant Calculation Worksheets to help potential applicants answer that question before they start the online application process.
While some grants are available for nonpoint source projects, stuff it’s important to remember that PENNVEST is primarily a low-interest loan program. It is designed to be self sustaining by rolling loan payments back into available funds that are then on hand for more projects. PENNVEST’s interest rates are in the range of one- to three-percent for a 20-year term, so anyone receiving a PENNVEST loan is still realizing substantial savings over commercial loan rates.
Grants may be awarded for eligible projects when the benefactor responsible for repaying the loan does not have the ability to cover debt service on that loan. The decision to offer a loan or grant is based on an objective review of the benefactor’s financial information from the three previous years. PENNVEST considers cash flow, current debt load, revenues and other factors in this process.
The Loan/Grant Calculation Worksheets take the benefactors through a series of “tests” that assess their ability to cover debt service. It evaluates the same financial information and uses essentially the same process that PENNVEST will employ in their financial review. Upon completion of the worksheets, a benefactor will know if they are “eligible” to receive a grant or if they will be more likely offered a loan.
While the worksheets are relatively easy to use, an accurate estimate of proposed project costs and information from tax returns, financial statements and other sources is necessary. Understanding exactly what information is needed can be a little confusing, so some applicants consult their accountant or professional tax preparer to ensure correct and complete data is used.
The worksheets will give an indication of what to expect from PENNVEST; but it is not a guarantee that an offer will be made or of what type of offer it may be. The financial considerations are only one piece of the decision-making process. Relative quality of the project, total funds available, the number of projects being considered and other factors are all part of the final award decision.
To access the worksheets, visit http://pacd.org/pennvest-application-assistance/loangrant-calculation-worksheets/. For more information about the PENNVEST application process, contact Terry Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-238-7223.