Shared Services Grant Program
After a very successful round of Shared Services Grants in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and thanks to the Fire Service Advisory Committee and Public Safety Commissioner Ramona L. Dohman, the State Fire Marshal Division has once again obtained grant funding for another round of Shared Services grants. These funds can be used to compensate consulting services that explore a shared services model for multiple fire services, or as implementation funds to continue recommendations from other studies.
Shared Services refers to any number of scenarios where fire-and-rescue service organizations are working together to become more effective or more efficient. The shared-service concept does not necessarily result in financial savings, nor does it mean that fire departments must formally merge. “A Blueprint for Shared Services” document
is available online.
The final reports of 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 studies are being made available on the SFM website. You can find them here
In 2016, Minnesota Management Analysis and Development evaluated the Shared Services Grant Program. The evaluation found that the Minnesota fire service believes the program is useful but could be improved in the following ways:
- Expand the State Fire Marshal Division's involvement.
- Establish categories of grants, articulate expected outcomes, and establish performance measures accordingly.
- Develop a questionnaire to help interested departments assess the extent to which they are already sharing or collaborating.
- Establish program performance measures, improve program evaluation.
- Improve information sharing.
Anticipated Grant Amounts
We anticipate that two or more fire-service agencies will jointly apply for grant funding to study, or implement ways of increasing efficiency, effectiveness, or cost savings through voluntary and cooperative shared services. We estimate that available funding will pay for individual grants of no more than $40,000. A local match of at least 10 percent of the grant award is required. Local match may include administrative costs to manage the grant. The expected outcome of the study will include a report delivered to the State Fire Marshal that outlines alternatives for the parties to share fire and rescue services. The report will be posted on the State Fire Marshal Division website.
Any two or more fire service agencies applying for a grant must include a letter from all participating jurisdictions indicating their intent to cooperate in the study. The letters must be from the governance entity (e.g. the city council for a city fire service.) A fire service agency is defined as having a fire department identification number (FDID) from the State Fire Marshal Division.
Grants will be made to the lead jurisdiction submitting the grant application. The grant contract must be signed by a representative of the lead jurisdiction having the legal authority to sign contracts for that jurisdiction. Legal authority may be documented by a resolution or official minutes from the jurisdiction and will be required at the time that the grant contract is to be signed. It is not required for the grant application.
All applications will consist of a Project Information Sheet and a Project Application Narrative. All forms and information are available electronically on the State Fire Marshal Division website at sfm.dps.mn.gov
Grant application process announced
Aug. 25, 2015
Grant application packet deadline to DPS/SFMD
Nov. 4, 2015
Grant award notice
Jan. 8, 2015
Shared Services grant end date and due date for feasibility study completion. All Grant funds must be expended by the end of the state Fiscal year.
June 30, 2016
Grant fiscal documentation completed
June 30, 2016
Eligible Use of Funds
Grant funds are to be used to pay for a third party (consultant) feasibility study that addresses the study requirements listed below and the options for shared services, including, but not limited to, those provided in “A Blueprint for Shared Services.” If two or more fire departments have already done a study using the previous round of grant funds, or have purchased a study with their own funds and are attempting to implement some of the findings of the study, they are also eligible to apply.
The study should take into account the following subjects:
Governance of regional fire and rescue shared service districts that take into account geographic area, population density and other factors that encourage voluntary participation by communities and fire service providers.
Funding sources for operation of the service district, cooperative training among component departments, and equipment procurement.
Efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response and overall benefit to the population served.
Employment issues associated with combining existing agencies and entities into a regional or multi-jurisdictional, shared-services entity.
An analysis of best practices in the creation and functioning of public safety-related, shared- services delivery models.
A preliminary set of operating procedures for cooperative, shared fire-and-rescue service systems.
Application Review Process
The review process will use a scoring method which evaluates applications based upon the following criteria:
Describe how the applicant envisions that their study will address or implement the Study Requirements listed above.
Number of jurisdictions committed to the study (more jurisdictions, more points)
Size of population and geographic area served by applicants (similar to above)
Describe your history of working together successfully
Describe any unique approach or ideas for your study
An evaluation committee will review and score the applications based on the above criteria and present a recommendation to the Commissioner of Public Safety who will make the final determination. Once a grant request has been awarded, a formal grant agreement will be prepared and must be signed by the grantee organization and the Department of Public Safety. Once the signature process has been completed, the grant is considered fully executed and becomes a legally binding agreement between the grantee organization and the Department of Public Safety.
The grant funds are available on a cost reimbursement basis where costs are reimbursed after they are incurred and paid by the grantee agencies. The grantee organization will be required to provide to the State Fire Marshal Division the written report on the results of the study and a written summary of all expenditures, including documentation on how the grant and matching funds were spent.
A complete application packet must be received by 3:30 PM CST September 25, 2015, preferably by email to:
State Fire Marshal Division
445 Minnesota St., Suite 145
St. Paul, MN 55101-5145
Email: Kevin Sedivy@state.mn.us
Proposals not received by this deadline will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that their proposal is received on time.
Any questions about the application process should be directed to Kevin Sedivy at (HQ Office) 651-201-7218, (Cell) 651-295-1639 or you can email Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers to frequently-asked questions about the process will be provided to interested parties; please notify Kevin Sedivy that you are interested which will iniaite the grant application to be emailed to the requestor..
Letter from each participating jurisdiction indicating their intent to cooperate in the study.
Grant Program narrative signed by individual submitting the application.
Project Information Sheet.
Program Budget Request.
We anticipate a lot of interest and will receive a large number of applications for a limited amount of funding. While we would like to fund every project, that may not be possible this round. Negotiations on proposals may occur; you may be asked to clarify statements in your application or to modify your budget. Saving this document and a copy of your complete application package will make it easier for you to make necessary modifications later.