Service Planning Grant Program
Service Planning Grants can be used for information-gathering and a variety of studies or for implementing certain recommendations or plans previously outlined in studies. Those studies can examine everything from call response improvement, sharing training needs, administrative costs, personnel and equipment, to full consolidation of departments. If a department has an idea, the State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) wants to hear it.
Eligible Use of Funds
These funds are to be used to pay for (but are not limited
to solely paying for) a third-party feasibility study that addresses the study
requirements listed below and the options for service planning, including (but
not limited to) those provided in “A Blueprint for Shared Services.” A
prerequisite could also be from a group’s independent study done to show that
implementation will benefit all groups involved and improve service.
Service Planning Grants are to be broken down into two categories of grants:
- Implementation grant
- Planning Study grant
A prerequisite for either grant shall be official documentation from all entities involved in the project. The documentation will be in the form of a council/town approved resolution, or an official letter of support.
Priorities for Implementation Grants
Applicants in this category of grants should be looking to achieve - Administrative standardization between two or more fire departments. Standardization of firfighter life safety equipment between 2 or more fire departments. Station Modifications (hardship circumstances only). Regional/County Wide Equipment Purchases.
**The oversight committee will decide whether the implementation justifies the cost. Additional prerequisites for Implementation Grants would be previous Service Planning Grant or from a group's independent study (all within the last 5 years) completed to show that implementation will benefit all groups involved and improve service. This could also be in the form of a completed, formally recognized group risk/cost benefit analysis conducted by a third party, to align with the projects priorities.
The committee with the following priorities shall score Implementation Grants:
Priority #1 – Administrative standardization costs; examples - Legal fees associated with department's consolidation or cooperation, development of standard operating guidelines/procedures, contract development.
Priority #2 – Standardization of Firefighter life safety equipment; as determined by the selection committee.
Priority #3 – Station Modification (Hardship circumstances only); as determined by the selection committee.
Priority #4 – Regional/County wide equipment purchases
Priority #5 – Applicants that have previously received a SFMD Implementation Grant
Planning Study Grant
Fire departments, cities or towns looking to improve emergency fire services to their areas. Exploratory type studies for future needs of fire service areas.
The study will include:
A clear set of objectives leading to goals that identifies how the participating fire departments/cities/townships will more efficiently plan for future service improvements in the areas of (but not limited to):
- Training, department administration, personnel, equipment or department consolidation.
- Analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response and benefit to the population served.
The study should also take into account:
- Geographic area, population density and other factors that encourage communities' and fire service providers' voluntary participation.
- Future funding sources for the project if implemented.
- Cooperative training among departments and equipment procurement between departments.
- Employment issues associated with combining existing agencies and entities into a regional or multi-jurisdictional entity for consolidation projects.
- An analysis of best practices in the creation and functioning of public-safety-related service planning delivery models.
- A preliminary set of operating procedures for cooperative shared fire and rescue service systems.
Planning Study Grants will be scored by the committee with the following priorities:
Priority #1 – First time Legacy Shared Services/Service Planning Grant application
Priority #2 – Returning applicants
Service Planning Grant Program FAQs
Do we need to know the total grant amount before we apply for a grant?
Yes, this determines the match amount and defines the project a little more.
Can the grant be used for implementation costs, or costs other than paying a consultant for a study?
Yes, the grant funds can also be used for things that the oversight committee determines a reasonable use of funds.
The Application Consists of
- Project information sheet.
- Project application narrative.
- Program budget request, to include budget milestones
(total budget amount should be known before application is submitted).Letter (or City resolution) from each participating
jurisdiction indicating their intent to cooperate in the study.
- Proof of an independent study or equivalent must be
submitted with the application if a group is applying for an Implementation
Grant and has not had a previous Shared Services Study, Exploratory, or
The scoring/oversight committee will review and score the
application based on the priorities listed for each type of grant.
Successful applicants will be recommended to the
commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), 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’s organization and
DPS. Once the signature process has been completed, the grant is considered
fully executed and becomes a legally binding agreement between the grantee’s
organization and DPS.
- The scoring and oversight committee will consist of one
member from each of the following organizations:
- Minnesota State Fire Department Association as appointed by
- Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association as appointed by
- Minnesota Professional Firefighters as appointed by their
- Minnesota SFMD as appointed.
- League of Minnesota Cities as appointed.
- Association of Minnesota Townships as appointed.
- Fire Service Advisory Committee as appointed by their chair.
The grant funds are available on a cost-reimbursement basis
where costs are reimbursed after they are incurred and paid by the grantee
agencies. This process is similar to the FEMA AFG (Assistance to Firefighters
Grant) process. Here is a breakdown of reimbursement percentages:
Up to $25,000 – 5 percent match
$25,001 to $50,000 – 10 percent match
$50,001 and up – 15 percent match
$55,000 total grant
State pays $46,750 = 85 percent of total grant
Local entity pays $8,250 = 15 percent of total grant
$24,000 total grant
State pays $22,800 = 95 percent of total grant
Local entity pays $1,200 = 5 percent of total grant
The match percent is determined by the total grant amount.
This amount should be determined before application is submitted.
The grantee organization will be required to provide to the
SFMD with the written report on the results of the study or implementation
process (to include photos) and a written summary of all expenditures,
including documentation on how the grant and matching funds were spent. Completed studies and photos of
implementation will be available to be viewed on the SFMD website. Each Entity
will be required to take surveys after the grant is completed and again when
the project is completed, this will enable data tracking for SFMD personnel and
future requests for grant money.
Although we would like to fund every project applied for,
that may not be possible. Negotiations on proposals may occur; groups may be
asked to clarify statements in their applications or to modify their budgets.
Grant Program Timeline:
|Grant application process announced||September |
|Grant application packet deadline to DPS/SFMD||December 31|
|Application presentation to selection committee||Mid-March|
|Applications scored and top applications are presented to FSAC||May |
|Grants awarded ||August|
|All grant work needs to be completed ||June 30|
Grant Program FAQs:
Q: Do we need to know the total grant amount before we apply
for a grant?
A: Yes, this determines the match amount and
defines the project a little more.
Q: Can the grant be used for implementation costs, or costs
other than paying a consultant for a study?
A: Yes, the grant funds
can also be used for things that the oversight committee determines a
reasonable use of funds.
Legacy Shared Services and Planning Studies Link
- If you would like to apply please contact David Jensen at 651-413-1831 or David.A.Jensen@state.mn.us
- The complete application packet must be received by 4 p.m. CST
December. 31, 2022, by email.