The JEO 2019 Municipal Funding Guide

8 min read

Tracking down funding for your projects can be challenging and keeping track of potential funding sources can be even harder. To help get you started, we developed a handy funding guide for the region’s most relevant grant programs. This guide will help you sift through possible funding avenues and plan for the year’s application deadlines.



Civic and Community Center Financing Fund (CCCFF)Feb. 15

The CCCFF helps finance the construction or renovation of civic centers and recreation centers and to assist in the conversation, rehabilitation or reuse of historic buildings. It also helps finance upgrades to community centers and funds engineering and technical studies directly related to the projects above.

Who is eligible?
All municipalities in the state of Nebraska, except Omaha, Lincoln, and Ralston are eligible to apply for assistance.



Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) – Housing Study Grant Program: Due in June

NIFA’s Housing Study Grant Program is designed to stimulate ideas for regional, community and neighborhood plans encompassing housing, community, economic, and place-based development opportunities in Nebraska.

Who is eligible?
Eligible applicants include any housing or economic development entity, for-profit or non-profit, without direct access to funds from property tax revenues. 



Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - Recreational Trails Program (RTP): Aug. 31

The purpose of financial assistance through RTP is to provide public trails and trail-related development and restoration funding to political subdivisions in Nebraska for recreational trails. Private organizations, individuals, and corporations may assist the grant applicants on the project through their contributions of funding. RTP is specifically to provide recreation trails.

Who is eligible?
Political subdivisions are welcome to apply.



Land and Water Conservation FundSept. 1

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1965 seeks to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Nebraska appropriates 60% of the fund for local subdivision recreation projects and retains 40% of the fund for statewide projects within the State Park System. As required by Congress, proposed recreation projects must be in accordance with the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The reimbursable program provides grants for up to 50% of project costs.

Who is eligible? 
Local governments and political subdivisions are welcome to apply.


Nebraska Environmental TrustSept. 3

The Nebraska Environmental Trust seeks projects that bring public and private partners together to implement high-quality, cost-effective projects. It values projects that leverage private investment in conservation and emphasize long-lasting results. Individuals, private organizations, and public entities are all welcome to apply. There is no maximum grant amount established, but the Trust does provide a simplified application form for requests of $15,000 or less called the Recognition Grant. The Trust encourages the use of matching funds through points awarded in the rating scale. A match is not required in any amount or percentage.

Who is eligible? 
Individuals, private organizations, and public entities are all welcome to apply


United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG)Sept. 30

The REDLG program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. The USDA provides zero interest loans to local utilities which they pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.  The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly.

Who is eligible? Eligible applications must:

  • Have borrowed and repaid or prepaid an insured, direct, or guaranteed loan received under the Rural Electrification Act or, be a not-for-profit utility that is eligible to receive assistance from the Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication Program
  • Be a current Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication Programs Borrower


Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality – Nonpoint Source Pollution Grants – Small Projects Assistance and Nebraska Department of Environment Quality – Section 319 Grant – Large Competitive ProjectsDue in September

These programs seek to protect public health and existing water uses, prevent water quality degradation caused by NPS pollution, and improve water quality degraded by NPS pollution to the extent feasible. Proposed projects should direct funding toward pollution prevention and watershed or aquifer resource rehabilitation through the installation of best management practices, education, demonstration, monitoring, technical assistance, and aquatic habitat improvement.

Who is eligible? 
Sub Units of government, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations.


Grant Applications Open Throughout the Year

Community Development Assistance Act (CDAA):

CDAA empowers the Department of Economic Development to distribute a 40 percent state tax credit to businesses, corporations, insurance firms or financial institutions or individuals that make eligible contributions of cash, services or materials to approved community betterment projects.

Who is eligible? 
Five types of projects may qualify through the program. Eligible projects include, employment training, human and medical services, physical facility and neighborhood development services, recreational and educational activities and crime prevention.


Community Development Block Grant Program:

The Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, administered through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, helps smaller local governments fund community projects that might not otherwise be financially feasible. 


CDBG – Downtown Revitalization Program: Sept.-Oct. 

Who is eligible? 
Activities are eligible so long as they relate and directly contribute to the revitalization and development of the established downtown district. Refer to the CDBG website for more details.


CDBG – Planning Category: April and Oct.

Who is eligible? 
Certain types of planning activities are eligible. Refer to the CDBG website for more details.  


CDBG – Public Works Category: Aug. 30

Who is eligible?
Applications are accepted by invitation by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, after a Preapplication and Preliminary Engineering Report has been submitted and recommended for funding by the Nebraska Water and Wastewater Advisory Committee (WWAC).