Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Action
Texas Recreation and Parks Account
Adoption of Rules
April 2000

I. Discussion: The Seventy-Third Legislature-Regular Session, created the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program (TRPA). TRPA is funded through a dedication of a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods, effective September 1, 1993. The Texas Recreation and Parks account is incorporated as Chapter 24 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. The program provides local governments matching funds assistance for outdoor and indoor recreation.

Section 24.005 (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Code states that "in establishing the program of grants under this section, the department shall adopt rules and regulations for grant assistance."

The Seventy-sixth Legislature, Regular Session, passed House Bill 2108, which makes several changes to the Texas Recreation and Parks Account as incorporated in Chapter 24 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. These changes are as follows:

SECTION 1. Amends Section 24.001, Parks and Wildlife Code, by adding Subdivisions (10), (11), and (12), to define "cultural resource site or area", "nonprofit corporation," and "underserved population."

SECTION 2. Amends Section 24.005, Parks and Wildlife Code, by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsections (d) and (e), as follows:

c. Sets forth enumerated provisions authorizing money granted to a political subdivision to be used for the operation and maintenance of parks, recreational areas, cultural resource sites or areas, and open space areas (enables Texas Parks and Wildlife (department) to transfer department-owned facilities to political subdivisions with temporary operational funding).

d. Requires the department to make grants of money from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (account) to a political subdivision or nonprofit corporation for recreation, conservation, or education programs for underserved populations to encourage and implement their increased access to and use of parks, recreational areas, cultural resource sites or areas, and open space areas.

e. Authorizes the department to provide from the account for direct administrative costs of the program described this chapter (State Assistance for Local Parks).

SECTION 3. Amends Section 24.006, Parks and Wildlife Code, to require an amount "not less than", rather than "not to exceed", 15 percent to be made available for grants for specified uses when revenues to the account exceed $14 million per year.

SECTION 4. Amends Sections 24.008 (a), (e), and (f), Parks and Wildlife Code, as follows:

(a) Provides that the fair market value of property acquired with grant money is to be determined by one independent appraiser, rather than two independent appraisers.

(f) Includes cultural resource among other uses and plans for water and land designated for use by "two or more" jurisdictions, rather than "contiguous" jurisdictions. Authorizes the department to modify the standards for individual applicants in specified cases, but provides that the department must be assured that a cooperative management plan for the land or water can be developed and effectuated, and that one of the jurisdictions possesses the necessary qualifications to perform contractual responsibilities for purposes of the grant. This allows for multi-jurisdictional regional park grants.

The Seventy-sixth Legislature, in the General Appropriations Act, appropriated to the department $5,597,318 for each of the fiscal years 2000 – 2001 from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account 467. This is the estimated interest accrued over the last few years on the fund balances in the Texas Recreation and Parks Account. These funds are to be used in 2000 and 2001 for increased indoor recreation grants, increased community outdoor outreach grants, facility transfer grants, regional parks initiative, and program administration.

To summarize these changes, House Bill 2108 amended the Texas Recreation and Parks Account by:

  1. Allowing the department to consider transfer of facilities to local governments where the Commission determines appropriate.
  2. Placing the Community Outdoor Outreach Program in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code instead of only as a rider to our appropriation.
  3. Enabling grants to local governments for regional parks.
  4. Placing the authority to use TRPA funds for program administrative costs in the Texas Parks and Wildlife code.
  5. Reducing the requirement for land appraisals from 2 to 1 for land acquired using TRPA funds.
  6. Requiring the department to spend not less than 15 percent of TRPA funds for indoor recreation grants to local governments each year.

To implement these changes, it is necessary for the Commission to exercise its rule making authority to adopt amended rules for the administration of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account. This also presents an opportunity for the public and the Commission to review the existing TRPA administrative rules and policies and make changes where necessary. The last such general review of program guidelines was in 1993.

During the last six months, the staff has been preparing draft rules and regulations for administration of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program for consideration by the Commission. Since September 1999 the following major activities have taken place in the process of preparing draft rules:

September – April 2000 – Seven public hearings held to solicit recommendations for revisions to TRPA rules in the areas of program administration, facility eligibility, and project prioritization.

253 persons attended the public hearings. Each participant was asked to complete a detailed questionnaire after testimony was complete.

Hearings were held in Austin, Baytown, El Paso, Grapevine, Levelland, McAllen, Texarkana

December 1999 - Draft rules prepared by staff; briefed Executive Director on proposed rules

January 2000 - Briefed Commission Finance Committee on proposed rules and obtained permission to post proposed changes in the Texas Register

February – March 2000 - Draft rules posted in Texas Register for public comment

Public Comment - As of the date of the preparation of this agenda item, no written comments relating to the proposed rules have been received

The exhibits incorporated as part of this Commission Item consist of the following:

Exhibit A – Exhibit A contains a summary of these proposed administrative changes to the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grants Manual.

Exhibit B –Exhibit B contains the scoring systems and changes as posted in the Texas Register proposed Project Priority Scoring systems for the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Outdoor, Indoor and Community Outdoor Outreach Programs.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

  1. "It is established as a rule for the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program that the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grants Manual, as amended by the changes summarized in Exhibit A, is adopted for the administration of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Outdoor, Indoor, and Community Outdoor Outreach grant programs, as codified in Chapter 24 of the Parks and Wildlife Code."
  2. "It is established as a rule for the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program that the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Outdoor Recreation Program Project Priority Scoring System, the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Indoor Recreation Program Project Priority Scoring System, and the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Community Outdoor Outreach Program Project Priority Scoring System, as contained in Exhibit B, are adopted for evaluating and prioritizing applications requesting grant assistance, as described in the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grants Manual as referenced in the previous motion."

Attachments - 3
1. Exhibit A - Texas Recreation and Parks Account Proposed Rules Changes
2. Exhibit B - TRPA Changes
3. Exhibit C - Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Texas Recreation and Parks Account
Proposed Rules Changes
Texas Register Posting

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §§65.132-65.139 and new §§65.132-65.135, concerning Guidelines for Administration of the Local Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Fund Program. The repeals and new sections are necessary to implement the provisions of House Bill 2108, enacted by the 76th Texas Legislature, which increased the scope of the program and therefore requires changes to both the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grant Manual (which is adopted by reference) and the scoring criteria used to evaluate candidate projects for possible funding. The repeals and new sections will function by: adopting by reference the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grant Manual, which provides communities with a comprehensive explanation of the program and instructions and requirements for participation; and by establishing the purpose, priorities, standards, and scoring systems for grant awards for outdoor, indoor, and outreach projects submitted by communities.

2. Fiscal Note.

Tim Hogsett, program director, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rules are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Hogsett also has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the department's discharge of its statutory obligation to operate a grants program to provide the local communities of this state with financial assistance for the acquisition and development of parks, recreation areas, open space areas, and outreach activities for the enjoyment of the citizenry.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Tim Hogsett, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 912-7115 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 24, which requires the department to adopt regulations for grant assistance.

The amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 24.

§65.132. Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grants Manual.

(a) The Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) Grants Manual contains the standards and requirements for the application, evaluation and award of all grants made under this subchapter.

(b) The Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) Grants Manual is adopted by reference and can be obtained by contacting Texas Parks and Wildlife at 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, 78744; 1-800-792-1112; http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

§65.133. Grants for Outdoor Recreation Programs.

(a) Program purpose and priorities. All grant applications submitted to the department for outdoor recreation programs are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized according to the Project Priority Scoring System set forth in this section. Scored applications are presented to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for approval. In general, recommended priorities for outdoor recreation projects are:

(1) to ensure sponsor performance on active grants and compliance at previously assisted grant sites;

(2) to recognize and reward local planning;

(3) to increase recreational diversity;

(4) to increase water-related park and recreation opportunities;

(5) to improve geographic distribution of park and recreation opportunities;

(6) to maximize the use of funds for basic park and recreation opportunities;

(7) to improve park and recreation opportunities for low income, minority, elderly and youth-at-risk citizens;

(8) to reward cooperative efforts between park and recreation providers and other governmental and/or educational entities;

(9) to reward partnerships between local sponsors and the private sector;

(10) to preserve significant natural resources through public land acquisition and stewardship;

(11) to renovate existing, obsolete park and recreation areas and facilities;

(12) to promote wise use of natural resources;

(13) to provide linear greenbelt linkages to parks, neighborhoods, or public facilities; and

(14) to encourage the appreciation and preservation of cultural resources.

(b) Local master plan standard requirements. Minimum master plan standards must be met to qualify for priority points. Local sponsors may submit applications without having a department-approved master plan; however, only those proposals that address priority needs identified in approved plans will receive priority points under the provisions of subsection (c)(7) of this section. Master plans must have been received in an approvable format at least 60 days prior to the application submission deadline at which time credit is sought. The following are minimum master plan standards:

(1) Proof of adoption. The plan must be formally endorsed by the applicable governing body of the sponsor, and the endorsement must be included with the document.

(2) Jurisdiction-wide scope. The plan must be comprehensive and assess the entire jurisdiction area of the project sponsor. County plans must cover the entire county, and city or district plans must cover the entire city or district. For large urban areas, the plan should cover the entire jurisdiction, and then may break the jurisdiction down into regions, sectors, precincts, districts, etc., as appropriate.

(3) Plan duration. The plan must specifically identify the time period within which the goals and objectives of the plan are to be carried out. Plans should cover a minimum five-year period. If a plan is more than two years old, a brief summary of plan accomplishments to date must be provided to enable the department to recognize and credit program progress. Plans older than 5 years will be considered obsolete and new plans will be required.

(4) Plan content. The following information should be included in the document:

(A) introduction;

(B) goals and objectives;

(C) plan development process (discuss when the planning process began, plan phases, public input received, survey/studies conducted, committees and/or personnel involved, etc.);

(D) area/facility concepts and standards, including:

(I) population/area service and acreage goals;

(II) "typical" park and facility standards;

(III) applicable local codes, ordinances, and other requirements for community or neighborhood development.

(E) Inventory of existing park, recreation and open space areas and facilities (including schools).

(F) Needs assessment and identification. Information under this subparagraph shall be area- and facility-specific, and may include basic support facilities/infrastructure which are critical to the recreational experience. A discussion and identification of open space needs in the master plan, or a separate open space plan, shall be included.

(G) Prioritization of needs. Applicant shall include:

(i) a priority list in which all outdoor and indoor needs are ranked; and

(ii) plan implementation recommendations, including a timeline and discussion of resources for meeting priorities (must identify and prioritize which needs are to be met, where and when). Any revision of priorities other than an update of accomplishments must present a new priority listing justified by additional public input.

(H) Illustrations, maps, charts, surveys, etc.

(c) Outdoor recreation project priority scoring system.

(1) Outdoor recreation projects presented to the commission shall be scored according to the criteria, rating factors, and point values set forth in this subsection.

(2) The priority ranking of a project will depend on its score in relation to the scores of other projects under consideration.

(3) Funding of projects will depend on the availability of TRPA funds.

(4) Projects which have not been approved after two considerations by the commission, without alterations to significantly raise the project score, shall be returned to the sponsor and not accepted for resubmission.

(5) Each site of a multiple-site project shall be scored individually. Individual site scores will be weighted on a pro-rata share of the total budget for the entire project. All weighted scores will be added together for the total project score.

(6) If the sponsor is in full compliance at previously assisted grant project sites and is progressing on schedule with all active grant projects in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, the application will be scored and presented for award consideration. If the sponsor does not meet the requirements of this paragraph, the application will not be scored or considered further.

(7) A project proposal meeting the requirements of paragraph (6) of this subsection shall be evaluated according to:

(A) the extent that the project will satisfy the priority recreation needs (PRN) identified in the master plan required by subsection (c)(7)(A) of this section. Consideration of "need" for this criterion includes basic support facilities/infrastructure critical to the park and recreation experience. Eligible support facilities/infrastructure are limited to restrooms, roads and parking, area lighting (to ensure public safety), utilities essential to eligible support facilities, irrigation, and land acquisition. Scoring shall be as follows, up to a total of 20 points.

(i) For satisfying PRN 1 only: 10 points.

(ii) For satisfying PRN in the order listed in the master plan:

(I) PRN 1 and 2: 15 points;

(II) PRN 1 through 3: 16 points;

(III) PRN 1 through 4: 17 points;

(IV) PRN 1 through 5: 18 points;

(V) PRN 1 through 6: 19 points; or

(VI) PRN 1 through 7: 20 points.

(iii) For satisfying PRN 1 and 2, but satisfying remaining PRN in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PRN lower than any unsatisfied PRN, up to the maximum point total allowed.

(iv) For satisfying PRN 2 only: 5 points.

(v) For satisfying PRN 2, but satisfying remaining PRN lower than 2 in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PRN up to the maximum point total allowed.

(vi) For satisfying PRN 3 only: 1 point.

(vii) For satisfying PRN 3, but satisfying remaining PRN lower than 3 in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PRN up to the maximum point total allowed.

(B) the extent to which the project will provide diversity of park and recreation opportunities/facilities. Priority points for this criterion shall be awarded based on the number of park and recreation opportunities/facilities provided. One point will be awarded for each type of facility, up to a total of 10 points.

(C) the extent to which the project will provide improved natural water-based park and recreation opportunities.

(i) Project provides direct and complementary park and recreation or conservation opportunities which do not degrade the resource along quality water bodies, up to a total of 10 points, for no more than one of the following:

(I) coast, lake, or reservoir: 6 points;

(II) bay or estuary: 5 points;

(III) river: 4 points;

(IV) stream (continuous flow): 3 points;

(V) pond: 2 points; or

(VI) wetland: 1 – 5 points, dependent upon size and quality.

(ii) Project proposes the acquisition of land that would provide needed public access to park and recreational waters, not more than one of the following:

(I) coast, lake, or reservoir: 5 points;

(II) bay or estuary: 4 points;

(III) river: 3 points;

(IV) stream (continuous flow): 2 points; or

(V) pond: 1 point.

(D) The extent to which the project will improve the geographic distribution of park and recreation lands and facilities in the project's service area or within the sponsor's jurisdiction, up to a total of 25 points.

(i) Project provides the first public recreation opportunity in the sponsor's jurisdiction or intended service area: 25 points; or

(ii) Project provides the first public park or significantly new and different park and recreation opportunity (other than school facilities) in the sponsor's jurisdiction or intended service area: 15-20 points. Points for this item shall be awarded based on the percentage of construction budget (minimum of 20%), significance to the community, and originality, as follows: new and different facility costs, divided by total construction costs, multiplied by six.

(E) The extent to which the project maximizes the use of development funds for facilities which provide direct park and recreation opportunities, up to a total of 25 points, determined by dividing the direct recreational facilities costs by the total construction costs and multiplying the result by 25. "Total Facilities Costs" includes park/recreation and support/infrastructure facilities, contingency, and all required program signage costs in excess of $1,000.

(F) The extent to which the project improves park and recreation opportunities for low income, minority, elderly or youth-at-risk citizens, up to a total of 16 points.

(i) Project improves opportunities for low-income citizens in areas where such action is needed: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as low income by 4. Maximum of 4 points.

(ii) Project improves opportunities for minority citizens in areas where such action is needed: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as minority by 4. Maximum of 4 points.

(iii) Project improves opportunities for the elderly in areas where such action is needed: 1 point for each facility, typically passive activities, except where facilities are designed specifically for an elderly user group). Maximum of 4 points.

(iv) Project provides opportunities for youth-at-risk where such action is needed: 1 point for each program offered for youth-at-risk. Sponsor must describe/define the youth-at-risk population and demonstrate how facilities proposed in the application will be specifically programmed. Maximum of 4 points.

(G) The extent to which the project involves cooperation between the sponsor and other governmental or educational institutions to provide park and recreation opportunities at the project site(s). Maximum of 25 points.

(i) Project involves the contribution of resources from other governmental or educational institutions, which serves as all or part of the sponsor’s matching share of funds. Up to 15 points may be awarded for this item. Points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, dependent on the amount of matching funds provided by the other governmental/educational institution, determined by dividing the total contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 15.

(ii) Project area is owned by another governmental or educational institution and will be permanently dedicated for public park and recreation use through a land donation, permanent non-revocable lease, or permanent park and recreation or conservation easement: 5 points.

(ii) Project involves cooperation between the sponsor and other governmental or educational institutions and resources are contributed to the overall project for non-grant assisted facilities (example: a county constructs roads/parking facilities for a city, but no grant funds are requested for roads/parking): 1 point per activity, to a maximum of 5 points.

(H) The extent to which the project involves donations of land, cash, labor, equipment and/or materials from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project. Priority points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, dependent on the amount of matching share funds to be received through donations. Maximum of 15 points.

(i) Project provides private land and/or cash donations from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project, determined by dividing the contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 15. Maximum of 15 points.

(ii) Project provides donated labor, equipment and/or materials from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project, determined by dividing the contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 10. Maximum of 10 points.

(I) The extent to which the project provides for the acquisition and preservation/conservation of park and recreation lands which consist of unique or significant natural resources, provide needed open space, or provide needed parkland for future development. Total point range: 10-40 points for not more than one of the following:

(i) project provides for the acquisition and preservation/conservation of a federal, state, regional, or local government identified natural area which is recognized in an acceptable, published planning document for having valuable or vulnerable natural resources, ecological processes, or rare, threatened, or endangered species of vegetation or wildlife: 40 points;

(ii) project provides for the acquisition and preservation/conservation of a significant wetland area, recognized by TPW, which is usable for recreation, and meets at least one "threshold criteria" as defined in the National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan (based on significance of acreage and quality): 30-35 points; or

(iii) project provides for the acquisition and preservation/conservation of open space land or water for human use and enjoyment that:

(I) is one acre or larger in size, relatively free of man-made structures, whose physical characteristics will support only minimal development (including creek corridors, floodways, and natural drainage basins, but not agricultural fields), and which is identified in an acceptable, published, and adopted local, jurisdiction-wide open space plan or master plan: 20-25 points, based on acreage and quality; or

(II) provides significant native wildlife habitat, as substantiated by a TPW biologist: 20-25 points.

(iv) Project provides only for the acquisition of needed recreational land proposed for future development, or land which is located in a densely developed area within the sponsor's jurisdiction: 10 points. No points are awarded for this item if development is proposed.

(J) Project provides for the renovation of an existing obsolete park and recreation area or facilities, determined by dividing the renovation cost by the total construction cost and multiplying the result by 5. Maximum of 5 points.

(K) Project promotes the conservation of natural resources by the use of activities or techniques such as xeriscape/native plant materials for landscaping, drip or treated effluent irrigation systems, renovation of obsolete lighting systems with more energy efficient systems, recycled materials for facility construction, environmental education and interpretation, significant tree plantings where no trees exist, or other resource conservation measures. 1 point is awarded for each conservation element proposed in the grant, up to a maximum of 5 points.

(L) Project provides greenbelt linkage (not to include streets or sidewalks) to other parks and recreation areas, neighborhoods, or public facilities, as follows, up to a maximum of 5 points for not more than one of the following.

(i) park to park: 5 points;

(ii)park to school: 4 points;

(iii) park to neighborhood: 3 points; or

(iv) park to public facility: 1 point.

(M) Project provides park and recreation opportunities that enhance and encourage appreciation and preservation of cultural (historical and archaeological) resources: maximum of 5 points. Points for this item are awarded based on the significance of the enhancement.

§65.134. Grants for Indoor Recreation Programs.

(a) Program purpose and priorities. All grant applications submitted to the department for indoor recreation programs are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized according to the Project Priority Scoring System set forth in this section. Scored applications are presented to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for approval. The priority ranking of a project depends on its score in relation to the scores of other projects under consideration. Funding of projects will depend on the availability of TRPA funds. In general, recommended priorities for indoor recreation projects are:

(1) to ensure sponsor performance on active grants and compliance at previously assisted grant sites;

(2) to recognize and reward local planning;

(3) to provide indoor recreational diversity;

(4) to provide a better geographic distribution of indoor recreation facilities;

(5) to provide indoor recreation facilities to greater numbers of citizens;

(6) to improve recreation opportunities for youth-at-risk;

(7) to reward cooperative efforts between project sponsors and other governmental or educational entities;

(8) to reward partnerships between local government sponsors and the private sector;

(9) to provide for the renovation of existing, obsolete indoor recreation facilities;

(10) to improve indoor recreation opportunities for low income, minority and elderly citizens; and

(11) to promote the conservation of natural resources and environmental values.

(b) Local Master Plan Standard Requirements. Minimum master plan standards must be met to qualify for priority points. Local sponsors may submit applications without having a department- approved master plan; however, only those proposals that address priority needs identified in approved plans will receive priority points under the provisions of subsection (c) of this section. Master plans must have been received in an approvable format at least 60 days prior to the application submission deadline at which time credit is sought. The following are minimum master plan standards:

(1) Proof of adoption. The plan must be formally endorsed by the applicable governing body of the sponsor, and the endorsement must be included with the document.

(2) Jurisdiction-wide scope. The plan must be comprehensive and assess the entire jurisdiction area of the project sponsor. County plans must cover the entire county, and city or district plans must cover the entire city or district. For large urban areas, plans should cover the entire jurisdiction, and then break the jurisdiction down into regions, sectors, precincts, districts, etc., as appropriate.

(3) Plan duration. Plans must specifically identify the time period within which the goals and objectives of the plan are to be carried out. The plan should cover a minimum five-year period. If a plan is more than two years old, a brief summary of plan accomplishments to date must be provided. Plans older than 5 years will be considered obsolete and new plans will be required.

(4) Plan content. The following information should be included in the document:

(A) introduction;

(B) stated goals and objectives;

(C) plan development process (discuss when the planning process began, plan phases, public input received, survey/studies conducted, committees and/or personnel involved, etc.);

(D) area/facility concepts and standards, including:

(I) population/area service and acreage goals;

(II) "typical" park and facility standards; and

(III) applicable local codes, ordinances, and other requirements for community or neighborhood development;

(E) inventory of existing park, recreation and open space areas and facilities (including schools);

(F) needs assessment and identification. Information under this subparagraph shall be area/facility specific, and may include basic support facilities/infrastructure which are critical to the recreational experience. A discussion and identification of open space needs in the master plan, or a separate open space plan, shall be included.

(G) prioritization of needs. Applicant shall include:

(i) a priority list in which all outdoor and indoor needs are ranked ; and

(ii) plan implementation recommendations, including a timeline and discussion of resources for meeting priorities (must identify and prioritize which needs are to be met, where and when). Any revision of priorities other than an update of accomplishments must present a new priority listing justified by additional public input.

(H) Illustrations, maps, charts, surveys, etc.

(c) Indoor recreation project priority scoring system. If the sponsor is in full compliance at previously assisted grant project sites and is progressing on schedule with all active grant projects in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, an application will be scored and presented for award consideration. If the sponsor does not meet the requirements of this paragraph, the application will not be scored or considered further. A project proposal meeting the requirements of this paragraph shall be evaluated according to:

(1) the extent to which the project will satisfy the priority indoor recreation needs (PIRN) identified in the master plan required by this section, up to a total of 20 points.

(A) For satisfying PIRN 1 only: 10 points.

(B) For satisfying PIRN in the order listed in the master plan:

(i) PIRN 1 and 2: 15 points;

(ii) PIRN 1 through 3: 16 points;

(iii) PIRN 1 through 4: 17 points;

(iv) PIRN 1 through 5: 18 points;

(v) PIRN 1 through 6: 19 points; or

(vi) PIRN 1 through 7: 20 points.

(C) For satisfying PIRN 1 and 2, but satisfying remaining PIRN in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PIRN lower than any unsatisfied PIRN, up to the maximum point total allowed.

(D) For satisfying PIRN 2 only: 5 points.

(E) For satisfying PIRN 2, but satisfying remaining PIRN lower than 2 in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PIRN up to the maximum point total allowed.

(F) For satisfying PIRN 3 only: 1 point.

(G) For satisfying PIRN 3, but satisfying remaining PIRN lower than 3 in other than the order listed in the master plan, 1 point will be awarded for three satisfied PIRN up to the maximum point total allowed.

(2) the extent to which the project will provide diversity of public indoor recreation facilities. Points shall be awarded based on the number of indoor recreation facilities provided. Five points will be awarded for each type of facility, up to a maximum of 30 points. Points may be deducted for projects which propose support facilities which do not support recreational activities.

(3) the extent to which the project provides facilities that enhance outdoor education or conservation (such as nature centers or facilities for environmental education prgrams or exhibits): 1-5 points.

(4) the extent to which the project will improve geographic distribution of public indoor recreation facilities. Maximum of 20 points.

(A) project provides the first public indoor recreation facility in the sponsor's jurisdiction or intended service area: 20 points; or

(B) project provides new and different public indoor recreation facilities (other than school facilities) in the sponsor's jurisdiction or intended service area, determined by dividing new and different facility costs by the total construction costs, multiplied by eleven. Maximum point total: 20 points.

(5) the extent to which the project provides public indoor recreation opportunities to significant segments of the population within the sponsor’s jurisdiction area, determined by dividing the estimated number of individuals to be served by the total population of the sponsor’s jurisdiction area, and multiplying the result by five. Maximum of 5 points.

(6) the extent to which the project provides improved recreation opportunities for at-risk youth, where a demonstrated need for such action exists. Points are awarded for projects that demonstrate and define the existence of at-risk youth within the intended service area, and which propose specific grant-assisted facilities for at-risk youth. One point shall be awarded for each proposed activity, up to a total of 10 points.

(7) the extent to which the project involves cooperation between the sponsor and other governmental or educational institutions to provide public indoor recreation facilities at the project site. Maximum of 15 points.

(A) project involves the contribution of resources (other than land) from other governmental or educational institutions which serves as all or part of the sponsor’s matching share of funds. Up to 10 points may be awarded for this item. Points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, dependent on the amount of matching funds provided by the other governmental/educational institution, determined by dividing the total contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 10.

(B) project area is owned by another governmental or educational institution and will be permanently dedicated for public park and recreation use through a land donation, or permanent non-revocable lease or easement: 5 points.

(8) the extent to which the project involves donations of land, cash, labor, equipment and/or materials from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project. Priority points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, dependent on the amount of matching share funds to be received through donations. Maximum of 15 points.

(A) project provides private land and/or cash donations from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project, determined by dividing the contribution value by the total match and multiplying the result by 10. Maximum of 10 points.

(B) project provides donated labor, equipment and/or materials from the private sector as part or all of the sponsor's matching share of the project, determined by dividing the value of the donations by the total match and multiplying the result by five. Maximum of 5 points.

(9) the extent to which the project provides for the renovation of an existing obsolete public indoor recreation facility, determined by dividing the renovation cost by the total construction cost and multiplying the result by five. Maximum of 5 points.

(10) the extent to which the project improves public indoor recreation opportunities for low income, minority, or elderly citizens, up to a total of 6 points.

(A) project improves opportunities for low income citizens in areas where such action is needed: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as low income by 2. Maximum of 2 points.

(B) project improves opportunities for minority citizens in areas where such action is needed: determined by multiplying the percentage of population qualifying as minority by 2. Maximum of 2 points.

(C) project improves opportunities for the elderly in areas where such action is needed. Points for this item shall be awarded on the basis of recreational facility type and service. Maximum of 2 points.

(11) The extent to which the project promotes the conservation of natural resources and environmental values. Projects that propose energy efficient design, construction techniques, or materials will receive points for this criteria. Maximum of 5 points.

§65.135. Grants for Community Outdoor Outreach Programs.

(a) Program purpose and priorities. All grant applications submitted to the department for community outdoor outreach programs are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized according to the Project Priority Scoring System set forth in this section. In general, recommended priorities for community outdoor outreach projects are:

(1) to ensure sponsor performance on active grants and compliance on previous grants;

(2) to improve community outdoor outreach opportunities for inner-city, rural, low-income, minority, female, physically/mentally challenged, and youth-at-risk citizens;

(3) to reward partnerships between local sponsors and other organized groups;

(4) to increase the number of participants served;

(5) to maximize the use of funds for direct community outdoor outreach opportunities;

(6) to reward commitment of sponsor resources;

(7) to increase use of TPW programs and facilities; and

(8) to reward promotion of outdoor educational activities.

(b) Project Priority Scoring System.

(1) Proposed project’s primary constituency. Maximum of 13 points.

(A) inner city (city must have population of 100,000 or greater): 2 points;

(B) rural (cities less than 17,500 population or counties with a population of less than 28,000): 2 points;

(C) minority (minorities within served population greater than or equal to 50% of total served population): 2 points;

(D) female (females within served population greater than or equal to 50% of total served population): 2 points;

(E) low-income (served families with annual combined family income less than $19,500 greater than or equal to 50% of total served population): 2 points;

(F) physically/mentally challenged (includes ADD, ADHD): 2 points;

(G) youth (age 17 and under) : 2 points.

(2) Proposed project encourages partnerships with organized groups. Application must include written and signed agreements between the project sponsor and the proposed partnership group. Letters of endorsement by themselves will not receive credit. One point shall be awarded for each partnership agreement that commits cash contributions, volunteer labor, program materials, physical facilities use, transportation, food, etc. Maximum of 4 points.

(3) Number of program participants the proposed project will serve. One point awarded per 25 persons served, up to a maximum of 10 points.

(4) The extent to which the proposed project prioritizes direct service costs. Points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, determined by dividing the direct service delivery costs by the total project cost and multiplying the result by 10. Maximum of 10 points.

(5) The extent to which the sponsor’s funds and resources are committed to the project. Points shall be awarded on a percentage basis, determined by dividing the local/sponsor funds by the total project cost and multiplying the result by 4. Maximum of 4 points.

(6) The extent of the proposed project’s direct relationship with TPW programs and/or facilities. Maximum of 5 points. One point shall be awarded per:

TPW facility used;
instance of TPW personnel involved;
instance of TPW instructional materials used; or
instance of TPW program provided. Maximum of 5 points.
(7) Project specifically serves at-risk youth. A definition of at-risk youth must be included, as well as a description of each activity designed to serve at-risk youth. One point shall be awarded for each activity serving at-risk youth as defined in the project.

(8) Project proposes activities related to TPW initiatives. One point shall be awarded for each proposed activity related to a TPW initiative (e.g., fishing, camping, hunting, environmental education, or other outdoor activity) Demonstrated participation in the TPW Outdoor Kids Program automatically receives the full point total. Maximum of 5 points.

(9) Project promotes outdoor educational activities. Each educational element must be demonstrated by a discussion of the curriculum to be employed. Maximum of 4 points. Points will be awarded according to the curriculum’s potential to increase participants’ :

(A) awareness;

(B) knowledge, skills, and abilities;

(C) critical thinking; and

(D) behavioral change.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit B

TRPA Changes

INTRODUCTION

As a result of the passage of House Bill 2108 in 1999, the Texas Recreation and Parks Account has been revised, making it necessary for the Commission to adopt new administrative rules. The staff has conducted seven public hearings to solicit input for needed changes in the Texas Recreation and Parks Account grants rules. The following is a summary of the proposed changes to the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Grants Manual.

PROPOSED CHANGES

Section 600.1 PROGRAM SUMMARY

Deletes contingency reserve, and adds references to the Community Outdoor Outreach Program.

Section 600.2 LEGISLATIVE BASIS

Adds references related to House Bill 2108

Section 600.5 DEFINITIONS

Adds definitions for Community Outdoor Outreach Program, Cultural Resource Site or Area, Non-profit Corporation, Regional Park, Underserved Population.

Section 600.7 ANNUAL REPORT

Section deleted since no longer required by law

Section 640.1 ACQUISITION AND DEVELOPMENT

Adds regional parks, Community Outdoor Outreach Programs and TPW facility transfer grants as eligible projects

Section 640.2 CRITERIA FOR ACQUISITION

Adds open space as an eligible acquisition type

Section 640.4 COOP PROJECT CRITERIA

Adds a section on Community Outdoor Outreach Program

Section 650.2 ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE

Adds references to TPW Environmental Policy

Section 670.1 GENERAL COST PRINCIPLES

Adds cost principles for Community Outdoor Outreach Program

Section 670.3 ALLOWABLE COSTS

Adds section stating allowable costs for Community Outdoor Outreach Program, revises section to allow TPW Facility Transfer projects to be eligible for assistance

Section 675.1 GENERAL ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Revises Summary of Guidelines for active grant projects to include Community Outdoor Outreach Program and changed status report due dates

Section 675.2 ACQUISITION METHODS AND APPRAISALS

Changes requirement for number of land appraisals from two to one, and limits amount of appraisal reimbursement to five percent of land value or $10,000, whichever is less

Section 675.9 POST COMPLETION RESPONSIBILITIES

Adds provision to allow sponsors to self-certify they are in post completion compliance

The staff also proposes that the cap on grants for indoor recreation projects be increased from $500,000 to $750,000.


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