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June 2014 WAP Wire

Program Administration

Disaster Plan

Commerce will release shortly a news release informing residents of the possibility of weatherization services for low-income households affected by the recent flooding. Guidance for providing weatherization services after a disaster can be found in the Master Plan under section: V.9 Energy Crisis and Disaster Plan of the MN State Plan and through WPN 12-7. In particular, please keep the following DOE rules in mind:

Allowable expenditures under WAP include: 1) the cost of incidental repairs to an eligible dwelling unit if such repairs are necessary to make the installation of weatherization materials effective and, 2) the cost of eliminating health and safety hazards, elimination of which is necessary before the installation of weatherization materials (10 CFR 440.18(d)(9); 10 CFR 440.18(d)(15)). To the extent that the services are in support of eligible weatherization (or permissible re-weatherization1) work, such expenditure would be allowable. For example, debris removal at a dwelling unit so that the unit can be weatherized would be an allowable cost. Debris removal from a dwelling unit that is not to be weatherized would not be an allowable cost.

Listening Sessions

Listening Sessions have taken place throughout Minnesota. Our thanks go out to all who contributed to these hearty discussions. A separate WAP Wire, with notes and next steps, will be sent out in early July.

Contracts Update

PY2014 WAP contracts have all been sent out electronically.  Please sign and return them as soon as possible.  Once a signed copy is received, Commerce will fully execute the contract and release an initial NFA. Both a fully executed contract and new, signed NFA are needed by programs by July 1, 2014 to continue work uninterrupted.

In addition, on June 4 Commerce sent an email to all service providers requesting projected expenses for June in order to release your initial NFA for PY2014.  To those of you who have responded:  thanks!  To those of you who have not responded:  Please submit projections immediately to prevent an interruption in funding.

Fiscal

New NFAS for July 1, 2014 Contract Start Date

For those grant funds that can be carried over into the new contract period, all Service Providers, with fully executed contracts, will receive a new Notice of Funds Available (NFA) with preliminary funding amounts based on your estimates of the remaining balance. Once final FSRs have been approved and reconciliations have taken place, a revised NFA with updated amounts will be released.

In addition, Commerce has revised, with intention to improve, the NFA format. State staff will present a more detailed overview of the NFA format, including improved distribution methods, at the MN CAP Pre-Conference training in August. Until then, please send any questions or concerns regarding the NFAs to the Weatherization mailbox and fiscal staff will address them accordingly. 

PROGRAM YEAR-END FINANCIAL CLOSE OUT PROCEDURES 

As the WAP contract year ends on June 30, 2014 all Service Providers must close out each of their WAP contract funds and submit a Closeout Package for each fund according to the financial closeout requirements in the WAP Policy Manual Section 5. The Closeout Package must be submitted to Commerce no later than July 30, 2014.

Please note that Service Providers must submit a final cash request for program funds no later than August 8, 2014. Any cash requests submitted for expenses occurred in program year 2013 will not be honored after this deadline.

QCI/CAZ Training-Related Reimbursement Requests

Please submit all cash requests for QCI/CAZ training-related expenses immediately. Send an actual QCI expense sheet to: weatherization.commerce@state.mn.us  by June 30, 2014, or as quickly as possible. As PY2013 comes to a close, having all actuals will assist us greatly in our state closeout. If you have questions, please send them to weatherization.commerce@state.mn.us.

Training & Technical Assistance

OSHA Stipends

Time is running out to request the subgrantee contractor $400 stipend for completing the appropriate OSHA training. Simply send a request for the stipend with the following information to weatherization.commerce@state.mn.us:

  • Your organization name
  • Name of trainee
  • Company name
  • Certificate of completion including date

Please see the April 2014 WAP Wire for full information on the stipend. Requests must be received, and training must have taken place by June 30, 2014 to be honored.

Policy Manual Changes Webinar

Policy Manual changes for PY2014 will be discussed during the MinnCAP Conference. These changes are mainly related to changes in the State Plan as required by DOE or to those policies that required clarification. 

2014 MINNCAP Conference And Special Weatherization Field Day

We encourage all Weatherization workers to attend the MinnCAP Conference in Duluth from August 6-8. The program has something for everyone and includes two full tracks of Weatherization-related sessions. The committee has worked hard to provide sessions requested by you. You can review the proposed schedule and register for the conference at the MinnCAP Conference website at www.minncapconference.org. 

In addition to the six sessions offered at the conference, there will be a SPECIAL ADMINISTRATION PRE-CONFERENCE DAY on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. This day‐long session is presented by the Department of Commerce and is intended for all Fiscal Directors and WAP Program Managers who oversee the fiscal and administrative activities of the Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program. There is no registration fee for this pre‐conference day. Commerce highly recommends that all Fiscal Directors and WAP Program Managers attend this pre-conference day. Topics included are: budgets, spend‐down plans, cash flow management, and fiscal monitoring visits. The day will run from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, please respond to weatherization.commerce@state.mn.us with names and email addresses of each attendee.

There will also be a special WEATHERIZATION FIELD DAY on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Registration is included in the registration for the full conference or you can register for this day only. The three sessions include a repeat and expansion of the Basement and Crawlspace webinar by Pat Huelman of the University of Minnesota’s Cold Climate Housing, a presentation on asbestos and vermiculite by Mark Bender from the Minnesota Department of Health, and a session that will include a variety of topics by the Commerce Weatherization staff, including Policy Manual changes for PY2014.