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Local News

RESTORE Funds Deadline Extended In Escambia

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  There’s a new deadline in Escambia County to submit projects seeking funds from the RESTORE Act.

Wednesday night had been the deadline, for applicants wanting some of the $58 million that’s coming to Escambia County beginning in 2017.

“We had a programming glitch that triggered at midnight, coming up on the 30th of September, vs. midnight at the end of the 30th,” said Keith Wilkins, the county’s Director of Community and Environment.

“The site went down for about seven and a half hours, until we woke up this morning and got it fixed,” Wilkins said. “To compensate for that, we decided to extend the deadline until 11:59 p.m. Friday night, October 2.”

Technicians trouble-shooting the software was found not to have the appropriate “time stamp.” So, when the program hit the “date stamp,” the system closed down. 

As of late Wednesday, the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee listed 185 people have gone onto the website to register 135 projects which are now being processed. Fifty-two projects have been fully submitted.

Among the projects listed: a plan to mobilize volunteers in environmental and technological emergencies; a master plan to redevelop the Escambia Wood Treating Superfund Site, and adding solar panels to Habitat for Humanity homes.

Projects that are submitted are required to meet at least one of the eligibility criteria outlined in the federal RESTORE Act; include a budget for the project, and meet the evaluation criteria. After Friday’s deadline, Wilkins says it’s on to the next step.

“Evaluated, have draft scores applied to them from our consulting firm,” said Wilkins. “The RESTORE Committee will develop their own scoring and ranking of those projects, which we hope to complete by Christmas.”

The Escambia County RESTORE Advisory Committee will meet October 20th at four p-m at the County Commission chambers. The meeting is open to the public. The selected projects will be submitted to the U-S Treasury Department for review. Wilkins says by October of next year, the $10.6 million now in the bank will begin flowing.

And for those who’ve been waiting until the last minute to submit their ideas to the portal, Wilkins has a message.

“There is no more dilly-dallying,” said Wilkins. “Applicants have until midnight Friday, and if they don’t get it in by then it is closed until January, 2017.”

Applicants may also be contacted for more information during the reviews. When all projects have been ranked, the list can be found at my-escambia.com/restore.