Program Overview
To be eligible for the sponsored project program, projects must improve water quality in the watershed in which the wastewater utility receiving a Clean Water (CW) SRF loan is located.  

The dollar amount available for sponsored projects is the amount awarded or 10% of the CW Loan principal balance at the time the loan is amended, whichever is lower. The final amount available for reimbursement cannot be calculated until several milestones are met including project bidding and the issuance of an Eligibility Letter. 
Project Implementation Process
Each sponsored project will be implemented by a team that includes: a city representative, a design engineer, a DNR project manager, an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) technical advisor, the Iowa Finance Authority, and community stakeholder representatives. County Conservation Boards and the county Soil and Water Conservation District may also be consulted if the project design and maintenance could benefit from their technical expertise.

For an overview of the sponsored project process, including design review steps, please refer to the Sponsored Project Milestone Checklist which was distributed at the project initiation meeting.

Technical Review 
Technical assistance, review, and oversight will be provided to each applicant through the DNR project manager and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) technical advisors. 
The IDALS technical advisors will:
  • Review conceptual plans
  • Conduct site visits
  • Consult with applicants on design issues
  • Review plans and specifications for compliance with design standards
  • Review and approve maintenance plans
  • Review change orders for technical merit
  • Conduct interim and final inspections
The DNR project managers will:
  • Review conceptual plans
  • Conduct site visits
  • Ensure the applicant has demonstrated legal control of the practice
  • Consult with IDALS technical advisor and applicants on design issues
  • Review plans and specifications for eligible project costs
  • Review maintenance plans approved by the IDALS technical advisor
  • Review bidding documents
  • Issue an Eligibility Letter stating the amount of construction project costs eligible for reimbursement
  • Approve change orders for eligibility
  • Conduct final inspections
Project Maintenance
Water quality practices funded through sponsored projects must be maintained for the life of the practice or length of the CW loan, whichever is shorter. Applicants should work with the IDALS technical advisor to develop a maintenance plan that will also be approved by the project manager before the project goes to bid. See sponsored project resources for example maintenance plans. 
Project Bidding
Prior to the project going to bid the final plans and specifications must be reviewed and approved by the IDALS technical advisor and the DNR project manager. Prior to bidding the DNR project manager will issue a Final Plans and Specs Letter and Pre-approval Spreadsheet indicating the percent of each bid item that will be eligible for reimbursement. 

SRF nonpoint SRF front-ends must be included in the bid specifications prior to going to bid for any construction costs to be eligible for reimbursement. Please note Attachments 1, 2, and 5 of the nonpoint SRF front ends must be signed by the bidder and submitted with the bid. 

When the applicant identifies the lowest responsive bidder, a packet of bid documents is submitted to the DNR project manager for review of eligible costs, concurrence with the bid award, and compliance with state and federal requirements. The DNR project manager then issues an Eligibility Letter and Eligibility Spreadsheet identifying the eligible construction costs by line item. The Eligibility Letter and spreadsheet is also sent to the Iowa Finance Authority which uses the Eligibility Letter and Spreadsheet to issue reimbursements of construction costs. 
Performance Agreement
Prior to loan amendment the applicant and DNR must execute a Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Project Performance Agreement. This agreement ensures the funded practices are constructed and maintained in a manner that will achieve, and continue to provide, the water quality improvement as designed. 

Construction Financing and Loan Amendment
After bids are approved and an eligibility letter has been issued, the applicant amends the Clean Water SRF loan to include the sponsored project costs. The applicant will work with bond counsel to hold a public hearing and pass a bond resolution. The loan amendment process requires two city council meetings and generally takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

Please notify the Iowa Finance Authority when the applicant would like to begin the loan amendment process. At that time, the Iowa Finance Authority will calculate the amount available for the sponsored project. 

All SRF loan proceeds are disbursed after the borrower incurs costs. Disbursements are made weekly. Sponsored project costs and invoices must be submitted separately from the wastewater project and clearly labeled.