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Thread: Grant Closeout

  1. #1
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    Default Grant Closeout

    I'm working on the closeout for last years vehicle award. How much and what information do they want in the narrative? Should it be pretty simple and just explain the purchase and the use of it or should I include detailed examples of how it has been or will be used? This is the first closeout I've had to do...I didn't expect it to be this involved. THANKS!!


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    I'm in the same boat and was going to post a similar topic in the next few days.

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    You need to answer the questions that the narrative is looking for in some detail.

    Here's a copy of our closeout narrative for 2004 which was officially closed out about 1 month ago by the feds. Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of what's needed than trying to explain it.

    PROJECT
    The XYZ Fire Department (XYZ) completed its project of purchasing new turnout gear (coats & pants), new SCBA, upgrading existing SCBA to current standards and replacing SCBA cylinders.

    BUDGET
    The original amount of the grant was $94,425 (federal/applicant share). The total cost of the completed project was $94,760. The $335 difference was funded through the department's operating budget. The total cost of each item is as follows: 27 sets of Securitex turnout gear $33,923; 4 Scott 4.5 SCBA with spare cylinder/face piece $16,932; 21 SCBA upgrades $28,890 and 27 Scott SCBA carbon cylinders $15,015.

    Due to competitive bidding, all equipment, except for turnout gear, came in below quoted prices. The turnout gear came in at $53 per set above the original quote. Additional savings came about from the SCBA cylinders. The original 21 cylinders were purchased at a $140 discount below the bid price due to a sale at the time of purchase. After the sale the pricing for the SCBA cylinders reverted back to the original bid price.

    When the scope of the project was completed the XYZ had $3,747 in excess funds. The XYZ purchased 6 additional Scott SCBA carbon cylinders for a total cost of $3,990. The $243 difference was paid for by the XYZ along with a $92 ($46/set) price increase for the last 2 sets of turnout gear for a total of $335 over the funded amount.

    QUALITATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    Firefighters are relied on a daily basis to protect and to serve the community. Firefighters that respond to various emergency incidents within the community must have adequate PPE and SCBA. The goal of the project was to provide firefighters with safe and reliable equipment. This has been accomplished with the upgrading or the replacement of existing equipment to meet current NFPA standards.

    The new turnout gear (coat & pants) replaced existing turnout gear that did not meet current NFPA standards and had deficiencies such as rips, tears, fraying etc. Existing Scott SCBA were upgraded to include HUD, RIT connection and an integrated PASS device. Three SCBA have been placed on an engine that had none and the fourth was placed in the Safety Officer's vehicle. New SCBA cylinders replaced older cylinders.

    All of these changes have provided firefighters with the equipment to safely operate at incidents. No longer will PASS devices not be activated, they are an integral part of the SCBA. No longer will the Incident Commander have to wonder if a firefighter goes down will the firefighter be located, because they had not turned on their PASS device. No longer will the XYZ have to dispatch a piece of apparatus with firefighters with out proper equipment.

    Prior to the grant the XYZ was using equipment that was not suitable for use or did not meet current standards. The XYZ was also operating an engine with no SCBAs. This has changed. Firefighters work with the appropriate equipment and the engine now has SCBA. What does this mean to the community? Safety. The community and the firefighters have the equipment necessary to respond to and deal with incidents. The community now has an engine that is now capable to respond to any incident and the firefighters have the needed equipment to function safely at any emergency incident.

    All of the equipment is currently in use. For the most part, the equipment has been in service for about 5-14 months. To date there have been no issues or complaints with the equipment. All of the equipment has functioned as required. The firefighters feel safer with the new equipment, especially the integrated PASS devices. The consensus is that it is one last thing to worry about turning on, especially at a structure fire where safety is extremely important.
    Last edited by onebugle; 11-21-2006 at 01:32 PM.

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    We puchased a new quick attack and I handled it in one paragraph. I figured if they wanted more they would ask. Never heard anymore from them except to state that we successfully closed out our grant.

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    I should already know this I'm sure, but when does the closeout need to be done? When the truck's delivered, when it's equipped and in service, when the money's spent?

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    You have 90 days from the end of your POP. You should recieve a reminder about 1 month before its due.

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    OK, I'm getting up to my ears in confused/not understanding this closeout stuff. Maybe I'm reading more into it that what I should. Can someone help?

    It's probably easier than what I'm making it.

    Anyway, the "Request Details" section...our truck actually cost a bit more than the grant and we payed the difference. Do I need to show that in this area and where?

    "Equipment inventory" I assume I have to input the truck info in here as it's greater than $5,000? At the same time, I assume the program is going beyond the grant and that we request to continue to use it? (Yes to both questions?)

    "Residual supplies inventory" Do I even have this? And do I answer yes or no or not applicable or what?

    Thanks in advance. I'm going to blow a gasket trying to figure this out.

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    Catch22,

    In the Request Details section: Use the actual cost of the vehicle in this section. What will happen is that figure will transfer over to the Finacial Status Report. When you get to this area, it will ask how much the federal match was (amongst others). The difference will be your local match plus the extra that you paid.

    Equipment Inventory: Answer "yes" to both questions. Then go to "Add Equipment".

    Residual Supplies: Answer "Not Applicable"

    Once you finish your first close outreport, you will be a pro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle
    Once you finish your first close outreport, you will be a pro.
    Wow, i've now done three and feel like i'm a novice with 10 thumbs!! I just must be slow.

    earl

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    Didn't you know.....a recent study said all our intellegence is down in our toes. Have to take shoes and socks off (what a stink) to be smarter.

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you onebugle and everyone else who helped out from beginning to end. I finally got it all done and the closeout is sent.

    Now, if I could just hear some good news on this years.

    By the way, I don't feel like a pro. But...I do feel much better.

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    You're welcome. Glad I could be of some help and that you feel better about the process.

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    Ok, here's another closeout question.

    I did the closeout on our SCBA grant and we had some residual $$. I requested an ammendment for a RIT pack and was approved. We spent the money there just like we said we were going to and we still had some residual after that (less than 5K) so we used it to purchase some flashlights and a projector. I submitted it all but yesterday I received this e-mail. I've been trying to get in touch with guy but to no avail. I was told by an FPS that once I made the ammendment and it was approved it was part of the grant then and it did not count towards your $5K in excess funds. Is this incorrect? Even with the RIT pack in there we would have came out at $5400 left so we were only over by $400. On our radio grant we had a peice of equipment that was like $5300 and they let us use the other $300 without having to make it fire prevention material. Any insight would be appreciated.

    Dear Grantee, Your 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant closeout report has been released back to your for revision. Before your report can be processed you must make a few adjustments and follow the guidelines directed within this email. First, in accordance with page 37 of 2005 AFG Program Guidance you may spend no more than $5000.00 in leftover federal funds on extraneous equipment/services that was NOT in your original award or approved in an amendment. According to your closeout report, you spent over $5000 of these monies on extra equipment, therein changing your scope of work. This presents you with two options. (1) You can retain up to $5000 worth of new equipment from the leftover federal funds and purchase fire prevention materials with the remaining difference (PLEASE NOTE: you have up to a maximum of 6 months after your period of performance ends to complete option 1), or (2) retain up to $5000 worth of new equipment and return the remaining federal monies you used to purchase equipment after the $5000 mark. Please contact me immediately regarding these extra purchases by email AND phone. I would like to discuss these purchases with you in greater detail in order for this office to accurately compute how much money should be returned or spent on fire prevention.

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    I was told by an FPS that once I made the ammendment and it was approved it was part of the grant then and it did not count towards your $5K in excess funds.
    Based on experience, yes, they were wrong. The RIT pack request wasn't a real 'amendment' it was permission to use up to the $5K in excess to buy it. So it did come out of the excess funds. So out of the $5400 in excess, if you used $3000 on the RIT pack, as long as you didn't spend more than $1999 on flashlights then you're fine. Media projectors are Fire Prevention project eligible items, so they can't claim them as spending excess funds on fire equipment.

    If with buying the RIT pack you had $5400 left then you may have to cut a check or buy more FP materials out of pocket to even up the matching $$ and make the excess fund spending $4999 or under.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Based on experience, yes, they were wrong. The RIT pack request wasn't a real 'amendment' it was permission to use up to the $5K in excess to buy it. So it did come out of the excess funds. So out of the $5400 in excess, if you used $3000 on the RIT pack, as long as you didn't spend more than $1999 on flashlights then you're fine. Media projectors are Fire Prevention project eligible items, so they can't claim them as spending excess funds on fire equipment.
    The RIT pack, Projector and flashlights together totalled $5400. That's why I was confused because if the ammendment made the RIT pack part of our grant and it didn't count towards the $5K then we were well under, but with the RIT pack we are over.

    Exactly what you said was what I was thinking of as a plan B although I tried from the get go to use the projector under fire prevention material and they said NO. They told me to just do one request to get all the material so I requested the money for the flashlights and the projector together.

    So when do you need to do an ammendment then? The FPS I spoke with told me that we only needed to do an ammendment if the scope of the grant changes not when you're purchasing items with left over funds (as long as it was less than $5K).

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    True, you only do an amendment when the scope of the award changes. Excess funds don't require an amendment, just proper purchasing and paper trails to prove that you only spent what you were allowed to spend.

    Since they won't allow the projecter under FP (for some unknown reason since it's allowed, but maybe since you didn't start it out that way...) then it depends on how you paid for that $5400. If it all was federal money, then you're over on using that amount by $401. The $4999 can only be 95% of whatever it is you're doing. So you needed to spend 5% of the cost of the RIT pack, 5% the cost of the flashlights, and 5% of the cost of projector in local funds. The 95% of each that the feds covered couldn't total more than $4999, so if that's the case then you'll owe more than the $401 if you didn't put anything towards those 3 items.

    It is better to split requests, at least with all of what I've done in the past. Even if they want them on one request, split apart each line item and show how much in excess funds and local funds you'll be spending on each. That way it's not all lumped and they don't think something is fishy.

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    I know from past experience, when an ammendment is sent to use excess funds (CYA thing) within the scope of the grant it has been denied with an email explaining the $5,000 rule.

    With the current grant '05, I had to file an ammendment to extend the POP for the brush truck. Once approved, new documents (award letter) were established reflecting the change.

    Since they did not deny your original request, but approved it, I believe the FPS is correct (IMO) that it changed the scope of your grant. Take a look at your application (or other documents) and see if any changes were made in the details section ex. in regards to the ammendment approval.

    Clearly, you need to talk to the person to clarify the issue.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by onebugle; 12-21-2006 at 02:44 PM.

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