WisDOT offers webinars detailing new $75M local grant program

By Patrick Lynn

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation this week announced it has scheduled three webinars to assist local governments in applying for funding from the $75 million Multimodal Local Supplement grant program.

MLS is a one-time grant program designed to address critical transportation needs throughout the state and is available to local and tribal governments.

The first webinar will be held Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Additional sessions are planned for Oct. 2 from 1-2:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Those interested should email DOTLocalPrograms@dot.wi.gov to obtain the webinar link.

WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said so far, over 400 people have already signed up for the webinars, meaning there is “high interest is a good indication of community need for this funding.”

Eligible projects include roads, bridges, transit capital and facility projects, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, railroads, and harbors, according to a news release from WisDOT.

The program gives counties and municipalities the opportunity to apply to fund projects that will provide “significant economic impacts for their community,” the news release said.

“The MLS program mirrors aspects of the Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP) but is available to an expanded range of project improvement types.”

The webinars will address eligibility, application materials, and the selection process WisDOT plans on using.

“The selection will be competitive and projects will rate higher if they demonstrate economic impact, provide greater connectivity or are shown to have greater cost-effectiveness than other options,” the release said. “Committees that include local government representatives will recommend final MLS project selection.”

The program will reimburse local governments up to 90 percent of total eligible costs, with local governments responsible for the balance. Awards will be announced in early 2020.