Ranking and Approval Process
Need - Would the proposed project enable the applicant to adequately provide governmental services and facilities that are needed as a direct consequence of an increase or decrease in coal development or in the consumption of coal by a coal-using energy complex.
Degree of Severity of Impact - What demographic and economic changes have directly resulted from coal development or decline? To what extent have community residents been directly affected by the coal development or decline? Is the assistance necessary to eliminate or reduce the severity of a problem affecting the health, safety, or welfare?
Availability of Funds - Are there sufficient Coal Board funds available to grant the total amount requested, in light of the other total requests submitted?
Degree of Local Effort in Meeting These Needs - Is the applicant making a reasonable effort to meet the identified needs with local resources, based on its financial capacity? Given the limited amount of Coal Board funds, has the applicant made reasonable efforts to secure funding from other appropriate sources to assist in funding the proposed project?
Community Planning- In addition, State law (90-6-207, MCA) requires the Coal Board to give attention "to the need for community planning before the full impact of coal development or decline is realized. Applicants should be able to show how the request reasonably fits into an overall plan for the orderly management of the existing or contemplated growth or decline problems." Therefore, pursuant to Sub-Chapter 3 of the Admininstrative Rules of Montana, planning is an additional criterion the Coal Board will apply when reviewing applications.
After the Coal Board has evaluated the application proposal and its relationship to the five award guidelines, the Board takes action on the application by designating the amount of assistance and any contract stipulations.