Chapter 1301:13-7 Eligibility for Grants
Grants shall only be approved for applicants who are eligible to be grantees pursuant to section 4767.10 of the Revised Code and this chapter.
(A) Applicants shall be cemetery operators properly registered pursuant to section 4767.02 of the Revised Code. Registered cemetery operators that are for-profit companies do not qualify. Grant applicants must provide to the division documentation of eligibility in accordance with the grant guidelines and grant application form.
(B) Any cemetery required to establish and maintain an endowment care trust pursuant to section 1721.21 of the Revised Code and/or a preneed cemetery merchandise and services trust pursuant to section 1721.211 of the Revised Code must be in compliance with those sections to be eligible for a grant.
(C) An eligible applicant may apply every other year for one grant of up to one thousand dollars. Operators of five or more cemeteries registered with the division may apply each year for up to one thousand dollars. A grant application may be considered for requests over one thousand dollars if the applicant provides proof of one-to-one matching funds and includes an impact statement with proof of extenuating circumstances.
(A) A grant cycle shall be the state fiscal year and the division shall distribute grant cycle announcements and guidelines via the division's website (https://www.com.ohio.gov/real/) and any other means of distribution deemed appropriate by the division and to those persons or organizations that file a request with the division to be notified of such announcements.
(B) The grant announcement and guidelines in any grant cycle shall clearly delineate the following:
(1) Available funding during the grant period;
(2) Limitations on utilization of resources or activities; and
(3) The application review process and the criteria utilized for funding decisions.
(C) The superintendent may establish any additional policies and procedures as may be deemed necessary or appropriate to carry out the intent of this chapter.
(D) In reviewing grant applications, exceptional maintenance shall be construed broadly to cover non-routine, non-repetitive maintenance. Reasonable maintenance, pursuant to section 4767.09 of the Revised Code, done in the day-to-day operations of a cemetery is not considered exceptional for purposes of awarding grants.
(A) Grant applications shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the division and shall bear the original signature of the principal administrative officer or financial officer of the applicant.
(B) All grant applications shall include, at a minimum, the following documents and information:
(1) Federal tax identification number;
(2) Internal revenue service tax exempt certificate, if applicable;
(3) Contact information for the fiscal representative of the applicant;
(4) Contact information for the programmatic representative of the applicant, if different than fiscal representative;
(5) The acreage of the cemetery, how much acreage is fully developed and at capacity and how much acreage has inventory of available interment spaces;
(6) Number of interments made in the two previous years;
(7) The operating budget of the cemetery;
(8) Designation of the percentage of the estimated total cost of the project for which the grant will provide funding;
(9) Description of how the applicant will provide the remainder of the estimated total cost of the project, if applicable;
(10) Project description and purpose along with the goals of the project;
(11) Description of training, including agenda, syllabus or other content material, how the training relates to the maintenance and operations of cemeteries, name and contact information of the provider, if applicable;
(12) How grant funds will be accounted for separately from other sources of funding, if applicable;
(13) Additional information as required by the division as set forth in its grant guidelines.
(C) In addition to submitting a grant application, all applicants must submit an original W-9 form to the division.
(D) All completed grant applications must be received by the prescribed deadline.
(E) Incomplete or illegible applications, or applications that are not consistent with the terms of section 4767.10 of the Revised Code and this chapter, will not be considered for funding.
(A) Grant funds shall not be used for activities or purchases related to an approved grant project prior to formal approval of the grant application by the superintendent and issuance of the grant funds.
(B) Grant funds shall only be expended by the grantee to whom the grant was awarded and all grant funds must be expended or obligated by a grantee within the grant cycle for which they were awarded. Any grant funds not expended or obligated by the date contained in the grant conditions shall be remitted to the division within thirty days following the end of the grant cycle.
(C) A final report accounting for all grant funds by a grantee shall be submitted to the division not later than thirty days after the end of the grant cycle. All expenditures and disbursements of grant funds by a grantee shall be subject to generally accepted accounting principles. Any equipment purchased with grant funds shall be retained by the grantee and used in accordance with the terms of the grant award for the useful life of the equipment.
(D) At any time during the grant funding cycle or after a final report has been submitted by the grantee, the division may require that the grantee undergo an audit of the project administration and implementation. Within ten days after a request by the division, a grantee shall supply original or verifiable copies of all receipts and other appropriate documentation related to disposition of the grant funds and make available for on-site inspection by the division any and all records, books, documents and financial reports upon reasonable notice. These materials must be held for two years from the acceptance of the project final report in the offices of the grantee.
(E) Failure to comply with any paragraphs of this rule may be considered a misappropriation of funds and shall be investigated by the division. A misappropriation or failure to properly administer grant funds shall result in forfeiture of unexpended grant funds. The grantee shall repay any funds determined by the division to have been inappropriately expended and the grantee may be considered ineligible for funding in future grant cycles.
(F) If, as a result of an investigation, the superintendent believes that a grantee committed a criminal violation, the superintendent shall report the findings to the appropriate authorities.
(A) For purposes of assisting in the administration of the cemetery grant fund, as provided in section 4767.10 of the Revised Code, the Ohio cemetery dispute resolution commission may appoint a grant advisory committee.
(B) The committee shall consist of seven voting members with three-year staggered terms. A chairperson and vice-chairperson shall be appointed annually by the commission, upon the qualification of the commission member(s) appointed in such year. The commission shall fill any committee vacancy within one hundred twenty days of such vacancy. Committee members may not serve more than two consecutive full terms.
(C) Membership shall be comprised of the superintendent or the superintendent's designee, one representative of the Ohio township association, one representative of the Ohio municipal league, one representative of the Ohio cemetery association, one representative of the catholic conference of Ohio, one public member of the commission and one person actively involved in the operations of a cemetery registered with the division. The commission may remove any member who misses two consecutive meetings without an excused absence. A majority of the committee members shall constitute a quorum.
(D) The committee shall hold at least one meeting annually.
(E) The committee may:
(1) Advertise funding availability through, including but not limited to, issuing newsletter articles, press releases or website postings;
(2) Review and score grant applications of eligible grantees in accordance with the established grant guidelines and standard conditions;
(3) Recommend to the commission whether special circumstances of the application fall within exceptional maintenance as set forth in section 4767.10 of the Revised Code and this chapter;
(4) Recommend to the superintendent grant applications for funding.
(F) The division shall:
(1) Provide administrative support to the committee;
(2) Advertise funding availability;
(3) Provide tracking information on funded programs and projects, budget information and other information requested by the committee or commission.
(A) The superintendent shall review the recommendations of the cemetery grant advisory committee.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in law or regulation, the superintendent may approve or deny any, all, or a portion of a grant application.
(C) A grant award agreement, including any special conditions or requested revisions, will be signed by the superintendent and will be sent to all successful applicants to activate the grant award process.
(D) A successful applicant has thirty days from the date of the grant award notice to sign and return the grant award agreement. If the division does not receive the signed grant award agreement within thirty days, or other agreed upon reasonable time after notification, the grant award may be rescinded by the division with a written notice to the applicant. After a successful applicant has timely returned the signed grant award agreement, the grant funds will be processed and disbursed in the name of the successful applicant.
(E) The division will send written notice to all unsuccessful applicants.